The School Prayer

June 25, 2004
by Elaine Ingalls Hogg

Psalm 89:11 – The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it. (NIV)

Mary's face lights up when you ask her about her work. She teaches a kindergarten class of five-year-olds. Part of her enjoyment comes from being able to share new experiences with the children who are coming to school for the first time. She says, "During their first year at school, everything is still new, and, for the most part, the teacher's word is respected."

In the town where Mary teaches, she is allowed to say a morning prayer with the children. In her twenty-four years of teaching, she had never received a complaint — until this year, when the principal informed her that one mother had made an appointment to address a concern she had over the morning prayer. Mary's heart sank when she heard the name of the mother coming to see her. She knew that, if the mother pressed her point, her prayers with the children would be ended.

When the mother arrived in Mary's classroom, she didn't hesitate. "What are you teaching my child about prayer?" she asked. Before Mary could form her answer, the mother continued, "She thinks God is bad!"

"What has she told you?" Mary puzzled.

"She says you tell the class to bow their heads, close their eyes, and we'll talk to God. She thinks you're talking to the bad one who lives down there," and she pointed to the floor.

The next day when Mary invited her class to pray, she told them to look at the clouds in the sky and the top of the hill rising up behind the school. Together they repeated today's Scripture.

Whether we bow our head in prayer or lift our eyes to see God's great creation, we are reminded that His presence is everywhere.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to know that You will listen to our prayer, for You are everywhere. Amen.

About the author:

Elaine Ingalls Hogg <authorhogg@yahoo.ca>
Smiths Creek, New Brunswick, Canada

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