Preparation for the New School Year – Part 5: Make Prayer a Priority
Over the past four posts, we have been sharing about preparing your classroom for the new school year. We have already talked about four strategies for a Spirit-filled teacher in setting up a Spirit-directed classroom—1) Go Beyond the Expected, 2) Establish a Climate of Change, 3) Create an Awareness of God, and 4) Establish an Orderly Environment.
The fifth strategy is to make prayer a priority. In James 5:16 we read: “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (NLT) And in Matt 7:7 we are instructed to "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (NIV)
When you open your class each day (each period), begin with prayer; this is a great time to ask for the leading and directing of the Holy Spirit. Then, during the day, when students do not understand what is being presented, pause for prayer.
In asking for the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit, request the Holy Spirit to focus every student’s mind on what is being presented. Call forth understanding. Then, be prepared to adjust as the Spirit directs.
In your time of prayer take authority over the lack of understanding. You do this by asking for the students’ eyes of understanding to be opened. Jeremiah 33: 3 (NIV) says, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
As you pray, expect to hear from Him. This can be simplified during your prayer time as the Holy Spirit brings things to your mind. It may be something special to say to a student or to do as a class. Just do it in faith, expecting it to be accomplished. You might think that what you hear in your spirit to do or say is small and insignificant and not worthy of the time needed in the classroom but do it anyway. God knows, and He will use you. As you are obedient to the inner voice, you will walk in a pathway of supernatural blessing. The small things given to you by the Holy Spirit that you often pass off as being insignificant may result in a dynamic anointed life-changing classroom.
In a Spirit-directed classroom, understanding is as much an issue with the recreated spirit as it is with the mind. Jesus said in Matthew 13:15, “For the heart of this people has become dull, with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes, otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their heart . . .” (NASB) The heart is their spirit.
In Acts 3, Peter used his spiritual authority to set the man free from bondage, so that he could walk. You have this same authority. Use your God-given authority to take dominion over lack of understanding.
To illustrate the importance of prayer, consider what happened with Cherita, our business teacher. She was presenting a lesson in accounting; after 40 minutes of instruction, only three students out of a class of 25 had grasped the concept. Cherita asked the students to close their books, shut their eyes and place their heads down on their desks. Cherita began to pray, “Father I take authority over the lack of understanding and the thoughts that are causing these students not to understand what I am teaching. I bind all thought patterns that are not part of the truth I am teaching.” She took authority over all blinding thoughts and imaginations contrary to the knowledge being presented. She asked that knowledge through the Holy Spirit be released to bring revelation and enlighten their understanding. She asked those students who knew how to “pray in the Spirit” to do so, as she also did.
After about three minutes, she said, “Amen.” She asked for books to be opened. As Cherita began to teach, she found herself approaching the concept from a different point of view, under what she said was a "fresh boost of enthusiasm." What had taken her 40 minutes to teach with only a limited amount of success; under this anointing, it took only 5 minutes for the rest of the class to master the concept.
You see, when she prayed, she expected to hear from God. She expected the Holy Spirit to bring revelation to what was being taught. And guess what? He did!
In our next post, we will learn the importance of teaming up with the Holy Spirit.