LEAven Blog


But First, We Pray

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

We all have busy days filled with emails, phone calls, meetings, grading, planning, and oh yeah, teaching too. Yes, we’ll get a break soon, but what’s more sustainable than a break here and there during the school year is the daily break from the grind where we’re together with other faculty and staff praying together and in God’s Word.

I’m blessed to have been at schools that have daily meetups before school for the church and school staff. Here we find an inner peace that only God can provide. Morning devotions and prayers set the tone for the day. As faithful workers, we are filled up, renewed, and ready to be blessings when the students enter the doors. 

Here are some ways my school meets as a faculty and staff that strengthen us spiritually:

All Staff Devotions: We meet four times a week for five minutes before school. Having a rotation of people leading devotions introduces the rest of us to devotional materials we might want for ourselves or for a loved one. This practice also gives us an insight into the personal life and creativity of those who create their own devotions.

All Staff Prayer Session: We meet once a month for about ten minutes. We use the Morning Prayer pages in the hymnal, a pastor gives some words of encouragement, and he includes requests in the prayers.

All Staff Bible Study: Church and school staff meet together once a month for an hour to study God’s Word together. Here we also refer to our mission and vision so that we can understand it for ourselves and use the same language as we teach the sheep of God’s pasture. 

Small Group Prayer Time: About once a week, we share personal and professional matters with one another and lift one another up in prayer. Our faith grows as we hear others pray for us and with us. We also sign prayer cards for a handful of students and coworkers and pray for them. The children sometimes see us still praying in the morning once the front doors are open. This is a great way for them to witness the Christian fellowship of their teachers!

Small Group Bible Study: Some people meet before staff devotions once a week to have an additional time to grow in the knowledge of God together. This is optional, but everyone is invited. 

Aside from the optional small group Bible Study time, all of these are scheduled during contracted hours, which helps make it reasonable for teachers to attend. 

Grade-level devotion inspired by a Staff Bible Study

Just as fellowship and prayer were essential to the early church, they are also essential for church workers today. Even just five minutes together in devotion and prayer can greatly impact the spiritual health of teachers. In addition, being together allows us to share news, celebrations, and strategies with one another. We become better teachers because of it. I urge you to begin one of these practices at your workplace if you don’t already have it established. 

What spiritual practices does your workplace have that grow your faith? 

Esther Dunlop has a passion for STEM education and currently teaches 4th grade at St. Luke’s in Oviedo, Florida. She started her career teaching preschool, then fourth grade at Immanuel Lutheran in Olivette, Mo.

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