by Dana Kennamer
For several years in the early 2000’s, my sister Sharon and I had the blessing to be invited to churches throughout Texas to provide training for their children’s ministry volunteers. What amazing opportunities we had to meet people who followed the call of Jesus to welcome children in his name. We wrote this prayer to share with our attendees as a blessing as we ended each workshop. I remembered this prayer several weeks ago and could still see in my mind’s eye the churches large and small where we prayed these words over those who chose to spend the day with us. It is still my prayer. May it bless you as well. And feel free to use it or adapt it in any way that will be meaningful in your context.
As We Teach
Dana Kennamer Pemberton and Sharon Kennamer Bryant (2001)
For the children who know all the answers and have heard all the stories a hundred times, we ask you to bless them with new wonder in your word and a deeper understanding of Your message for them.
For the children who are new to the Bible classes, we pray that they will always be comfortable and never embarrassed that they know less. May they come to see that their new perspectives can help the rest of us see things we have never seen before.
For the children who learn quickly, laugh easily and hug freely, we thank You for the way they bless our lives and give us joy.
For the children who don’t fit in, try our patience, or don’t seem to care, we pray that you give us eyes to see them as you do and a heart that loves tenaciously.
For teachers who have many years of flannel stories, songs, and hugs behind them, we are thankful for the lives they have influenced and ask that you bless them with a renewed joy and purpose in their teaching.
For those just entering the blessed ministry of teaching, we pray that you will send mentors to guide them and that they will recognize that they have unique gifts and talents that You are waiting to use.
For all of us, we pray for grace and confidence as we share your story with our children. Bring us again to your word so that we can discover new truths in familiar stories. Help us to never underestimate the power of your love working in us. As we look at the children and at each other, remind us that we are family. A family created by your grace and mercy. An eternal family.
Thank you, Father, for this ministry. We commit it to You, though we know it is Yours already. Amen.
Contributed by Dana Kennamer, PhD. Dana directs the nationally recognized teacher education program at Abilene Christian University. While a passionate researcher on children's spiritual development, she is "Teacher Dana" to the children (and young adults) at her home church.