An Invitation to God to Invade Our Schools

Let’s believe together and pray, “God, save our schools!”

Mourners pray around a memorial in front of Santa Fe High School on May 21, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas.

By Michael Brown Published on May 22, 2018

In light of the latest, tragic school massacre, I want to make a simple proposal. It was prompted by a phone conversation with my dear friend James Robison.

We were talking on the day of the tragic Santa Fe school massacre, and he said, “Forget about trying to get prayer back in schools” — by which he meant, let’s not put all our efforts into trying to change these laws right now. “We need to start praying in our schools,” he exclaimed.

Then the light went on inside of me. So simple!

To be clear, this is not a substitute for a discussion about school security or gun access or family life or mental disease or violent video games or anything else that is practical or relevant. This is in addition to all the other conversations we need to have. That being said, this topic is as important as anything we can discuss.

A Renewed Call For Student-Led Prayer

Simply stated, I want to encourage committed Christian young people on our campuses throughout America to join together for a few minutes each day for prayer. Focused prayer. Faith-filled prayer. United prayer. A simple cry to heaven for God to come and touch each school. “God, save our school!”

It can be before classes start. It can be during a lunch break. But let it be at the same time and same place every day, joining together in faith and asking God to move powerfully in each school.

Whether it’s three students standing side by side or 30 students in a big circle. Let it be done in simple faith every day, and we will see the results together.

I’m aware that many young people have been doing this for years.

I’m aware that there are formal prayer movements already advocating this very thing.

I’m aware that I’m saying nothing new.

I simply want to add my voice of encouragement, offering testimony as well.

God Will Answer

I’m also confident that, as Christian young people do this on a regular basis, they’ll be more to prone to share their faith as well. They’ll be more aware of “divine appointments” and more overflowing with love for their fellow-students. All this is a natural extension of prayer.

Some might say, “God is sovereign and He doesn’t need our invitation or permission for anything He does. If He wants to ‘invade,’ our schools, He will.”

There’s much truth to that, but it’s also true that “Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom” (Charles H. Spurgeon).

To quote John Wesley, “God does nothing but in answer to prayer.” Let us then give ourselves to prayer for our schools!

Or, in the classic formulation of Matthew Henry, “When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is set them a-praying.”

Or, to quote John Wesley, “God does nothing but in answer to prayer.”

Let us then give ourselves to prayer for our schools!

Revival in Florida Schools

In the fall of 1997, I met with the superintendent of schools of Escambia County, Florida. Pensacola was the largest city in the county, and there had been a remarkable spiritual outpouring that had been taking place there since June, 1995, called the Brownsville Revival.

Ultimately, when it ended in late 2000, more than three million people had attended services there (this is the rough, cumulative total), traveling from more than 130 nations. And every night, hundreds of young people were there, many from the local area.

I met with the superintendent to ask him about the impact the revival had on the schools. Did something tangible happen to the students? Were lives visibly and dramatically changed?

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He was quite happy to speak with me, saying he could testify firsthand to the extremely positive results. He had also served as a local principal and saw many young people changed before his eyes. He was glowing with praise for what the Lord had done.

But I mention this story here because these students were praying students. When they got touched at the revival — delivered from addictions; set free from violent or self-destructive behavior; transformed in their attitudes and lifestyle — they immediately wanted to share their faith with others. And they began to gather in prayer for their schools. The fire quickly spread!

From 300 to 2,000

Richard Crisco, now a pastor in Rochester, Michigan, was the youth pastor at the church where the revival took place, and he carefully charted what was happening to these kids.

In September, 1995 — so, just a few months into the revival — there were about 300 kids who gathered in early September for the “See You At the Pole” prayer meeting. One year later, there were 2,000 kids who joined in prayer on that day. And at quite a few of the schools, these young people would gather for daily prayer, often with tears, saying those simple words, “God, save our schools!”

Of course, it was a sovereign visitation that sparked this prayer movement in the schools. But it was the prayers of these young people that helped deepen and sustain the movement once it started.

All the more, then, should we pray if there is no sign of revival in our region. All the more should we pray for rain in a time of drought.

God, Save Our Schools!

I’m not saying this is the cure-all. I’m not saying that we do not need to take other, practical steps to protect our schools. I’m not saying that, overnight, everything will change.

I’m just putting out a simple call for young people across America to gather daily in prayer for their schools. And I’m encouraging parents to encourage their kids to do so.

Schools are letting out now across the country, but why not start while you can, with plans to pick up in September?

