In 1960,  six-year-old Ruby Bridges was the first African-American child to integrate an all white public elementary school in the South. Every day for months federal marshals escorted Ruby past a mob of angry parents. They shouted, cursed, and threw objects and insults at her. She sat in a class room alone with the only teacher willing to instruct her, while parents kept their children home. A psychologist met with Ruby for several months to help her cope with the fear and stress she was experiencing. Ruby’s mother kept encouraging her to be strong and pray while entering the school. Ruby said every day as she walked to school and back home, she prayed, “Please God, forgive them because they don’t know what they’re doing.” She said this reduced the vehemence of the insults yelled at her and gave her courage. This was a six-year-old child! Her mother protected her the best way she could; with the power of prayer! Did I mention that Ruby was born in 1954, the same year that the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education’s decision to desegregate schools? I don’t believe this was a coincidence, I believe that Ruby was God’s ram in the bush!

Fast forward to June 2000, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that school sponsored prayer is a violation of the First Amendment. I believe as many others do that prayer in schools (and everywhere else) is a necessary part of the struggle to limit violence, drug abuse, and other social evils that afflict our country in general and schools in particular. We have seen the increase of violence in our schools and it is devastating! My heart aches whenever I hear about another shooting and innocent kids dying. I don’t have the answers on how we can get prayer back into our schools; however I pray to God that he intercede. Even though I don’t understand, I believe God is still in control and he has a ram in the bush!

There is something we can do. Let me ask a question, if the schools say your child can not take their medicine at school, would you not give it to them at all? We must teach our kids the power of prayer! Pray with them before they leave home. Teach them to pray when they get there and all day in between. Private, voluntary prayer is not only permitted in public schools, but it is constitutionally protected. Let them know that prayer can also be spoken within the heart. Students can pray privately before class or during lunch, before a test, etc. Groups of students can pray together as long as it does not interrupt activities or the classroom. As Ruby’s mother did, we can protect our children the best way we can, by teaching them the power of prayer! Much Love…


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