I was well into my fourth year as a high school special education teacher when the looming cloud of burnout began drifting uncomfortably close.
Determined not to fall into the statistic of special education teachers who leave the profession within the first five years, I needed a fresh wave of encouragement to wash over me and breathe life into my weary soul.
Part of my discouragement stemmed from the fact that I was a devoted Christ-follower in a secular system – a system with strict rules that prohibited me from sharing my faith in the classroom.
I was wrestling with my calling when an older woman from my church suggested I use the verses of Colossians 1:9-12 as a prayer guide for my students and coworkers.
What I discovered in the months that followed changed my experience at work in notable ways.
I began praying over my students, their parents, my coworkers, the custodians, and the district administration on a daily basis.
As I lifted these prayers before the throne, I noticed my heart shifted and softened toward those for whom I prayed.
God granted me his patience and compassion for my students, and instead of harboring a critical spirit when the administration made choices with which I disagreed, I was peaceful and unshaken.
In the midst of the season of faithful prayer, parent meetings became opportunities to encourage weary caretakers.
Behavioral issues with students were invitations to dig deeper and uncover the reasons behind explosive outbursts.
Sharp remarks from other teachers on my team were occasions to ask questions about what was really happening in their lives and classrooms.
My eyes were opened to God in my midst in a way that my prayerless seasons did not afford.
If you’re feeling uncertain of how to pray for your coworkers, administrators, or clients, here are some helpful suggestions to get you started…