Would you pray with a student?

  1. I have a 5th grade student who came to me last week that I ended up making a child abuse report on. Today, she came to me and informed me that her "safe" caregiver has been removed from the house and is currently hospitalized (unrelated) and is possibly in a coma.

    She has mentioned her faith a number of times to me and what a comfort it is. I am also a Christian. I have told her that I am praying for her and for her situation, but believe that encouraging her spiritually as well as taking some private time to pray with her at school would be of help to her physically, spiritually, and emotionally. She has been missing quite a bit of class time due to her emotional state.

    I know that this is not legal. But for my Christian nurses: Where does our requirement to follow worldly laws end and our commitment to our patient and to God begin? Would you or do you pray with your students if requested or encourage them spiritually when necessary?
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    About smudges.blips, LPN

    Joined: May '17; Posts: 22; Likes: 36
    from US

    87 Comments

  3. by   OyWithThePoodles
    If a student requested, in a heartbeat. We pray at staff meetings and I have a Bible verse on my wall. I would not initiate but if the student asked me to I would. Am I "wrong" for that, maybe. But I'm okay with that.
  4. by   WineRN
    I feel like a student's mental health does fall within our scope, and if you really believe that praying with her in school will help with that, then I see nothing wrong what that. That being said, because of the setting you are in, you obviously can't make a big production of it. Do you have a back room in your office where you can bring her? Can you print out a small prayer that the two of you can read in silence together?
  5. by   Eleven011
    Same as poodles. If a student requested, you bet I would. I've also told students I'd be praying for them/their family. Not being pushy, just following their lead.
  6. by   OldDude
    My first reaction would be my Christianity and the pursuit thereof would be a higher calling than separation of church and state. But as I pondered the aftermath of the possibility of being fired as a result of praying at school I can't help but think God might tell me..."You know you could of handled that differently!" So, I'm reminded of Matthew 18:20..."For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them." I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned, "encourage them spiritually." The state isn't allowed to encourage any particular religious belief on another but it can't prohibit any religious belief either. I believe you could "encourage" a conversation with her wherein you provide a safe communication pathway for her to express her concerns and feelings and if her Christian beliefs became part of the conversation, that would be part of the therapeutic communication. Remember, prayer comes in all forms and fashions - not just a recitation of words. And, as Matthew mentioned, Jesus would be present and I believe He would completely understand the purpose of the conversation.

    What a thoughtful and heartfelt post! Blessings and Peace of Christ to you!
  7. by   kidzcare
    I think religion is very personal and I would probably not pray with a student. Everyone fulfills their spirituality in a different way. I am pretty conscious of how I speak when people are having hard times. I always say "I will be thinking of you" but don't specify praying. When I have hard times, I accept with equal gratefulness being kept in peoples' thoughts or prayers.

    For example, when my daughter broke her arm and had surgery, I kept this board updated and many nurses said they were thinking of us and probably more said they were praying for us. I appreciate both.
  8. by   Supernrse01
    Quote from OldDude
    My first reaction would be my Christianity and the pursuit thereof would be a higher calling than separation of church and state. But as I pondered the aftermath of the possibility of being fired as a result of praying at school I can't help but think God might tell me..."You know you could of handled that differently!" So, I'm reminded of Matthew 18:20..."For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them." I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned, "encourage them spiritually." The state isn't allowed to encourage any particular religious belief on another but it can't prohibit any religious belief either. I believe you could "encourage" a conversation with her wherein you provide a safe communication pathway for her to express her concerns and feelings and if her Christian beliefs became part of the conversation, that would be part of the therapeutic communication. Remember, prayer comes in all forms and fashions - not just a recitation of words. And, as Matthew mentioned, Jesus would be present and I believe He would completely understand the purpose of the conversation.

    What a thoughtful and heartfelt post! Blessings and Peace of Christ to you!
    Thank you OldDude! This response brought tears and chills and I am thankful that your kiddos have someone like you in their daily life. I pray everyday to be a better example for those that I am around and your reminder through Matthew was much needed today!
  9. by   Flare
    If it makes a student feel better during times of crisis to pray, then I say let them pray. I will hold their hand, bow my head and respectfully give them the time they need. I am not particularly religious so I don't feel comfortable leading a prayer.
  10. by   AdobeRN
    Quote from Flare
    If it makes a student feel better during times of crisis to pray, then I say let them pray. I will hold their hand, bow my head and respectfully give them the time they need. I am not particularly religious so I don't feel comfortable leading a prayer.
    Same here.
  11. by   OldDude
    Quote from AdobeRN
    Same here.
    I avoid public prayer if I can. One of my favorite stories is about the child singing his ABCs while attending church. The Pastor asked him if he was practicing his alphabet and the kid told him - No, that he didn't know what words to use for a prayer but he knew the alphabet song and he was sure God would know what he was singing about. Now that's an example of..."in the hearts of the children where pure love still grows."
  12. by   Cattz
    AMEN OldDude! Thanks for that wonderful, deep post. I would not hesitate to pray with her! I am a firm believer that I am fortunate enough to have this job, so that I can make a difference in young lives. My faith and my heart for kids is my best thing I have to offer when kids' situations are so tough. Happy Happy Friday friends!
  13. by   jaderook01
    Quote from smudges.blips
    I have a 5th grade student who came to me last week that I ended up making a child abuse report on. Today, she came to me and informed me that her "safe" caregiver has been removed from the house and is currently hospitalized (unrelated) and is possibly in a coma.

    She has mentioned her faith a number of times to me and what a comfort it is. I am also a Christian. I have told her that I am praying for her and for her situation, but believe that encouraging her spiritually as well as taking some private time to pray with her at school would be of help to her physically, spiritually, and emotionally. She has been missing quite a bit of class time due to her emotional state.

    I know that this is not legal. But for my Christian nurses: Where does our requirement to follow worldly laws end and our commitment to our patient and to God begin? Would you or do you pray with your students if requested or encourage them spiritually when necessary?
    I hope you don't mind my perspective. While I am currently a nurse, I was a teacher for much longer. Also, I'm a Christian. I often prayed for my students- they just never realized it. However, an issue with which I had to contend is that I am Orthodox Christian and I don't believe I ever had a student that was. Our prayers are not what the typical Evangelical, non-denominational Christian of America would pray. From a parental perspective, would you want a teacher or a nurse or any other adult attempting to influence your child in their own beliefs, even if your child asked them to pray for him or her? For all that we all call ourselves Christians there really is a wide variety of beliefs to be had. For example, if you're a devout Calvinist type would you want someone with very differing theology from yours to push their version of things on your own kids?
  14. by   OldDude
    Quote from jaderook01
    I hope you don't mind my perspective. While I am currently a nurse, I was a teacher for much longer. Also, I'm a Christian. I often prayed for my students- they just never realized it. However, an issue with which I had to contend is that I am Orthodox Christian and I don't believe I ever had a student that was. Our prayers are not what the typical Evangelical, non-denominational Christian of America would pray. From a parental perspective, would you want a teacher or a nurse or any other adult attempting to influence your child in their own beliefs, even if your child asked them to pray for him or her? For all that we all call ourselves Christians there really is a wide variety of beliefs to be had. For example, if you're a devout Calvinist type would you want someone with very differing theology from yours to push their version of things on your own kids?
    I agree with you if the point of the prayer was to "influence" the girl to believe in accordance to your particular religion. But in this case, I believe it wouldn't really matter if smudges.blips was a Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Bahai, or Islamist if the point of praying with the Christian girl was to facilitate comfort and ease emotional pain.
    Last edit by OldDude on Jan 5

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