“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:6-7, NIV
What do you think of when you hear this familiar Hebrew greeting? I imagine that ideas like peace or well-being come to mind. Shalom is far more than just a way to say hello—and farewell. It’s more than just a blessing or a wish for a friend’s well-being. It’s more than just peace. It is an understanding that we each play an important role in God’s great story. Before time began, God planned for you and your school to make a difference in your community, right where you are, for such a time as this. Shalom is finding contentment in Jesus, no matter the cultural tides surrounding us. Jesus promised His disciples, “Peace [shalom] I leave with you; my peace [shalom] I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27, NIV). We can rest assured that where the shalom of the Lord is present, there is flourishing.
No matter our circumstances, we know that the Lord always gives us exactly what we need. When it comes to shalom, He gives us more. The prophet Isaiah declared, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3, NIV). That “perfect peace” is literally “shalom shalom”—a double portion. When we have more than we need, we can use the overflow to pour into our relationships with our friends and family, faculty and staff, and students and neighbors in our school community.
In their new book Flourishing Together, co-authors Dr. Lynn Swaner and Andy Wolfe say, “Shalom is the social evidence in a community that the vision for flourishing that Jesus offered is alive and well. Shalom is relational, communal, and plural. It is the collective peace that comes from knowing that while we may not have reached our destination, relational or otherwise, we are choosing to abide together on the journey toward flourishing.” Schools are inherently relational. As we seek the flourishing and restoration of relationships with God, one another, and creation, we are also seeking after shalom.
On this fifth-annual ACSI Day of Prayer, we ask you to join us as we pray for God’s shalom in our schools, relationships, selves, and communities. We know you pray every day, but today we ask you to partner with us and unite as a global community to pray specifically that our Christian schools, teachers, students, and families will experience His shalom. Will you pray with us?
Here are some easy steps to help guide your day:
- Visit this year’s Day of Prayer webpage—available in both English and Spanish.
- Read, share, and pray for requests on our interactive Prayer Map.
- Download the 2022 Prayer Guide and other resources for suggestions of ways you can pray and activities you can use to help focus your prayers.
- Use the hashtag #SchoolsThatPray on social media to share how you and your school are participating and follow along to see what others are doing as well.
- Most of all, know we are praying for you and with you.
About the Author
Becki Rust is the Thought Leadership Project Coordinator at the Association of Christian Schools International, where she leads project management for a wide variety of innovative and timely initiatives, programs, and events. She also serves as editor for the ACSI Blog and the WLCE Blog. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from The King’s College in New York City.