School buses are now busy, once again carrying our country's young people to their designated schools. I think about a Valdosta, Georgia, house-wife, a retired teacher of 35 years, as she prepares breakfast and looks out of her kitchen window at a new morning. In between placing the cereal bowls on the counter and heating water for coffee, she takes quick glances at the road in front of her house. Soon the school bus will pass, and she will once again pause to pray for each students' day. It's a daily habit, as regular as clockwork in her life.
As she explained to me, "I get a sad feeling when I see the school bus, just thinking about some of the problems the young people have already faced that morning: Some have seen their parents fighting; others have been screamed at unjustly. How can we expect the students to have good days in school when they're facing so many family problems? So, whenever the school bus passes by, I just stop and pray for all the students on that bus."
That same woman, who is also my mother, has helped me to appreciate the importance of praying for school children. There have been periods in my teaching career when I felt burdened by negative moods permeating my classroom. Unruly students and uncooperative attitudes left me searching for new approaches to discipline, new gimmicks of control. Nothing seemed to work as well as when I remembered my mother's example of prayer
Kneeling beside my bed, roll book in hand, offering each child's needs to the Lord and leaving my concerns with Him, has changed my focus from despair to faith, and I have witnessed certain positive changes in my classroom.
I know people who automatically pray whenever they see a fire truck rushing down the street or when they see the flashing lights of an ambulance. It's good to form habits of prayer, whispers of praise and pleas that go forth throughout our days.
Our nation's children desperately need prayer. The pressures are tremendous. The struggles sometimes seem overpowering. Maybe this is a good time for you to decide to form a new habit of prayer, a habit of praying for students as they begin a new school year.
And then wait for the school bus to pass by.