Praying For Schools Really Works

After posting my last blog regarding praying for our local secondary school, I received a message from an old school friend which I think is a real encouragement to be praying for the school. I’ve reproduced the edited highlights here, with his permission and with the names disguised for privacy reasons.

“Hi Paul! 

…the thing that spurred me on to get in touch was reading about your initiative for praying for your local school – what a great idea! I don’t know if you were aware of this, but there was a similar group that met to pray for our school about 10 years ago (when we were young whipper-snappers!). 

I used to go along to these meetings, along with a couple of other people, and I can remember that we once had a brainwave to pray for members of staff there, so I mentioned Miss P, my form tutor at the time in year 10/11. (If you can’t remember her, she was the R.E. teacher with blonde hair). At the time, she wasn’t a christian (AH asked her if she was once, to which she replied “Er…. no, definitely not!”), and we decided to pray that God would work in her life, and that she might hear the gospel and be saved. We did this a few times, and then to be honest, I think we kind of forgot about it…

Recently, I’ve had the privilege of going back into our school to speak in the CU, and guess what? Miss P  tells me that she became a christian just after we left the sixth form!!! Isn’t God good?!!

Another thing I remember is a guy in the year above us called L coming along to the CU. At the time, I think he came along because it was a good place to meet people and have a bit of fun, although again, he wouldn’t have called himself a christian. Again, he was one of the guys we prayed for at those meetings, and again, God faithfully answered our prayers – he heard the gospel at uni and was saved as a student!

Can I just encourage you with these two examples to pray expectantly for your school? You may not see answers to prayer immediately (although God is God, and He can do what He likes, so He may surprise you!), but be assured that He is powerful, and that prayer works!

By the way, your high school CU is in good company; our CU got banned from eating food in classrooms in 2003 immediately after an evangelistic meeting with free donuts!!! (Sounds familiar!) Similarly, it caused attendance to plummet, and again, it was very much an issue that we prayed about as a CU, and as part of that prayer meeting. I think in the end, after much prayer, we wrote a letter to Mr G explaining our predicament, and asking for exemption for the CU to be able to eat in classrooms. At first, this was fiercely refused by the powers that be, although about a week later, I was called to a meeting with Mr L and Mr G, where they said that they’d had a change of heart, and would give us permission to eat in classrooms! Bearing in mind the resistance that we’d previously faced, I still believe that was a clear example of God’s hand at work, and a real life (albeit mini!) miracle! 

So yeah, one thing I learned at our school is that God really is faithful and that he does answer prayer! (A much more useful lesson than Maths with Mrs W, in my opinion! :P) Do press on with praying for your school, even if there are only a few of you (there were 3 – 5 people at our one), and see what God does!

God Bless

Andrew”

What a great encouragement for us to hear as we start to think about praying for our local school. I hope that encouragement like this will lead us to come to prayer expectantly and trusting that God will open doors for the gospel.

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Pizza & Jesus Anyone?

The Christian Union at our local secondary school died a bit of a death last year. With a grand attendance of zero, I felt it was best to pull the plug for a while. After all, there were probably better things I could be doing with my Wednesday lunch times than sitting alone in a slightly dilapidated classroom, wondering how long I would have to wait before it became acceptable for me to go and sign out at the reception desk without getting an odd look from the receptionist (for those interested it’s about 12 minutes).

Looking back, I’m convinced it was a good idea to let the ground lie fallow for a while. Last year was a bit hectic for a number of reasons and to try and pioneer a new group would have probably been a bit of a strain. But with the advent of a new school year and a bit more man power, I thought it’d be worth having another crack.  So the curate and I put our heads together and had a think. We thought to ourselves “what is it that kids with a limited lunch time want out of that lunch time these days?” and of course the answer we came up with was “Jesus!” Then we came to our senses and realised that neither of us were quite that out of touch with reality and that the actual answer was more like “food, drink & enough sugar to finish off a diabetic just by looking at it.”

With that in mind, we decided to do pizza and drinks each week, along with a short talk about Jesus and a chance to ask questions. The groups main focus would be evangelistic and we hoped that the free food and drink would be suitably enticing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the gospel needs a hook to hang it on, but in my experience, kids really like pizza, especially if it’s good pizza and with a Dominos just around the corner, we’d be missing a trick not to capitalise on it. Not to mention that the combination of pizza and Jesus is clearly awesome, as demonstrated by the photo below.

Someone order an Almighty Meaty & a Pepperoni Passion of the Christ?

So we decided to give it a go. The first week would just be a social in order to (hopefully) get to know some of the kids before really getting cracking. I spread the word amongst some of our young people and told them to bring their friends along. After all, they were gonna get free food and drink, that had to be an attractive offer. As Wednesday lunchtime approached, we headed to the school with pizza and drinks in hand along with a slight sense of trepidation. Would anyone turn up? What if we were overrun and couldn’t meet demand? It was a bit scary, but with no CU running for the last year, we didn’t really have anything to lose either.

Our local secondary school has two lunch breaks, both lasting 30 minutes (whatever happened to a lunch hour?!) and with different parts of the school being present at each. The first lunch rolled around and we had 6 kids turn up, which was great. At the second lunch, we had about 20. They all wanted to know why we were doing it and we were completely up front and told them that this was the new CU and that if they wanted to come along each week we’d be talking to them about Jesus. Most of them seemed happy with that and it was great that doing some lessons with classes last year meant that I had already crossed paths with some of them before. One kid even asked me how he would go about getting baptised!! I told him to keep coming along and we’d see how it went.

So our second meeting will be this Wednesday. Will anyone turn up this time, knowing that we’re going to be talking about Jesus? Who knows? Our first week was more successful than we could have hoped for. All we can do is keep praying that they will come back and that they’ll have the opportunity to hear about Jesus.