School started this week. When I was teaching, I always approached the beginning of the school year with much anticipation. I found that prayer for myself, my classes and the school in general settled any anxious thoughts I might have and gave me confidence that God governs the students, the teachers and the entire school.
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So now, as a retired teacher, I feel that I can still contribute to the students and teachers in Juneau through my prayers. It is with much love that I offer this prayer, using the 23rd Psalm, to acknowledge God's governance of the 2007-08 school year.
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."
Divine Love, God, is enfolding all His children as they head back to school today. He is the source of all intelligence, wisdom, energy, patience and perseverance. Students can expect God to place them in appropriate classes with teachers that meet their needs. Teachers can know their students were sent to them by God and that God is providing teachers with the qualities necessary to bring out the God-given abilities of those students. Parents can be assured nothing can separate their children from God's continuous love for them. They will be safe.
"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters."
God leads his flock to comfortable and peaceful surroundings. All students and teachers can experience God's presence in the classroom, as expressed through order, consideration, calmness and safety. The students can feel nourished by their explorations in class, and teachers can feel satisfied in the growth of the students.
"He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake."
Teachers can come to the classroom this fall refreshed and ready to engage students in exciting learning opportunities, and students will eagerly participate. God restores to pupils the confidence to accomplish their assignments. Likewise, God assures teachers they can effectively teach students what they need to know and do in order to progess. Each member of the learning community can do the right thing, guided and motivated by God.
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."
If a fearful situation arises, we can know that right there God is protecting his offspring. He is ever-present and His love is more powerful than evil. Parents can trust that their children dwell in the "secret place of the most High," and "abide under the shadow of the Almighty." (Psalms 91) If a student is acting improperly administrators and teachers can know the proper disciplinary steps to take to help and heal that child while protecting the other children in the class.
"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over."
God has prepared only good for everyone in the school. Whether individuals agree or disagree, all can be blessed by the communication and interaction. God has given everyone more than enough love, intelligence, inspiration and gratitude to live together in harmony. In school there are a variety of teaching styles, administrative methods and student personalities, but all can work together to bless one another, and provide shining examples of cooperation to the community.
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."
This year will be a wonderful one to experience the goodness and mercy that God, infinite Love, is providing. All of the school personnel, as well as the students, are in Love's consciousness and are safe, happy and fulfilled!
Thank you God, for your great love for the children of Juneau and all those who work with them! Amen.
Beverly Smith is a member of First Church of Christ, Scientist in Juneau.