The Pastor's Daily Prayer
(paragraph 9 of 13)
Mercifully bless the education and instruction of the children, that they may grow up in your fear to the praise of your name. I commend to you also the nursery of our church, the Christian day school. Hinder and frustrate all enemies of this institution. May I ever regard and accept it as a precious gift of God! Give our congregation able and apt teachers. Preserve them from every form of indecent and evil speech and behavior. Bless the work of our Sunday school teachers, and help them to lead the little ones into the Savior’s loving arms.
It may seem unlikely, but the WELS has the 4th largest parochial school system in America. And like just about all other parochial schools, it is suffering. It costs a lot of money to make Christian education a high priority. It costs a lot of money to train future teachers for these schools, and Martin Luther College does a fine job preparing teachers to do their job. Usually, the teachers are asked to do more than they should. For the most part, these teachers accept the extra burdens and do these things without extra compensation and without complaint. The reason? They love their Savior and they love the children whom they are teaching and to whom they proclaim God's word.
While owning and operating a school comes with great commitment and expense, we accept these responsibilities because we believe that teaching our children on the foundation of Jesus Christ is that important. Therefore, we pray for our schools and our teachers. [Note: Good Shepherd does not own or operate a Lutheran elementary school. We refer people to St. Paul's Lutheran School in Livonia (pre-K through 8th grade), and we try to offset the cost of tuition with assistance from our own congregation. We are also part of the association which owns and operates Huron Valley Lutheran High School in Westland (9th - 12th grade).]
In addition to the Lutheran schools, Good Shepherd also offers Sunday School (8:45 AM Sunday mornings) to children from age 3 through 6th grade. These classes teach the children the basic Bible stories so that they will understand how God's love was demonstrated from the creation of the world to their own lives. It all centers on Jesus who lived, died, and rose to save sinners.
Therefore, the pastor prays for the Sunday School and its teachers so that the children may learn more about God's grace, be strengthened in the Christian faith, and be assured of their place in God's kingdom. The prayer is not only that students and teachers alike grow in God's word, but also that their lives would serve as an example and encouragement of godly living so that the children recognize that the Christian faith is not merely a theory, but is put into practice every day in our lives.