Returning to Prayer is America's Hope
The Year Emotional Healing Began
The year was 1969 and I was only nine years old when the school year began. I would turn ten in October. It was a year destined to bring very positive change into my life. The beginnings of emotional healing began stirring and even though my physical circumstances remained dysfunctional and damaging, I found a hope to cling to. And for this I give credit to one person and one daily routine which proved to have life altering and far reaching influence. I met a hero who in spite of unjust laws, stepped up and did the right thing.
Introducing the One Daily Routine That Changed My Life
I now began fifth grade and the year of change. Every day of my fifth-grade year started out with a seemingly uneventful routine. Our teacher, obviously a woman dedicated to her Christian beliefs, began each morning with the pledge of allegiance to the American flag, then the pledge to the New Mexico flag, and then the most noteworthy part, the Lord's Prayer, which was recited without fail. At age nine and ten, I did not understand the magnitude of this routine. However, looking back, this daily habit was something that provided peace and comfort and had the potential to impact the lives of a young group of children for the better, even years into the future. I know it positively impacted my life, and I am grateful. Prayer to God is necessary for guidance in avoiding the pitfalls of everyday life. It is no coincidence either that this year was when my life started to feel livable, hopeful, and more peaceful. It was a turning point for my entire future; positive things began to occur, and I give credit to daily prayer. I believe my life improved totally and completely when I learned to pray each day, reciting this prayer verbatim collectively with each member of my fifth-grade class, led by our teacher:
Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matt.6: 9-13)
A True Hero
After learning in later years about legislation passed previous to this school year of 1969-1970 that made it unlawful to pray in school, I believe that Mrs. Evelyn Francis was a true hero, because she prayed with us anyway. She simply prayed the Lord's Prayer each day, which gave us direction and guidance on how each day needed to start with God's presence and help. She did not preach to us about her personal beliefs, she just magnified God. Knowing now the impact this daily routine had on my life, I can proclaim that my fifth-grade teacher is without a doubt a hero in my eyes. I am not saying that breaking a law makes you a hero. But I am saying that when the law enforced on the God-fearing nation of America is so unjust in relation to its founding roots and the intentions of our founding fathers, defying such a law and doing what is morally right is the best decision for all concerned--not to mention the fact that prayer is for the common good of all people.
What did our Founding Father's have to say about prayer to God?
Man's law can never override God's law. The following is a quote by George Washington, issued to all state governors on June 8, 1783: "I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you, and the state over which you preside, in His holy protection ... that He would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion without a humble imitation in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation." I believe that banning God and prayer from our public schools today has led us to reap unhappy experiences as a nation and as a people. It was an enormously wrong decision, and the consequences in current times speak for themselves in regard to the violence in public schools--public schools that have chosen to reject God.
...More from another Founding Father
Dr. Benjamin Rush, also known as the Father of Public Schools
Here is a quote from another founding father predicting what would happen without God's presence in our public schools. Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and author of the first chemistry textbook, is noted as the father of public schools. He predicted the following: "In contemplating the political institutions of this United States, I lament that if we remove the Bible from schools, we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them ... For this Divine Book above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and those sober and fugal virtues which constitute the soul of our government." This warning by Dr. Benjamin Rush in 1791 has come to pass in America today--the Bible and prayer are removed from public schools, and we are punishing crimes rather than using the tools God has given us to prevent the pain and loss. Those essential, preventive tools are God's priceless gifts of the Bible and prayer. Without God, there is no peace. Prayer to God is essential for peace to exist in one's life. God created every human to have a relationship with Him; when that is ignored, chaos ensues.
What are your thoughts on the subject?
Has "kicking" God out of public schools led to many of the problems we experience today? The violence we have all heard of is done by mentally damaged individuals--for just one example,The Columbine Massacre. The fact is that without God, healing for damaged individuals is impossible. And it becomes a "Catch 22" when the only Hope for healing is abandoned with God, prayer, and the Bible being removed from public schools. This decision makes access to God, a vital part of life, unattainable for multitudes of our youth because sadly, children like I was, will not learn of God at home either. This puts us all in a precarious position because our youth are our future. And to clarify, the God I speak of is God of the Bible and Father of Jesus Christ, the God whose principles America was founded on.
Do you believe that the modern day problems with education and violence in schools is because God and prayer have been eliminated there?
Daily Bible Reading Lights Your Path in Life
Find a favorite version of the Bible to fit your personal needs. There are many to choose from; my personal favorite is the KJV.
Prayer in School Forever Changed My Life for the Better
Prayer had a profound effect on my life because it created a relationship between me and God. And with that relationship my life was placed on a functional path. The evidence is tangible and real.
Because of the many things I experienced in childhood, my life was set up to be very different from the way it actually turned out. Things I lived through are devastating and damaging to a child and usually lead to a very abnormal adult life. According to the norm for my circumstances, I should be on my fourth or fifth marriage, but instead I have been married to the same wonderful guy for over thirty years. I should be addicted to alcohol and/or drugs, but I use neither. No detrimental habits were allowed to take control of my life--I was never even tempted to go there. Instead of all the bad I was headed for, I have experienced a life rich and abundant in blessings and miracles. For this, I completely give God the credit and I began to know Him because of a teacher who was not afraid to do the right thing. And this I owe to Prayer in School.
A Wounded Daughter's Survival - by Deborah Leigh Alexander
Read more about my story here. The healing I experienced began with prayer in school. My fifth grade teacher did what was right in spite of the detrimental law that tried to forbid prayer in school.