Our kids (and grandkids and great grandkids) are hurting right now. They’re having to put up with things most of us never even thought about. Let’s believe with them for God to come and touch their classmates and teachers. Let’s believe with them for the Spirit to invade their schools.

Let’s believe together and pray, “God, save our schools!”

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  • azsxdcf1

    I agree Dr Brown. Let us stop talking about “A CURE” to the violence in school dilema and pray: ” Lord God in heaven, we join together in the Name of Jesus to prevent this evil from happening again in America’s schools; and ask for Divine intervention from You, Lord to stop the sickended mind of those pondering such atrocious acts. Amen”

  • Ld

    Thank you Dr. Brown. I live just down the road from Santa Fe. My heart breaks for Santa Fe and lift them up in prayer. I pray for our young people throughout this nation. And I pray, Heavenly Father, you would use this to bring about a MIGHTY revival across our blessed nation. Bring our young people to their knees in uplifted prayer, and the adults in every community as well. I pray we would all be drawn closer to you, and to walk as You would have us to. In the precious name of Lord Jesus, Amen.

  • Nick Stuart

    Small victories like the ones cited in this article are encouraging, but they are just that “small.”

    It’s past time to get Christian children out of the public school system. This is an extremely urgent matter bearing not only on the child’s spiritual safety, but their physical safety and even their basic education. Rather than relitigate the arguments pro-and-con Christian children in the public schools, I’m going to categorically state a proposition:

    You cannot place children for 13 years under the tutelage of a system whose foundational worldview is atheistic materialism, whose creation myth is mechanistic Darwinian evolution, whose sacraments are safe sex and abortion on demand, where marriage and family are whatever combination of people seems right to the people involved, where basic biological differences between male and female are denied, and expect that those children’s spiritual condition and worldview will not be adversely affected.

    This proposition doesn’t even address the fact that in many cases the public school system fails in even its basic mission of graduating minimally literate, numerate young adults. Actually, no matter who you are: straight/gay, religious/irreligious, black/white/brown/yellow/red, Left/Right/Center/Undecided. The public school system is neither a good nor safe place for your children.

    Families will have to either make a lot of money to afford to send their children to a private school, assuming a suitable one is available. Or, one parent will have to stay at home to home school the children.

    Churches will have to unlock that building that sits empty for six days a week and get involved in supporting Christian schools, and pass up buying that new espresso machine for the coffee bar to help families with the tuition. Churches will have to stop treating homeschooling like some kind of bizarre hobby for a few weird families who can afford for one parent to stay at home and not work outside the home.

    Christians who do not have school age children will have to dig in and help families who do with the financial end of their child’s education [OUCH! Just left off preaching and got started meddling].

    Educating children in a private school or at home is of course not a guarantee that they will grow up to be Christians. You can only do what you can do, at some point it is up to them. God calls us to do what he’s called us to do, the results are in his hands. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide if God is really calling you to get your children out of the public schools. Just like it was up to Lot to decide if God was really calling him to get his family out of Sodom. Pro-tip: don’t look back.

  • Ray

    Kids, you should seriously think about asking your school to provide you with a classroom, after normal class time, so you can invite a youth pastor in, to lead you all in worship, prayer, Bible study, or simply reading together, allowing for anyone to say whatever it is they see about God that they would like to share with the rest of the group, from what they are reading. Whatever gives God the praise, the worship, and if your school says they can not do that for you, then you remind them of the free exercise clause. If they do not let you do this, maybe they should be sued. That might be an option. You have your rights. Use them, use them wisely, guard them. I’m thinking you may have to fight for them, legally, and spiritually, through much prayer, patience, and persistence.

    You might even find yourself saying, “What is the Holy Spirit saying about this that we read, or simply saying to us today?

    I will be your help and strength………..etc.
    Just keep it within the boundaries of edification of the group, by way of inspired exhortation and comfort. If you have something, you may give it.

    Maybe someone who speaks in tongues, can speak in a fluent 15 seconds or so, and then go right into an inspired interpretation. Just keep it in edification, by exhortation and comfort. When you go on in faith, with what has been given, you may see God working in wonderful ways. Let the leader of the group determine when to allow this, or make the invitation.

    • Boris

      Don’t pray in my school and I won’t think in your church. Okay?

      • bowie1

        Your school? It’s not just your school.

