We have put together some guidelines which groups and individuals have found useful when starting to pray for a school.
Below are some guidelines which groups and individuals have found useful when starting to pray for a school.
We also have guidelines for young people who are wanting to become involved in praying for their school.
Remember to let us know if you are praying – that way we can put others who enquire about your school in touch with you.
Together, every school can become a prayed-for school!
Aims of Prayer Groups
- All that is good in the life of the school. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
- The Headteacher, leadership team and staff
- Christian staff members, pupils, parents and others attached to the school
- Any Christian fellowship groups and those from outside the school giving Christian input
To Pray For:
- Opportunities for the pupils to hear and respond to the Gospel
- Biblical values to be honoured and upheld in all areas of school life
- Practical issues affecting the school
- Needs of those working within the school and families connected to it
- Wider education issues
Begin praying however few you are, in a home or even over the phone.
Ask God to draw together those who have a heart of prayer for the school – pray people into the group rather than cajole them! Have a definite leader of the group who is responsible for the overall running of it.
Be aware that Christian schools workers and clergy may be involved in the life of the school. Consider how you can support them in prayer.
Establish a regular time, frequency and place for the prayer meetings – e.g. once or twice a term, monthly…
Consider and pray about how to seek the support and co-operation of the Headteacher and the minister in church schools. If you are unsure of his/her enthusiasm about the prayer group it may be wise to pray together for a while first so that you can present a positive case for having a prayer group and give reassurance that you are acting in the best interests of the school – bearing in mind the Head’s responsibility for pastoral care. In some schools Heads and staff provide prayer points for each prayer group meeting.
Try to hold the prayer meeting at the school if the Head is agreeable (some groups meet in the staff room) but don’t put yourselves in a position where you are told you can’t meet.
Discuss appropriate ways of making the prayer group known to staff and parents, e.g. via the school newsletter, staff bulletin, letters to all staff.
Consider forming a prayer chain for use in situations needing urgent prayer but be very strict about confidentiality and do not name people.
Register your prayer group with Pray for Schools, and pray for other schools to be covered by prayer too as God puts this on the hearts of Christians involved.
Content of Meeting
Start with a few verses from the Bible and a brief comment to focus thoughts on the Lord, followed by the Lord’s Prayer/praise/confession/asking guidance of the Holy Spirit.
List points for thanksgiving and prayer under such headings as pupils, staff, events, assembly themes, Christian festivals and pray for each section in turn – this structures the prayer time and prevents prolonged discussion instead of prayer.
Ask for other prayer needs from those in the group.
Consider using a flip chart – but make sure it is removed afterwards. Some groups have a book for recording prayer requests and how God answers them.
Confidentiality is essential. Whatever is mentioned for prayer must remain in confidence. Do not circulate anything in writing without the approval of the Headteacher and do not use names without the person’s permission, e.g. refer to a Year 2 pupil, a member of staff, a parent, etc.
These suggestions are based on the experience of leaders from several existing prayer groups. Every group will be different so let the Lord lead you in what is best for your school and do share your experience with us.
We have lots more resources available for prayer groups, including inspirational prayers, meeting outlines and prayer workshop materials.