Lyndon Bowring

Every school a prayed-for school

Executive Chairman of CARE, Lyndon Bowring comments on the causes close to the heart of the Christian community.

CARE’s initiative Pray for Schools, led by my wife Celia, brings God’s blessing into the heart of the community. I asked her about it.

What does Pray for Schools do?
It’s a partnership of seven national organisations: CARE, Open the Book, Prayer Spaces in Schools, Scripture Union, Association of Christian Teachers, Youth for Christ and the Free Churches Group who run Education Sunday each September.

It’s my privilege to chair this part of CARE’s ministry.

We’re in touch with more than 800 groups of parents, teachers, schools-workers and others who pray for their local schools – maybe once a term.

We welcome new groups and individual intercessors to join us in raising a canopy of prayer over our precious children, who might otherwise never be prayed for.

We organise resources and events throughout the year to focus on pupils and staff, and education issues that arise.

Pray for Schools Wales is also growing, networking with key Christian leaders and using bilingual material.

How did it start?
Michael Philip, a peripatetic music teacher in Glasgow, started Schools Prayer Network in the 1980s.

One school where he worked had a serious vandalism problem, so he encouraged the young people in the Christian Union to pray, and it stopped almost immediately.

Michael felt that if prayer brought change in one school, it could in others too. As the Network grew, he asked Scripture Union to develop it in Scotland and CARE to expand it elsewhere in the UK.

In May 2009, we changed the name to Pray for Schools.

Can you share some highlights?
So many prayers have been answered, from financial provision to openings for Christians to minister in schools. Pupils and staff have been healed and successful OFSTED inspections in struggling schools achieved.

One group multiplied so much it has covered every school in their local county for over 20 years now.

Countless children, teachers, ancillary staff, governors, chaplains and schools-workers have experienced God’s help and blessing.

And during the pandemic we hosted several Zoom prayer events uniting Christians nationwide to intercede with passionate concern about all that our schools were experiencing.

What’s the vision for the future?
We long for every UK school to be a prayed-for school.

That’s probably only possible as more churches come forward to support the schools in their neighbourhood through prayer, and practically too

It would be great if at the start of each academic year children and adults involved in education were commissioned in a Sunday service.

We have great ‘Back to School with God’ ideas for this on our website as well as details about Education Sunday. And perhaps you could pray for a school near you.

Please email and let us know on

First published in the March 2022 issue of Direction, Elim’s monthly magazine. Subscribe now to get Direction delivered to your home.

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