Starting a Teacher’s Prayer Group
by Elizabeth Roysdon
Even before I started my current job, I knew I wanted to be a part of a teacher prayer group. Prayer is powerful, and our public schools certainly need it! I also recognized the importance of Christian community in my own survival as a teacher. However, as a first year teacher, it was so intimidating. I tried to make friends and put it out there that I was a Christian, talking about my church when they asked about my weekend, for example. Whenever someone else would mention faith or church, I would ask more questions, trying to continue the conversation. By the end of the year, I knew of a handful of other believing teachers, and I decided to take a step of faith and organize a prayer meeting.
I started by listing out the teachers who had mentioned faith to me, even if I wasn’t sure where they really stood on the matter. I picked about six of them that I considered my friends and went to their rooms after school one day, pitching my idea: “Hey, would you be interested in getting together with some other teachers and praying for the students and each other before school sometime? Do you know anyone else who might be interested?” They all said “yes” and several gave me names of other people too. Then, I picked a date and sent an email to all the teachers on my growing list.
We had about seven people come the first time, and we just went around the room praying for the school and each other. At the end, I asked if they would be interested in doing this in the future, maybe on a regular basis. They agreed that monthly would be a good frequency to start.
The next step was to talk to my principal. I wanted to open the event up to the entire staff, so I thought getting her on board was important. She was hesitant at first, saying that if she let me do this, what else would she have to allow, but eventually we agreed that I would send one email out to everyone at the beginning of the year and then only contact people who showed interest after that. Each month, I send a reminder email to the people who have come in the past and anyone else who has asked about it. We have consistently met with five or six people.
Once a month I meet with this group at my school for a time of prayer. It is very casual, usually only 15-30 minutes long, but it has been a great opportunity to build deep spiritual relationships with my colleagues. I highly recommend any Christian teacher to do this at their school. Even if it is just you and one other teacher, the Lord can still work. I have seen the fruit in how other teachers interact with me. Now the teachers that come are more confident talking about faith with me. They use scripture to encourage me, tell me about their new favorite Christian song, and ask for prayer in tough times. It has really encouraged mutual boldness in our faith.
- Make a list of people in your school that you think might be interested.
- Pray and ask God to call others to join you in prayer.
- Challenge a few to help you make it a reality, and have them join with you in praying.
- Invite all the other faith-minded teachers in the building to join with you for a specific event.
- See what God does!
”For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20
Elizabeth Roysdon, High School Agriculture Teacher
Elizabeth is a second year teacher at a high school in Indiana. She was involved in Cru at Purdue University and attended the Cru Educator Summer Mission. There she received training on doing ministry in a public school setting. She and her husband Nick love to travel and play board games.