Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Yearbook Prayers

Here's an idea that occurred to me just the other day.

People use school yearbooks for lots of reasons. My father-in-law frequently refers to an alumni reunion book he has to remember people's names and to figure out who's related to whom in our small town. I've gone to my old high school and college yearbooks to remember how I knew someone who sent me a friend request on facebook. Many teachers ask for yearbooks from past years in order to connect names to faces of the students in their new classes. You may need to grab one just to keep track of who the friends are that your kids keep talking about.

Why not use them for prayer? Simply pick a page and run down the row of names and say a quick, "Lord bless them and their family," kind of prayer. If you know them, maybe you can pause a while and make some more specific requests on their behalf- but it doesn't have to be any more than a "I plead the blood of Jesus over," or "Dear God, please guard, bless or protect (name goes here)" kind of a a prayer.

Too general for ya? Too easy? Need something more complicated? Okay, break down the word "bless" into more focused prayers; B.L.E.S.S. can stand for Body, Labor, Emotions, Social, and Spiritual blessings. (See also 'How to BLESS your neighbors through prayer').

Public School Teachers and Coaches- maybe you can't violate the separation of church and state in your classroom, but you can sure as hell pray for your students and athletes outside of class!

Private School Teachers and Coaches- what an awesome way to minister to your students by interceding for them! What a way to make your job more of a VOCATION and not merely an occupation.

Students- What an amazingly positive thing to do for your classmates and friends?

Parents- What an amazing way to get to know your kid's peers and classmates?

Curmudgeons- Hey, why waste time complaining about how they took prayer out of schools and pray FOR and pray OVER your local schools!? Why try in vain to use arguments to affect things, when you could ask God to send His Spirit into hearts and minds and lives to have real impact.

Prayer-Warriors- What a way to find people who need praying for? You may also think about using a phone book!

MAJOR Residual benefit; One of my professors once read us John 14:2-3 where Jesus promises, "In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." Then the professor told us that as teachers, our rooms in Heaven will be decorated with pictures. Pictures of our students.

If you want to have something to be thankful for, start praying over old yearbooks. If you're not a teacher, God will be showing you all the friends and classmates (and teachers and coaches) whom you were fortunate to have in your life. He will remind you of ways that he blessed you through them and ways that He used you to touch their lives too. Thank Him for them.

If you ARE or have ever been a teacher- holy COW! Will God show you a million reasons why you should shut up and stop feeling sorry for yourself. He will remind you of the many lessons which students have taught YOU over the years and the many ways that He has shaped you through your interactions with both students and colleagues. And yes, God may well prick your conscience some and put on your heart to pray for some of your former students and/or their families.

Oh, and if you don't have any yearbooks or just can't find any- no big. Just go back as far as you can in your head and try picturing or remembering as many names of as many classmates (or students, or former students) as you can and say a brief arrow-prayer for each one as you remember them. Great way to spend long periods waiting INSTEAD of worrying.

Me Ka Pule,
Pirate Ted

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