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Praying in Schools Today

Outline

The introductory part of the topic discusses about the general attitude towards praying in schools. The body gives a detailed description about the importance of praying in school and how it affects the development of children. And on the other side there includes an argument against praying in school. It concludes with the opinion that praying definitely helps to improve the moral, psychological, spiritual, and personality development of a child.

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Introduction

Nowadays praying in school has become a controversial issue that calls for the attention of modern world. Everyone knows that majority of the concepts in the world have both advantages and disadvantages and the topic “praying in school today” has also advantages and disadvantages like the two sides of a coin. Some people argue that praying creates a positive outlook and attitude among children and also help to improve mental, physical and cognitive aspects in children while some others argue that praying in schools will not create any change in children. Even if these arguments prevail, one can say that praying in schools can definitely create a positive outlook in children to some extent. Majority of the people know that religion mainly aims at creating goodness in human beings in a well established society and every religion advocates prayers. In other words, prayer is a part of every religion and it produces an international uniformity in the world and one can assume that praying in schools is really effective in moral, psychological, spiritual and personality development of a student.

Importance of praying in schools

Praying in schools generally helps in improving morality, personality development and also to acquire a fresh, calm and quite mind in school children. Albert Haase, in his work “Living the Lord’s Prayer” comments “PRAYING for forgiveness is a vivid reminder that God frees us from debilitating guilt and forgets our past. No sin is written with indelible ink”. (Praying ‘forgive us our sins’, 2009). If one regrets about his past deed prayer for the forgiveness will make his mind peace.

Nowadays some of the institutions start their day with prayer. One of the important aspects of school prayer is it creates a good citizenship among children or in other words good citizens can be produced through prayer. Another aspect of prayer in schools is it supports virtual living. A remarkable quotation from the article “advantages of prayer in schools” in which Samuel Adams said in 1790 that “Let di vines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity… and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.” (Advantage of prayer in school, 2009, para.4). Hence it promotes virtual living.

The most important benefit of praying in school is that it helps to reduce the egocentrism. When students pray for other fellows that will help them to think about others. It also makes them understand the value of others’ life. It stresses the idea that everyone is dependent upon God. Better people and better students can be created through prayer. Prayer helps to build productive and happy lives on the earth. So prayer in school can be considered as an important tool for encouraging citizenship, servant hood, virtue and reverence.

Relevance of praying in personality development

Praying promotes the overall development of a child. Praying in schools should contain all the encouraging and disciplinary factors that are required for the overall development of a child. In addition to prayer some schools provide meditation too and this type of activity enhances the capability of the child to face the day-to-day problems. Praying and meditation provide a perfect mind to children for accepting all the things that has to be learnt by the students. It upholds human values such as co-operation, kindness, sympathy and unity and it also helps to develop punctuality in children. Among these factors unity is an important aspect.

Relevance of praying in moral development

Moral development and character formation of a child take place in the school. Through praying a child learns so many moral lessons. There is wide spread arguments in the field of moral learning. These arguments are not restricted to moral growth or personality development, but widened to the educational aim in this field. Morality by means of honesty, security, human rights is eminent from the idea of public principle. Rules are set up by social systems like custom, manner of dress, dealing of people with one another, their table mannerisms etc. School prayer deals with the entire needs of the individual. Prayers in schools train the children’s minds mentally and reinforce the principles which they studied from home and also from the community. In the present generation there is a huge rise in violence in school, use of drugs, alcoholism, and teenage pregnancy and so on. To a great extent school prayer can help to overcome these issues. Thus without leading the children towards the evils, prayer leads them in a better way and it will encourage the children to have a sense of morality. “Prayer also fosters the concept that we all are dependent upon God.” (Advantage of prayer in school, 2009, para.5). If one avoids prayer that means one allows the evils to conquer him because he himself is trying to go apart from the Almighty. When a child grows up his/her mind itself is the abode of good and evil thoughts and it is only through prayer the child can get rid of the evil thoughts; other- wise he will become an utter villain of the coming generation. Prayer in schools will balance the minds of the children, they will know more about the spiritual world through it, and it can reduce the natural egocentrism which almost all children have. The prayer in the school teaches so many moral lessons and it teaches a child to pray not only for him but also for others. So praying makes the students to think more about their colleagues than of oneself. It also promotes the thought of the young ones that living for others is superior than living for one’s self. Prayer also gives the perception that we all are reliant upon God. This belief will lead one to live in a better way.

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Prayer in school makes the children to have spiritual union. They will have the belief that all are same in the eyes of God so there will not be any difference between rich and poor or high class and low class. And it will forbid them to do any cruel activities or be crooked towards their fellow beings because they believe that if they do any evil activities God will punish them. This belief will lead one to live in a better way. So one can say that prayer is the gasp and final spirit of the human soul from which we acquire a divine power. Through prayer our heart attains the Wellspring of existence, and it fortifies our muscles too. When one ignore prayer or prays irregularly it just means he drops his clutch with God. It is through prayer we address God, we make an ardent request. “The New Roget’s Thesaurus defines praying as invoking, supplicating, communicating with God, worshipping, begging, adjuring and pleading.” (The importance of prayer, 2009, para.2).It is through prayer we open our heart to God and there is no specific time or place to ask our needs to Him. When we start any activity first we should pray then we feel that we got some energy as God is there to guide us. Prayer for school children is beneficial in many ways, so there should be a prayer time in the school. There are many advantages of prayer in schools. It helps the children to have good character; their life style will become so simple, they will be aware of the needs of their fellowmen. So one can surely say that prayer in schools will construct better students as well as a better citizens.

