Yes, You Can Pray at School!

on Wednesday, October 01, 2014 Posted in Stories, Happenings, School Partnership Network

Yes, You Can Pray at School!
We all know about the separation of Church and State. It may be surprising to some that at SPN we actually support that concept! We don't believe the school is a place to "evangelize" or impose our own religious convictions on staff, students, or families. But that doesn't mean you can't pray when the opportunity presents itself!

Finding that moment to pray on public school grounds doesn't need to be controversial. Someone once said, "As long as there are tests, there will always be prayer in school." I'm sure that's probably true. But there are many other opportunities as God opens doors for this ministry of intercession.

One such opportunity comes on behalf of a specific need for someone in the school. Perhaps it's a father who is out of work, a teacher who is struggling with an illness, or an administrator who is a bit overwhelmed by issues. There's nothing unconstitutional about stopping when you hear something like that and offering a prayer on behalf of those who are struggling.

Perhaps someone in the school is walking through a difficult time in their life and has come to you for advice and encouragement. Under those circumstances you certainly have the freedom to share your personal faith and to pray with them, if they so desire.

Under the law, voluntary student groups have the right to gather on school grounds for religious purposes just like any other club. Prayer can certainly be a part of such gatherings. Each year thousands of students gather for "See You at the Pole" to pray together for their school and community.

Groups of adults may also gather on school property after hours, subject to district facility use agreements, for shared purposes. A group of mom's gathering to pray for kids in their school is well within the limits of the law. Teachers and administrators can join them if they so desire.

Given the right circumstances, it's also perfectly in order to pray in the District office. Just this month the Superintendent of one of our local school districts gathered with faith leaders for an annual meeting, and participated in a time of voluntary corporate prayer with them for the work of the district and his own leadership of that team.

Let's remember...it's not separation of church FROM state, but separation of church AND state. Faith can play a significant role in the public school. And prayer is one faith element that can be as welcomed in the classroom as it is in the sanctuary.

 

We all know about the separation of Church and State. It may be surprising to some that at SPN we actually support that concept! We don’t believe the school is a place to “evangelize” or impose our own religious convictions on staff, students, or families. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pray when the opportunity presents itself!!  (READ MORE….)

 

Finding that moment to pray on public school grounds doesn’t need to be controversial.  Someone once said, “As long as there are tests, there will always be prayer in school.” I’m sure that’s probably true. But there are many other opportunities as God opens doors for this ministry of intercession.

 

One such opportunity comes on behalf of a specific need for someone in the school. Perhaps it’s a father who is out of work, a teacher who is struggling with an illness, or an administrator who is a bit overwhelmed by issues. There’s nothing unconstitutional about stopping when you hear something like that and offering a prayer on behalf of those who are struggling.

 

Perhaps someone in the school is walking through a difficult time in their life and has come to you for advice and encouragement. Under those circumstances you certainly have the freedom to share your personal faith and to pray with them, if they so desire.

 

Under the law, voluntary student groups have the right to gather on school grounds for religious purposes just like any other club. Prayer can certainly be a part of such gatherings.  Each year thousands of students gather for “See You at the Pole” to pray together for their school and community.

 

Groups of adults may also gather on school property after hours, subject to district facility use agreements, for shared purposes. A group of mom’s gathering to pray for kids in their school is well within the limits of the law. Teachers and administrators can join them if they so desire.

 

Given the right circumstances, it’s also perfectly in order to pray in the District office. Just this month the Superintendent of one of our local school districts gathered with faith leaders for an annual meeting, and participated in a time of voluntary corporate prayer with them for the work of the district and his own leadership of that team.

 

Let’s remember…it’s not separation of church FROM state, but separation of church AND state. Faith can play a significant role in the public school. And prayer is one faith element that can be as welcomed in the classroom as it is in the sanctuary.