The rain was pouring down and the steam was rising from the parking lot as I sat in my car waiting for the seven o’clock hour. Some members of the congregation had shared the idea of this gathering with me about six months before. “What if we gathered at each of the school parking lots in the Stow- Monroe Falls School District the evening before school started and prayed?” I thought it was a wonderful idea.
We began organizing ourselves and individuals volunteered to be at each of the parking lots of our nine schools. We invited others to join us for a prayer at 7pm to lift up our students, teachers, support staff, administration, families, and community. We prayed that we had an engaging and safe school year. We wanted to be deliberate and focused.
Of course I had no idea how the Parking Lot Prayer would go but everyone involved shared that it was a wonderful experience and that knowing we were all praying together was very moving. The last sentences of our shared prayer were these:
Protective God, we pray for the safety of all who work and learn here. Bless their coming in and their going out. Bless their efforts. Bless their toil and play. Help all of us make the most of the year ahead.
All this we pray with hope and courage.
Rain wasn’t the only thing that was being poured over our schools that evening!