Relevance of praying in psychological development

Prayer in school is beneficial to children in psychological development. Through prayer children’s negative thoughts are recognized and are restored by positive thoughts and also help their mind unified with God.

  1. Increase focus and concentration: Praying in school helps the children to increase their focus and attention to their study. While praying they concentrate only in the divine power and there is nothing in their mind. This helps them to develop concentration in their class, subjects and studies. If the subject is tough their serious concentration will make it easy and thereby they will pay more attention and focus on the subject. This will help them to acquire more about the subject and also to get high marks in that subject. Prayer also increases their focus and attention to everything they happen to see and this helps them to understand the things easily.
  2. Mental elucidation; clears mind of interruptions: Prayer helps children to clear their mind from other distractions and disturbances. While praying, their minds are free from any other disturbances and mind will be clear as crystal, thus they achieve an ability to solve any kind of problem in their studies and it will look very easy as well as simple to them. They get an awareness of everything that happens in their life and also surroundings. This awareness makes them enjoy their life. If the children are tired of continuous work and their minds are full of tensions, prayer clears their minds of tension, body of weariness. In these ways prayer helps them to be efficient, productive and successful in their life.
  3. Better thoughts; manage and less disturbing thoughts: Prayer helps children to think more about a thing and then to take an appropriate decision. A second thought makes them improve their abilities and efficiency to be a brilliant student. Prayer gives positive thoughts which gives inspiration to children to face any problem in their studies. Through prayer their mind will be clear of evil thoughts like jealousy, crookedness, enmity and so on. In the opinion of N.T. Wright, prayer helps us to escape the great suffering and set free from wickedness. (Praying ‘deliver us from evil’, 2009). Children will attain good thoughts through prayer such as love, pity towards every one, patience towards everything and they will be far away from the evil thoughts. They can even make a good friendship and relationship with other students. This way prayer helps to mould children’s character in a better way.
  4. Battle with despair: If a child often fails in his studies and relationships he will become desperate and it will lead to his mental disorder. At this critical juncture prayer plays a crucial role as it gives him peace, calm and serenity to the mind. Through prayer the child gets courage to face any obstacle.
  5. Better memory: Through prayer children gain better memory. In every religion prayer includes lot of chanting and if there is prayer in schools children have to study it thoroughly. This way of prayer increases their memory power and makes them bright.
  6. Reduce nervousness and fear: Prayer makes a significant difference in children who suffer from depression, anxiety and fear. ”The teen shows symptoms of emotional distress, which may include fearfulness, social withdrawal, depression low self-esteem, anxiety, low frustration tolerance, a lack of self-confidence, poor social skills, school avoidance or poor academic performance.” (Francisco, 2004, Emotional Distress, para.1). Mainly fear and anxiety comes from thoughts of failure. Prayer offer children good thoughts and relationship and thus they can develop a better approach to any obstacle. Through prayer they believe God will be with them if there is any trouble and this reduces their fear, anxiety and other feelings.
  7. A dominant sleep aid: Prayer gives children a sound sleep without any disturbance. Through prayer their minds get rid of fear and anxieties, become calm and quite, which results in deep sleep. The children who get sound sleep become active and energetic. Thus prayer is a good sleep aid to children. In these ways prayer is beneficial to children in emotional and psychological levels.

Praying in school has some disadvantages too. If a child gives more importance to spiritualism it may take him away from the reality. Further, there may be chances of failure in the life of children. One cannot depend on God for everything. If one wants to gain something in life he has to do hard work for it. A person’s destiny is determined by himself and not by God; so first of all one should have the confidence in his ability. The children in the school are from different religions and their beliefs and customs are different; so prayer will cause inconvenience to many of them. It is not possible to practice praying in school as there are different praying systems for different religions. Prayer in school may lead to cause confusion in the minds of children. In a Christian school the praying system is different from others and hence it may cause disharmony against this belief of other children. Materialists argue against the existence of God and spirit. Their opinion is that the “idea” is originated from the material things and not by god or soul and they believe that for every event there are material causes. Scientists are the materialists as they study the material world so the main objective of education is to develop a scientific outlook among the children which will lead to the effective intervention in nature and society by the children.

Conclusion

When concluding, praying helps the moral, psychological, spiritual and personality development of a child. When considering morality, praying can produce effective social systems and thereby reduce anti-social elements in the society. When considering its psychological aspects, it can generate concentration, focus, mental elucidation, better thoughts better memory. It can be considered as a dominant sleep aid. In spiritual level it helps to build an effective self-awareness among children. The act of praying can also develop great personalities. Above all, praying leads the child to acquire good mannerisms, positive thoughts and overall development. So praying definitely helps to improve the moral, psychological, spiritual and personality development of a child. On the other side, there is an opposite view that the children should follow the path of scientific study.

References

  1. Advantage of prayer in school. (2009). Popular Issues All About. Web.
  2. Francisco, L. (2004). Psychological and emotional aspects of adolescence- part 2: Emotional Distress. HIS Youth: May the Spirit With You.
  3. Praying ‘deliver us from evil’. (2009). Christianity today, 53(5), 54. Kaplan Higher Education.
  4. Praying ‘forgive us our sins’. (2009). Christianity today, 53(4), 54. Kaplan Higher Education.
  5. The importance of prayer. (2007). Medi Health: health & spirituality.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 8). Praying in Schools Today. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/praying-in-schools-today/

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1. StudyCorgi. "Praying in Schools Today." November 8, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/praying-in-schools-today/.


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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Praying in Schools Today." November 8, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/praying-in-schools-today/.

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