President Obama plans on addressing America's school children this week concerning the importance of education.
At www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1986_i_hope_my_daughter_hears_the_presidents_speech, John Piper has shared this prayer for the president as he prepares to talk to the children of the United States:
"Father, the condition of our schools and families is so broken that nothing seems to be working, especially for the poor in our urban centers. Help our president to have the courage to use his amazing place of influence to speak into this situation in such a way that boys and girls would take their studies seriously and put school above sport and homework above hiphop and graduation above gangs.
"O, Lord, create a culture where it is not cool to fail. Give our president the courage to call all children, especially ones who feel hopeless about academic work, to fight for knowledge the way gangs fight for turf.
"And as the president plans his speech, help him to feel as helpless as he really is to meet the greatest needs of our children, so that he turns to Jesus who alone has the answer for the ruin and the wrongs of our cities. In Jesus' name, Amen."
I have noticed the respect that several of the kids in the Contact Church give to President Obama. They wear t-shirts bearing his image, and request prayers specifically for him during our prayer and praise portion of the worship services. They identify with him and listen to him. If other children of the inner city look to him with similar admiration, his speech could be a catalyst in turning some of them away from the temptations to drop out of school, experience drug addiction, and join gangs. I join with John Piper in praying that President Obama's influence will be used to encourage the best from our children.
(On a personal but related side note, our son Christopher faced his very first test in school this past week. He scored 100% on his first spelling test!)