Loving Christ. Loving One Another. Loving The City.

Day of Prayer for Teachers

Day of Prayer for Teachers

A Summer Reflection on The Sacredness of Teaching

Teaching is a serious and sacred calling, and especially so when it comes to the teaching of children, youth and young adults! Teachers have always had an enormous influence on human culture and the future direction of young lives. Teachers who see faith as an integral part of developing a meaningful and productive life remain on the front line of impacting both our culture and the lives of our children. In past years, the complex interplay of faith and reason in teaching was both accepted and encouraged. Despite the perceived restrictions on sharing faith in the public arena today, opportunities for teachers to reveal Christ directly or by example—or by adhering to Texas law that permits students to testify about faith in class—remain plentiful. And to be able to shape the character of students, and share their understanding of that truth while teaching, teachers need our prayers—as do all those involved in shaping the lives of children and young persons!

As evidenced amply in God’s Word, the call of teaching comes directly from the Lord.  The book of Deuteronomy exhorts parents to teach their children God’s commands, providence and love. In Psalm 34 the psalmist writes. “Come, O Children…I will teach you the fear of the Lord” which, the author of Proverbs 2 notes, “is the beginning of wisdom.”  Proverbs 22:5 points to the lasting impact of teaching when it says to “Train children in the right way, and when old they will not stray.” Proverbs 13:15 observes the eternal stakes: “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, so that one may avoid the snares of death.”

Suggested Prayer for Teachers

O God, almighty, unyielding, and abounding in steadfast love and mercy: I bring you a question with which so many of us struggle.  What is the meaning of life?  What is its purpose?  What is it all about?

Some among us are young. For what vocation, what business or profession, they wonder, should they prepare?  How should that choice be made?

Some young adults are making career decisions or marriage decisions. Some who are in mid-life are beginning to feel that any direction ahead will lead downward in position, prestige, accomplishment.  Others, having accumulated many years, are asking what they have achieved, whether life has been worth the cost, and if there is any life or purpose at all beyond death. What is the meaning of life?  What is its purpose? What is it all about?

So simply, O God, did Jesus put it; so simply did he live it, as simple as the direction: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself.”  Did you not say, too, O God, when you appeared among us in the flesh and body of Jesus: “Inasmuch as you fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, and visited the sick and the prisoner, you did it to me.”

The purpose of life you keep telling us through your Spirit has love at the heart of it, love given freely, without condition as you have given it to us. The purpose of life has giving at the heart of it, and serving, trusting ourselves to your care, believing where we cannot see. The purpose of life, as you have shown it to us in Jesus has laughter in it and tears, joy and painful losses, and growing in love and faith, finding life by losing it in service and giving, finding strength from you when all our strength has been spent.

My prayer now is part of life’s purpose, gracious God.  It is my prayer that hungry people everywhere will be fed, that lonely people will find friends, that the sick will be healed, the grieving comforted, the oppressed set free, the rejected outcast welcomed and affirmed, and despairing people encouraged and given new hope.”

A Prayer for “Church and Community” from “My Grace is Sufficient.”  Prayers of Hope and Encouragement entitled “What is the Meaning of Life” by Edwin Walthall.  First Presbyterian Church, San Antonio, Texas, 1994. Rev. Ed Walthall was a local high school teacher and Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church.


First Pres is partnering this summer with Hill Country Institute (HCI) and other ministries in the city to encourage reflection on the sacred work of teachers, and foster a movement of ongoing prayer for teachers. The HCI outreach will be kicked off by sponsorship of two shows of Hill Country Institute Live on KSLR radio, airing on Saturday mornings at 11:00 AM.  Each show will feature interviews of Christians who are leading educators of children reflecting on how their faith affects their work and the students they serve. They will also reflect on the significance of prayer to the challenges and blessings of teaching. FPC’s Prayer Ministry is coordinating First Pres support and participation in these shows.

Impactful stories on how teachers made a difference in the lives of their students are available in podcasts through the Hill Country Institute! Listen to the story of Nathan Griffin (son of Phyllis Griffin, FPC receptionist), McNeilly Hays (FPC member), and more!
Click here and check the “Sacred Work of Teachers” tab to listen.
Or click here for encouraging scriptures and quotes for teachers.