Keep Calm and Shoot Straight
A Blog for Teachers
by Mary Jean Powers
Don’t Do This Alone!
Intercession means raising ourselves up to the point of getting the mind of Christ regarding the person for whom we are praying.
We are standing on the border of another new year. As much as we would all like to experience radical change at the stroke of midnight on December 31, it’s not going to happen, is it? Since many of us are in “survival mode” (and, at the risk of this sounding like a suggestion for yet another new year’s resolution) I would like to propose something that has potential to sustain you in a powerful way as you move into 2021.
A PRAYER TEAM???
Have you ever thought of developing a small team of personal intercessors … people who would commit to praying for you, The Teacher; people who love you and value what you do? I’m not referring to the few people who sincerely pray for you when they think about it (they’re great, by the way), but a hand-picked team of people who would pledge to consistently support you with Spirit-led prayer; people you could call on with your challenges and victories, knowing that they will pray. Honestly, my team has made all the difference for me. If this sounds intriguing to you, here are a few things to consider:
- What is an intercessor? The most common definition is “one who stands in the gap.” But I would like to tweak it a bit by suggesting that an intercessor is one who “stands in your shoes” and prays accordingly. In other words, choose personal intercessors who both value and understand what it means to teach.
- What kinds of people can stand in your shoes? Perhaps a retired teacher, or someone who teaches but in a different capacity than you, or someone who has experience with the classroom setting or the age group you teach. People who are able to stand in your shoes can also be those who understand your life situation i.e., are well acquainted with your family or face similar limitations, interests, talents, etc. Perhaps you would like to invite one of each to be on your prayer team: a former teacher, someone who knows you well and understands your call to teach, someone who appreciates the value of quality education, etc.
- What about “standing in the gap?” Well, that is what people who first stand in your shoes have the ability to do … they pray for you with perseverance, sensitivity and passion because they know what it’s like to be in your shoes!
- How many should be on my intercessory team? Keep your group small and choose people who will be committed.
- This is going to require communication on your part, so here are some practical ideas that will keep you and your intercessors engaged:
- Set up a group text for those moments when “I need prayer and I need it NOW!”
- Create a monthly prayer calendar with upcoming events and/or specific needs that you foresee. Include hopes and dreams that you have for yourself and your class.
- Occasionally text a personal video or photo 😊
- Make sure that each one on your prayer team understands that you also want to hear from them: words of encouragement, specific scriptures, what they sense when they pray, something to make you laugh, etc.
- Praying with Scripture is powerful! A few years ago, I produced an audio recording of Bible verses on teaching with continuous-play music as the background. Between each reading, time is given to pray using God’s Word as your starting place. Your intercessors will discover that Holy Spirit will lead them to pray for you in extremely focused ways. Scroll through the English options for this (and other) free Scripture recordings for listening and/or downloading here: https://www.getthewordout.cc/media/word-cds/
- Respond to your team by sharing answers to their prayers, asking them to continue praying about a specific need, or with expressions of sincere thanks.
Does this sound like “one more thing” or too time-consuming? Before I developed my team of intercessors I argued, “I can’t afford this: I don’t have the time or capacity.” I sensed Holy Spirit responding, “You can’t afford not to.”
Remember: what you do is Hard … so, you need Help. You need others to carry your burdens “and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) Honor those who love you and who “get” what you do by inviting them to support you and your call to teach. Just knowing that people are praying will encourage you, and we could all use that kind of encouragement! If you are like me, recognizing that others are sacrificing their time to pray will also hold you to a higher standard. Funny how that works …
THE CHALLENGE …
What do you say? Can you think of 2 – 5 people who love you and believe in the power of prayer? If not, ask God who He would like on your team! He knows … and He might have someone in mind that surprises you!
Here’s my challenge: set up your team before you begin teaching again in January and try it through May. Will you take the dare? I’m quite sure you will never regret it!
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
B.A. in Christian Education
M.A. in Biblical Studies
Music teacher (band and choir
International Bible teacher fo
Certified Walk Thru the Bible
Certified TESL International I
CEU Provider for ACSI (Associa
Certified Life Coach and Chapl
Who am I? A teacher coming alo