Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for BCS/WCA! Lord willing, I plan to publish a new blog post weekly on Wednesdays throughout the school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you'd like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, just email me at email@example.com.
My husband and I have a book called "Every Moment Holy". It's essentially a collection of liturgies or written prayers for a whole variety of ordinary life experiences. In the foreword, Andrew Peterson gives a wonderful overview of the idea behind the book:
Wendell Berry wrote, "There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places." In that spirit, this book reminds us that there are no unsacred moments; there are only sacred moments and moments we have forgotten are sacred.
Below are a variety of prayers that have been contributed by a variety of people, all of whom were asked to write a prayer for some aspect of ordinary life during a school year. These "School Year Liturgies" are intended to be used, adapted, shared and even expanded upon, all for the purpose of helping us as a community to weave prayer into the regular stuff of life throughout this school year. My hope is that you will find at least one that feels relevant to you and will enrich your prayer life in some way.
So often we have a tendency to separate our "prayer life" from our "everyday life", but the truth is that God is in it all. And when we seek Him, we will find Him. May God continue to grow us as people who pray not just at church or in Bible class or during our personal quiet time, but as we go about doing whatever it is we do, moment by moment.
~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator
Soli Deo Gloria
To God alone be the glory
A Prayer for Packing lunches
Lord today as we pack a lunch,
May we not just feed our body, but also our spirit.
May this lunch remind us of your provision, and how it is so needed in order to stay healthy, aware,and energetic!
As we make time to feed our body, help us, guide us, to feed our spirit, with the word that is as sweet as honey, prayer that lets us taste your goodness and worship that refreshes us!
Having lunch with Jesus!
A Prayer for Going out for Recess
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12: 16-18
Father, I thank you for the opportunity to go outside, to enjoy the fresh air, and to exercise. I pray for _____ that they may show kindness to their playmates and look for what is good in each moment. I pray that ____ may run with joy and see the beauty of creation, develop strong friendships, and be respectful to each other and each overseer. Help each one to be ready to return to the classroom ready to learn as much as possible from the lessons ahead. Please grant quietness and peace of mind for these moments. Thank you for your goodness, in Jesus name, Amen
A Prayer for Leaving Work at Work
The workday is done, but many tasks remain incomplete.
Clear my mind of all the things that went well or could have gone better.
Focus my attention now on You and whatever the rest of the day brings.
Help me to be present with who I am with, not on the unfinished items on my to-do list.
Rest is not completing every single thing that demands attention.
Rest is learning to let go amidst the tension of unfinished business.
Not for laziness or escapism, but for a needed break according to the rhythms You established.
Breathe. Relax. Recover. And tomorrow, return.
May I rest in Your strength, not my own. Amen.
A Prayer for At Lunchtime
Heavenly Father, thank You for your provision of the food that our children have to eat so that their bodies are nourished. Thank You that the food that You've provided will also nourish their brains so that they can think well and participate fully in their day. Even more importantly than nourishment for the body and mind, would you please nourish their spirit?
As they sit with friends at lunch and talk to one another, would You cause words to flow that will help them grow stronger in spirit and live at peace with one another? Help them to cover others with words of encouragement, and life, so that those words will sink into their spirits and take root.
During lunchtime would You help them to be attentive to those around them that may be sitting alone, appear sad, or lonely, and cause them to take action to help. During lunchtime, alert them to the mood of others around them, including their teachers, so that they might strive to be respectful with their words, volume and demeanor.
When lunch is done, would You remind them that anything their hand finds to do, they are doing it for You, and not for men; help them to clean up willingly and with joy, so that they can be a pleasure to those they interact with and not a burden. Help them to take their lunch chores seriously, and to even consider how they might not be wasteful of food. Perhaps there is someone in their class who doesn't get enough to eat; help them to be alert and share what they have that is left over, so that they can provide for the needs of others.
May the lunch period be a time of renewal and refreshing to their minds, bodies and spirits, that they will be ready to tackle the rest of the day, as You give them strength.
Thank you Lord, Amen.
A Prayer for Washing (Dishes, Clothes, or Other)
Lord, as I come for an uncountable time of washing,
May I remember how through this simple ancient task of washing,
You also exemplified holiness
You washed eyes that they may see
You washed feet that they may be sanctified
You washed me clean of my sin
So create in me a clean heart, O God
Cleanse me and make me new in this old and repeated task.
A Prayer for Making a Bed
God, as I bring order to this messy space
Remind me that You bring order and peace to the messy places inside of me
Settle me, comfort me
Just as the corners of these blankets and sheets are being gently stretched and tucked into place
I invite You to stretch me and hem me in with Your love and Your grace
Be my refuge, my soft place to land, no matter what the day may bring.
A Prayer for the In-Between Moments of the Day
Thank You for the day so far. I acknowledge that I have not handled everything perfectly, and I’m sorry for the sins I have committed. Thank You for your forgiveness and Your mercy, which I do not deserve.
Please help me to keep my eyes fixed on You as the day continues, so that I can see through Your eyes those with whom I will interact next.
Thank You for Your presence with me now. You are good; please help me to be like You in what comes next.
Big thanks to the following special guests who contributed to these "School Year Liturgies":
Silbia Huertas (A Prayer for Packing a Lunch)
John Horning (A Prayer for Going out for Recess)
Charis O'Connell (A Prayer for Washing - Dishes, Clothes or Other)
Steven Rossi (A Prayer for the In-Between Moments of the Day)
Ben Smither (A Prayer for Leaving Work at Work)
Christie Werkheiser (A Prayer for At Lunchtime)
What everyday activity comes to mind when you think of the school year? Would you be interested in writing a short liturgy or prayer of blessing that could be shared with our community? Feel free to add another one in the comments below or send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can add it to the collection!
Artwork by Lily Warner
Just as there is beauty to be found in an everyday child's painting, may these School Year Liturgies help us experience the beauty and power of God's presence in many everyday situations.