        • Boris

          “A prayer in a public school! God has no place within these walls, just like facts have no place within religion.” – Superintendent Chalmers
          You can’t bring stupidity to a public school. That’s where we try to get rid of stupidity.

  • Bezukhov

    Suppose God’s answer to all this praying over gun violence is to support much stricter gun restrictions? I wonder haw many Christians will agree with Him?

    • Bryan

      God can communicate with Man in many ways. He can speak directly as He did to Moses on Mount Sinai. He can speak through the Holy Spirit directly to a person about a specific situation. He can speak through circumstances. He can also use scripture to provide direction. Scripture obviously does not talk about guns or bombs or cell phones or the US in any direct form. But it does talk about defending oneself and one’s family. It also talks of caring for the poor, the widowed, the orphan, etc. From that, many Christians believe that having the ability to defend oneself is self-evident. Does that mean unlimited access to whatever weapons you can buy or build? Of course not. Does that mean we should only use weapons available in biblical times (Roman style swords)? Probably not.
      I believe certain restrictions on guns are necessary. I would term them common-sense but that term is almost meaningless anymore. However, in many states there are many restrictions on guns already. For the most part, these restrictions prevent some people from obtaining weapons they should not have but they, by themselves, will never be enough to eliminate all gun violence or even all school shootings. And so far, nothing I’ve seen promoted in the category of gun restrictions, would be significantly effective either.
      I think what your comment is getting at is what if God said everyone should give up their guns to the state, similar to Australia? I think if he did that, it would seem to go against what is revealed in scripture. I am well aware that both sides use the Bible to back their side. If God told me specifically to get rid of guns from my house, I would. I would think and pray hard before deciding that it was supposed to be imposed on everyone else in my state or in the nation.

    • Resist!

      Why on earth would He talk to you?

      • Bezukhov

        Talk to me? I hope not. I have far more important matters to ignore.

  • Boris

    Pray for what exactly? It should be apparent that when it comes to innocent children being murdered God just doesn’t give a rip. Interesting that this doesn’t happen in Europe and Scandinavia. Wonder why that is. God must like the secular nations that have pretty much gotten rid of religion a lot better than this overly religious, anti-intellectual, anti-science hell hole.

    • bowie1

      God does care and he will call to account those who are guilty of murders. But he gives everybody a chance. This life is after all not the only life.

      • swordfish

        “he gives everybody a chance”

        Not the victims.

      • Boris

        Actually this life is the only life. Better not waste it in intellectual servitude to false beliefs.

        • bowie1

          Can you prove that there is no afterlife?

          • Boris

            Can you prove there is? It seems to me that you are kind of shifting the burden of proof. Let me demonstrate. Can you prove that werewolves, invisible pink unicorns and leprechauns don’t exist? Should we believe these things exist just because we cannot prove absolutely that they don’t? Shouldn’t the people who believe in such things have the burden of proof? People tell me about their hope for the life to come. What makes you think that’s going to disappear once you get to heaven in the afterlife? The afterlife would be kind hopeless if there’s no after afterlife. So can you prove there’s no after afterlife that exists to sort of give hope to those in the afterlife?

          • bowie1

            You made the claim that this is the only life so the burden of proof is on your end.

          • Boris

            No it isn’t. The person making the POSITIVE claim has the burden of proof. Had you ever taken a class in logic or ever developed any critical thinking skills at all you would know this. But if you had any critical thinking skills you would not be a Christian.

          • bowie1

            At least it’s a positive claim. But maybe you don’t answer me because you can’t answer me because you have no case to prove that this life is the only life.

          • Boris

            Let’s start with some basic facts: We are biological organisms. We are made out of flesh and bone, and we depend on the operation of certain cellular, chemical processes in order to continue functioning and experiencing the world around us. Once these functions stop, we die. When we die, there is no longer any electrical activity going on within the structure of our brains, and it is then no longer possible for us to experience anything. What had been our personalities, our memories, our hopes and fears all cease to exist. From this point on, the walls of our cells break down, and eventually our bodies decompose into their constitute elements through biological/chemical processes. This is a fate we share with every other living thing on the planet.
            Of course, there is no evidence whatsoever for an afterlife. Nor is there any reasonable, fact-based explanation for it. None. So here is where the apologetics come in. You claim that human beings possess “souls” that somehow represent consciousness and personality. You declare that these “souls” can exist separately from our bodies. You assert that these “souls” somehow leave our bodies at death and go somewhere else, employing some inexplicable means of locomotion. This is all nonsense, of course. This is wild speculation about things that you cannot know, and that you do not know. Have you ever tried to figure out what a “soul” actually is? I have asked numerous Christians to explain the term, and they can’t do it, because they don’t know what it is actually supposed to be. No one does. The simple fact of the matter is that there is no evidence for a mind/brain duality, or a “ghost in the machine.”
            Now all of that science and logic can never trump the fear OTHER PEOPLE have already indoctrinated you with. Right?
            Go ahead believe whatever you want. But you should know that if you’re believing what you want to you can bet your last dime it ain’t true. Science is our best defense against believing what we want to. We both have the exact same destiny no matter what other people have convinced you of.

