Saving Mary

How Should We Pray For Our Children?

Posted on by Deidre Havrelock

  I’ve been watching the image (to the left) sweep through Facebook, but forcing children and public school teachers to recite a prayer in school doesn’t seem, to me, to be the best way to gain God’s favor and protection. So how should we pray for our children and our schools? Jesus said…

 “But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.”

It is no coincidence that the above prayer is the very prayer that we usually recite in a school setting. (I went to Catholic school and we HAD to recite this prayer every morning)…and yet, it is this prayer that Jesus tells us to speak in secret. Why does Jesus teach us to pray in secret? I think it’s because Jesus believes in humility and in personal commitment. Jesus would never force anyone to pray. Humility in prayer–that’s how we should pray for our children as they attend a public school. Unfortunately, our human nature always wants the opposite of what God wants, so we conclude that if personal prayer is good, then getting everyone to pray must be better! Surely God will  like us if we can get everyone to pray. But don’t be fooled, God has not left us because prayer has been banned from school. Perhaps God let prayer be removed from the school system so that we would learn to pray in secret.

Today has been declared a national day of mourning for the victims of the Connecticut shooting. As we mark this day perhaps we should go into our rooms, close the door, and say a prayer–and even though nobody will ever know that we prayed–we should still do it, and our Father who sees in secret will reward us.



Bible verse from The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Mt 6:6–13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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