Keep Calm and Shoot Straight

A Blog for Teachers
by Mary Jean Powers

A Prayer for Words of Life

Aug 24, 2020

“A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”
Proverbs 15:4 NKJV

How important are our words? Our tone? Our inflections? Several years ago, I began researching all the Bible verses related to teaching, looking for principles of truth and common threads. After studying the context and original words meanings, I wrote a prayer about the gift of teaching based on each verse.  This is a prayerful response to Proverbs 15:4 on the weight of words.


“A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”


God of Life, may my heart overflow into words of life – healing words, medicinal words, words that cure as well as soothe and calm. May my words both affirm and challenge my students toward growth and change. May my words be restorative and stimulate their minds. May my tone stabilize them emotionally so that their curiosity is piqued.

God, please give me the gift of Your perspective so that I see into my students’ hearts and sincerely care about what I find there. Help me discern their intentions, their insecurities, their fears. And then – when that teachable moment comes – please give me carefully chosen words which adequately express what I see in them. Grant me the faith and the courage to honestly speak to them with sincere love. Oh, may they know that I love them!

I am asking for a gift today, Father – the gift of words. I want to be fluent in the language of love and light.  As a little child learns from his parent, teach me to speak as You speak. I do not learn quickly, but I am willing. Jesus, You are the Word who became flesh. Live Your life through my flesh; speak Your words through my mouth, even as I teach.

Jesus, I read how You approached the same topics time and again, yet from different angles, always with new perspective and fresh reality. This technique released a measure of creative strength into information which, for some, had become boring and dead and dry. “You have heard it said … but I say to you …”  Enable me to creatively view my curriculum from a new and living perspective every day, and then, Holy Spirit, breathe new life – Your life – into my presentation, I pray!

I know I am not perfect, Lord … but I do not want to be inaccurate or presumptuous when I teach! I do not want to play any part in the ruin or discouragement of a student because I have been too lazy to study, too insensitive to care, or too tired to notice. Please give me the divine ability to straighten the crooked places, raise the valleys, level the mountains, and clear the debris from the highway of learning. With integrity of heart, may I willingly and creatively inspire my students with courageous words that motivate them to learn.


About Keep Calm and Shoot Straight

I am a teacher. You, too? I hope you love the profession as much as I do! I was 16 when I got my first teaching gigs – I had 20 private piano students and a Sunday School class of 4 and 5-year olds! At that point in my “career,” my definition of teacher was very limited. But now – after 45+ years of experience – I have come to realize that teacher can mean many different things. I’d like to share some of those insights with you! My posts will range from quotes to prayers, from cartoons to words of wisdom. Much of my teaching experience has been international, so you'll get to watch some video stories from around the globe. Jesus is the best Teacher I know, so I will be including Him in this blog, as well. I hope my thoughts and my story will encourage, provoke, and inspire you to become the teacher you’ve been created to be!

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Mary Jean Powers

Mary Jean Powers

B.A. in Christian Education
M.A. in Biblical Studies
Music teacher (band and choir director, private instruction) for 35 years
International Bible teacher for 17+ years
Certified Walk Thru the Bible instructor
Certified TESL International Instructor
CEU Provider for ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International)
Certified Life Coach and Chaplain

Who am I? A teacher coming alongside teachers!