    • Bryan

      Boris, if this is such a hell hole, then why not relocate to Europe or Scandinavia? No one is asking you to pray. Just tolerate it when other individuals decide to exercise their freedoms in that way.

      • Boris

        Petitioning a God who cannot change his mind is a waste if time, especially since that God doesn’t exist anyway. Pick up a science book and you’ll see why that is so.

        • Bryan

          Your opinion about my ability to waste my time is noted. It’s touching how much you care about others infinitely valuable time on Earth. What I don’t understand is why you care so much about my wasting of time while you’re answering comments about a God that you don’t believe exists? If, according to you, he’s not going to do anything anyway because he doesn’t exist, why do you care if others engage in their own waste of time? Live and let live. What does it hurt you if I believe there is a God and you don’t?

          • Boris

            False beliefs help no one and they hurt everyone. When those false beliefs lead to poor life decisions like say in the voting booth they hurt all of us even those of us who are not so delusional. We have morons in congress who think they know more about climate science than real scientists. This kind of stupidity and ignorance is very dangerous which is why it must be eradicated.

          • Bryan

            “False beliefs help no one and they hurt everyone.” This is a very broad statement and one that is demonstrably false. For example, some believe in Santa Claus. No such person as described in any number of tv shows and books is currently living. Whether there was a historical person on whom this persona is based is beyond my scope here. There is no universal harm that comes to everyone, for one person believing in Santa Claus.
            Similarly, if someone believe in the existence of God, in the Creeds of the Church, in the Bible as the Word of God, it might just make them a better human being: Kind to strangers, caring for the poor or the elderly, stewards of the planet and all that is in it, seeking justice for the victim, etc.
            I find it important to demonstrate the first point because of your last. If according to you “[t]his kind of stupidity and ignorance is very dangerous which is why it must be eradicated”, then I have to ask how you would implement this eradication. I’m assuming you aren’t focusing all of you attention on simply further education. Eradication generally implies elimination and when it comes to eradication of ideas, that generally means elimination of the people who espouse those ideas. Is that the direction you think this country should take?

          • Boris

            No we are headed in the right direction. We just need better science education and we need better critical thinking skills taught in our schools. That alone is eradicating religion at a incredibly fast pace. 3 out of 4 Christian college students reject their faith before they graduate. 94 percent of them will have rejected their faith by the time they are 30 according to studies done by Christian organizations. Frank Turek has his panties all in a bunch about this and he’s not the only one. We don’t want to eliminate people just provably false beliefs. If someone is only nice to others because they have been instructed to, they are not a moral person. They are a butt kisser.

          • Bryan

            “If someone is only nice to others because they have been instructed to, they are not a moral person. They are a butt kisser.” This is a strange statement. How do you come to a conclusion to be nice to others without some sort of instruction? Even if it is accepted and internalized, it has started with instruction at some point. So does that mean there are no moral people, only butt kissers? Are you a moral person or a butt kisser?
            I can imagine that this line of argument will go something like this: you’ll say I’m a moral person because I do kind things for others without being told to do so. I’ll then say why does that make you moral? You’ll say because it’s good to do kind things for others. I’ll say how do you know that it’s good? You’ll say because it benefits society. I’ll say why is that good? Eventually you’ll get to the point of saying essentially, because it is.
            I agree that we need better critical thinking skills taught at schools. I just don’t believe you’ll actually like what happens when people actually think critically.

          • Boris

            I am a good person for my own selfish reasons and I have no problem admitting that. Being nice to others, helping others causes other people to like and respect me. My family respects me, I have more friends and a higher quality of friends and this helps me in business and in everything that I do. Of course when you are able to help others you naturally feel good. Altruism is a product of evolution, not something that comes from any deity. We both know what happens when people get a whiff of science or a dose of common sense. They reject their religion and all the statistics and research proves that.

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