Churches across the UK are being urged to cover schools in prayer as children across England and Wales head back to school this week.
Christian charity CARE’s call for prayer comes in the context of some of the huge challenges that children, teachers and schools will face throughout the year, from bullying, to teacher burnout and funding concerns.
Recent months have seen a spotlight shone on some of the specific challenges young people are facing.
Only last week the BBC highlighted that a fifth of 14-year-old girls in the UK have self-harmed while a new NSPCC study found that one child in every primary school class has been sent a sexual image by an adult.
With pressures on young people and children all the more acute in the digital age, CARE said today that praying for schools will have a hugely positive impact.
CARE’s Prayer Co-ordinator Celia Bowring said:
“As term has started again it’s impossible not to think of the potential difficulties that are going to arise for children, teachers and schools this upcoming school year.
“Hardly a day goes by without new stories appearing in the news about the challenges of cyber-bulling, loneliness among young people and so on.
“The importance of this stage of life for young people and children cannot be underestimated.
“Let’s also remember the teachers and support staff who work long hours and often under considerable pressure.
“We cannot ignore the struggles children in our community are going to be facing this term, but we can do something about it.
“It would be fantastic if churches devoted time this week whether that’s in small groups, mid-week meetings or up-coming Sunday services to pray not only for pupils but also for teachers and support staff.
“As Christians, we know that our prayers make a huge difference, so we thank God for all those individuals, groups and churches who get together and pray, both strategically and specifically for children, teachers and our local schools this week.
“This week let’s commit to interceding for our local schools by covering them with prayer.”
Pray for Schools is facilitated by CARE and is a partnership between CARE, Churches Together, Scripture Union, ACT, Youth for Christ, Prayer Spaces in Schools and Open the Book. Celia Bowring, Prayer Coordinator for CARE, is chair of the Pray for Schools steering group.
Pray for Schools has a brand-new website: http://www.prayforschools.org/
If your Church wanted to organise a dedicated Service to pray for local schools then access Back to School with God resources here: https://www.prayforschools.org/back-to-school-with-god/
Find out if your local school is being prayed for here: http://www.prayforschools.org/get-involved/nearme/