Aug 232020 0 Responses

A Prayer for Teachers the Night Before School

It’s a school night. It hasn’t been a real school night for 23 weeks. Since schools shut down in mid-March because of COVID-19, there have been days of education, but there have not been mornings with alarm clocks, carpools, and a rush out the door in order to get to school.

That changes tomorrow.

Here’s my hope–that you sleep well.

I know you won’t. There is too much uncertainty, too many unknowns, and your desire to serve your students will likely keep you awake far longer than you desire. (“If I fall asleep right now, I’ll get ___ hours of sleep.”)

But as you attempt to sleep, I want you to memorize one prayer for tonight, tomorrow, and every day that you walk into the classroom this year. This is what I’m praying for you and I hope this is what you pray for yourself:

Dear Lord, Let me choose wisely, love deeply, and trust you with the outcome.

This isn’t a new prayer. It’s long been what I have prayed in times of uncertainty. It’s what has come to my mind when I have felt overwhelmed by life’s circumstances. When I’m uncertain of how things will be, don’t fully know what I will face, or when I’m confused about what choice I should make, I often pray this prayer.

“Dear Lord.” To some, those are empty words, but not to me. It’s a cry of humility and a recognition of God’s presence. My life is dictated by the words “in the beginning God.” Everything is influenced by my belief that I’m not an accident and this world is not without direction. Rather than worrying internally or complaining to others externally, I should turn to God in prayer. (See: When Worry Knocks, Do This)

“Let me choose wisely.” It begins with a choice, my choice. It reminds me that although there are many things out of my control, not everything is outside of my influence. I do get to choose my mindset, character, attitude, and boundaries. I’m not fully in charge, but I’m also not being controlled. When things feel beyond our control, it’s vital that we are reminded of what things we can influence. This phrase gives us that reminder. (See: You Control What Matters Most)

“Love deeply.” This isn’t a feeling; it’s an action. For Jesus, love and serve were often used interchangeably. So it should be for us. The prayer could easily say, “let me serve whole-heartedly.” When life is complicated, it is simplified by the reminder that I’m only called to love those whom Jesus loved. If he loves them, then so should I. And of course, He loves us all. My challenge is to love every person that comes before me today. Whomever I see, God has called me to love.

“And trust you with the outcome.” The prayer begins and ends with God. Outcomes are funny things. We influence them but we don’t control them. Many things can thwart our plans. I control many of the processes, but I don’t really control the outcomes. God does. And I trust that He will use the outcomes which occur to accomplish His plans. (See: God Can Always Re-route You)

While this prayer applies to many circumstances, it seems especially applicable for this school year.

  • How can you teach while keeping socially distanced and with masks?
  • What will happen if one of your kids or family members gets exposed and you have to quarantine for two weeks?
  • Can you come close to accurately predicting how many days you will teach in-person this year–all year, just a few weeks?
  • What challenges have we not even considered yet but which will suddenly make themselves clearly present?

We could list a thousand questions and probably still have more that come to mind. There is so much we don’t know, but one thing we do know…if we will choose wisely, love deeply, and trust God with the outcomes, we can get through tomorrow.

Let’s just shoot for that one day at a time through this next semester.

Sleep well.


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