Should Religion be Taught in Schools? Praying for Students

By Dr. Tracy Vasquez and Dr. Marjaneh Gilpatrick

students holding hands and praying in school

Some teachers of faith may struggle with being open about the practice of prayer when considering their role as teacher and what is accepted. Scientists have attested to the power of prayer for all occasions. As educators we can give thanks for being in a profession that provides the ability to influence all other professions. We can show appreciation for promoting compassion and kindness with our students.

Even in times of challenges and difficulties, we can reflect on our students’ needs by praying for them regularly. While the public school classroom may not be the best place for praying aloud, educators can pray in private, meditate and pray silently. As Christians, praying includes four areas, which we can utilize to provide focus for our prayers for our students, their families and the community.


When we pray with adoration, we praise God and express our gratitude for His amazing works. By stepping back and sharing our adoration for the great things He has done for our students, we can celebrate joyous moments about the great things our students have done and accentuates our high expectations, that they have been able to achieved. By praising God for the good in our students we can bring positivity into the classroom, helping to build a stronger sense of community and classroom culture.


While it is important to promote celebrating our students’ positive attributes, it is also important to be mindful of our own humanity. We are not expected to be perfect, but we can reflect on our role in the process if an incident occurs when we recognize our mistakes. For instance, when we raise our voice, or could be more patient with a student, we can pray for forgiveness.


Particularly at this special time of year, thanksgiving is a term we hear often. However, it is important for us as educators to be mindful of what we appreciate in our classrooms throughout the year. Experts have realized the role of giving thanks and how it can transform our outlook on our lives. Expressing one’s appreciation for their fortunes in a gratitude journal has been shown to improve one’s emotional and cognitive well-being. There are many things we can be grateful for as an educator, such as our students making new friends, celebrating their academic accomplishments and their families' support in their educational journey.


This component of prayer can be a special time to make requests to God for what you would like to become and what progress you would like to see in your students, both academically, socially and emotionally. For example, if a student is exhibiting signs of bullying, you can seek God’s assistance by reciting a prayer for this student to recognize the harm being done to others and change their ways.

As Christians, we often feel limited by how we can express our faith, and how we can feel supported by our faith in the school setting. However, by utilizing the power of prayer, we are relying on God with adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.