Healthy Prayer Life

Christian Educators Association International (CEAI) believes that a healthy lifestyle begins with a healthy prayer life. In other words, daily conversations with God are as essential to our well-being as the air we breathe.

As Christians, most of us understand the importance of prayer but don’t always include it in every area of our lives. But the truth is, prayer belongs in every area of our lives—the happiness, the sadness, the decision-making, the pain, the confusion, the chaos, the contentment, the growth, etc.   

We hope the following stories that we’ve heard from Christian educators will encourage you. Their stories demonstrate how prayer has positively impacted their lives—spiritually, physically, and emotionally. We hope they encourage you to always rely on prayer just as you rely on the air you breathe!

I teach middle school ESL. It can be very daunting at times because of the language barrier and the complexity of the content, so I often rely on prayer. I think prayer changes the person that prays in addition to the thing that you are praying for. Has student behavior improved? Not necessarily. But, have I felt a difference in my attitude toward my students? Definitely! Have I felt the peace of God even when my plans have gone awry? Absolutely! With God’s help, I will remain steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.
I was going through some serious health issues (including anaphylactic reactions) that seemed to be related to sun exposure, causing me a lot of anxiety and physical stress. The doctors struggled to diagnose my condition while I continued in my role as a marching band director in Texas during the summer heat. I can confidently say that God was faithful and answered my prayers as He promises He will when we ask in His name. Not only did He heal my health issues, but He also changed my attitude and my energy level throughout the process. I was exhausted and anxious, but He provided me with the desire to continue teaching with passion and love for these kids during my incredibly difficult season. Since then, God has continued to guide me away from anxiety and is still working on molding my anxious heart. Yes, God is good!
I was struggling with negative feelings towards my administrator. My attitude about teaching became worse and worse the longer I held onto the feelings. One day, I listened to a podcast about praying and giving my struggles to God. So, I decided to start praying for my administrator, turning all of my frustrations over to God. Not surprisingly, I now feel so much more peace. My administrator hasn’t changed, but my attitude has. I feel so much better. The stressful feeling that was negatively influencing me is now gone. Thank you, Jesus.
A few weeks ago, while covering a middle school lunch/recess, I had to intervene in a fistfight for the first time in my 15 years of teaching. During the 10 seconds or less it took me to run to the scene of the incident, I said to God, "Please guide me. I have absolutely no idea how to break this up." As I approached the fighting students, I yelled, "DONE!  THIS IS DONE!" To my complete shock, they immediately stopped fighting, looked at me, and walked off in separate directions as I was instructing them to do with my hand movements. I believe God answered my simple prayer, proving that our prayers do not have to be lengthy or worded perfectly. He just wants us to call out to Him.

A healthy prayer life energizes, refreshes, and draws us closer to the Lord. Our relationship with Him becomes stronger as our communication with Him becomes more and more interactive. This type of prayer takes practice and patience. But a healthy prayer life is well worth the effort.

Need a little inspiration? CEAI Executive Director, David Schmus, and his wife, Elizabeth, developed a daily prayer outline entitled Prayer TRAILS to guide Christian educators toward a more intimate, healthier prayer life.

Begin your prayer time with: “Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, I come to spend time in Your presence. In the name of Jesus, I silence the voice of the enemy and ask You to reveal Yourself to me.”

Thanksgiving (1 Thess 5:16-18)

Thank the Lord for His blessings! Thank Him for His attributes like His love, justice, and mercy. And thank Him for the various ways those attributes have manifested in your life and experiences. Thank Him for the people, opportunities, callings, and provisions He has placed in your life, and be specific.

Repent (1 John 1:9)

Ask the Lord to reveal any sin of which you need to repent. Then be quiet for a moment to listen. Confess what He reveals as sin, ask for forgiveness, and ask for help to make different choices. Finally, rather than beating yourself up and letting the enemy keep you in shame, receive His cleansing and favor as one who can approach the throne of grace with confidence (Heb. 4:16). 

Ask (Phil 4:6)

Bring your requests to God and ask Him to help you pray according to His will. Suggestions: Pray for your family, friends, and others in need. Pray for financial provision, wisdom, and guidance for decision-making. Ask Him to open and close doors in your life. Ask for divine appointments and courage to step out in faith. He wants us to ask (Matt 7:11)!

Intercede (1 Tim 2:1-2)

Move into praying more broadly for God’s purposes in your community, church, region/state, nation, and world. Pray that God would open hearts and minds to the gospel; anoint government, church, and institutional leaders with wisdom; and set fire to the hearts of believers to plant churches, transform cultures, impact cities, and launch movements.

Listen (John 10:27)

While we believe that every step of prayer is led by His Spirit, it is important to intentionally stop and make space for God to speak to us. Prayer is not meant to be a speech to God; it is designed by God to be interactive. Don’t be afraid to ask God very specific questions. Always judge what you hear by the standard of Scripture and wise counselors, and don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear anything. Keep asking Him to speak and posturing your heart to listen. Over time, you will learn the unique ways God speaks to you.

Surrender (Matt 16:25)

Close your prayer time with a renewed intention to surrender your life to Him. Hold nothing back. Give Him everything. If you find yourself struggling to let God lead certain aspects of your life, ask Him for the courage to surrender control. You will not regret letting Him lead your life. 

We hope that “Prayer TRAILS” will guide you through your devoted prayer time, but remember that your conversation with Him can continue all day long. As Spirit-filled followers of Christ, we can pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). This means that we can continue interacting with the Lord in our spirit throughout our day, inviting Him into our conversations with others, our work, our activities, and our decisions. 


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