Schools go back this week, parents may breathe a sigh of relief and drivers get frustrated as the roads fill up again.

There is a growing move of prayer for schools with the “Pray for Schools” initiative aiming for every school in the country to be a prayed for school. Alongside this is the Prayer Spaces in Schools movement, which equips church to serve their local school community. It reflects the fact that schools increasingly need prayer.

I have just stepped down after eighteen years as a school governor. It was a great privilege to serve a school absolutely focused on giving inner city girls a much better chance, raising aspiration and giving excellent personal support. It was a tough journey with some crisis moments along the way but I thoroughly recommend it as a way of Christians serving their community and strengthening their insight.

We have often said that young people are the spiritual battleground for our nation. Long-term the life blood of any church flows from children coming to Christ under 11 and retaining their faith into their teens.  Charlotte North Carolina is an example of brilliant outward focus, with church impacting thousands of children. The churches are working together to tackle the lack of aspiration amongst young people across the city. It’s an issue with long-term consequences helping children grow in confidence and resilience. There is much prayer on a local basis. Churches adopt schools and offer prayer and practical support, like helping those who struggle to read, or communicate. Churches listen to local social services about their concerns. They collaborate to provide schemes to help young people develop. The church across the city is blessing the children and their parents across the city.

Here are some prayer and action points:

  • Get your small group or prayer group to adopt a local school. Find out what you can about it and pray God’s blessing.
  • Get a teacher, governor or other school worker to share their perspective with your group.
  • Pray for wisdom for Head Teachers and Governors. There has been a significant reduction in income and a sharp rise in a range of costs putting schools under tight financial pressure. There is a significant rise in pastoral issues. Children are caught up in drug gangs and violence and schools are on the front line.
  • Pray for gospel opportunities – one of our trustees teaches RE and had a class full of Muslims and was reflecting that this may be the only opportunity in their lives to hear the Christian message.