Prayer is a powerful tool that believers use to connect themselves with their God. Prayer can bring us closer to God and help align our lives to be healthier and more positive. Prayer can heal and can help people overcome great challenges, even that of sobriety. Because prayer is such an important part of many people’s lives, some people are proposing we use prayer to prevent our children from getting involved with drugs and alcohol and other teen temptations.
Permitting “Inspirational Messages” in Schools
Florida has a new school prayer bill, already signed by Governor Rick Scott, but still under debate. The new law allows schools to adopt policies that would let students give “inspirational messages” during school. The wording is vague for a reason, to permit those messages to be prayers or hate speeches or other words of inspiration that young people want to convey.
Preventing Drugs, Sex, and Violence in Schools
The point that one legislator, Rep. Charles Van Zant, wants to make is that allowing students to pray and display their religious freedom, even at school, will help decrease problems like drug abuse, teen pregnancy, and violence in schools.
“You can look at the many social ills in our country that have developed in [the last] 50 years,” said Van Zant. “Before we took out school prayer, the biggest problems in school were talking out of turn or chewing gum. Today, the problems are drug abuse, teen pregnancy, rape and assault. School problems speak for themselves. By allowing for inspirational messages, those problems will be addressed.”
While this law is still being debated by the religious and non-religious community, many people do agree that prayer can help our students. In fact, many argue that if more students would pray regularly, they would be more likely to stay away from drugs, alcohol, and sex. Many student organizations meet for Bible study and prayer, and it is not unusual for students to turn to their God in prayer during a tough time in their life. When students lose a classmate suddenly, or a tragedy strikes our nation, we find students gathering at prayer vigils, holding candles. It is natural for believers to pray about anything that troubles them, including the temptation to use drugs or alcohol.
Pray for Our Youth
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley believes parents should be encouraged to pray for their children. He sees the trouble our kids face. “Alabama students face extreme challenges, such as peer pressure to abuse drugs and alcohol, negative influences in the media, school violence and gang activities, and low self-esteem,” Bentley stated in a proclamation.
Governor Bentley has proclaimed March 30th “Day of Prayer Over Students Across Alabama”. During this day, he encourages everyone in the state to pause and pray for the wellbeing of their youth. Many groups like the idea and hope this activity continues in the future.