The vision of Pray For Schools is to make every school in the UK a ‘prayed for school’. Pray for Schools encourages local Christians to form prayer groups in their area to meet and pray regularly for schools.
They also promote Pray for Schools Fortnight, this year May 8th – 22nd. The picture symbol for this year’s Pray for Schools Fortnight was the beautiful eagle painting by Lesley Hollingworth, representing this year’s theme of Freedom. The Bible verse was 2 Corinthians 3:17 ‘(New Living Translation) “For the Lord is the Spirit and where ever the Spirit is there is freedom”
The image and the text remind us of the wonderful freedom we have in Jesus. ‘Freedom from sin; Freedom to be ourselves and to fulfil His wonderful plans for us: Freedom to pray to the Father with confidence.’
This theme was taken up at two CICS Pray for Schools events on Wednesday 18th May. In the morning we met at the home of Daphne & Graham Cansdale in Mytholmroyd. A regular Pray for Schools meeting takes place in Mytholmroyd once in each school half term and local schools are asked for prayer requests.
The meeting began as we read the passage around the key verse in 2 Corinthians 3. We know rules are necessary in many areas of life (schools included) and the Old Testament covenant was based around the Israelites and the Old Testament Law. But it is not just as simple as the black and white keeping of rules, which often presents difficulties. In Christ and the New Covenant we have the freedom of tapping into knowledge beyond our own and the possibility of forgiveness and a fresh start when our judgements fail. This gives Freedom.
We then used one of the Pray for Schools suggested activities. We all chose a jelly baby sweet and then a prayer card of the corresponding colour. On the cards were suggestions for prayers for schools ranging from; for those suffering from bullying, struggles with school work, teachers’ difficulties and education in other countries. This provided plenty of scope for members of the group to share their thoughts and lead a short prayer.
We then heard from Daphne of the local needs from primary and secondary schools in Mytholroyd, Hebden Bridge, Colden and Todmorden. We especially remembered those whose buildings were still affected by the Boxing Day floods. Some primary children are still being bussed to Halifax; others are in temporary accommodation at Calder High. We also prayed for students taking public exams and SATS tests, especially those who would be fasting for Ramadan in mid June, GCSE time.
At 7.30 we met at Highgate Methodist Church, Pellon Halifax, and joined with their regular Bible Study group. We again looked at the key verse and enjoyed the Jelly Baby activity. This gave a chance in the morning to think of an experience one group member had had of living in France with its secular education system and in the evening to pray, amongst other things, for grandchildren in Australia.
Then Rosemary reminded us of the schools in the West Central Halifax Churches Together area, Fountain Head, Gibbet Street, Pellon, Wainstalls and Warley and we prayed for them.
Pray for Schools has a website www.prayforschools.org which gives all their recourses and information. On the CICS website at www.cicscalderdale.org.uk./pray-for-schools.html you will find a list of all local schools. In fact all you need to start to pray regularly for YOUR local schools. If you have a prayer group for this or plan to start one please let us know at CICS and we can add you to our list.