The Beginning of Knowledge – Praying for Better Basics

Happy Friday! Today, we are praying for an organization called Better Basics. Based in Birmingham, it was founded in 1993 by a man named John Glosser on the belief that poverty and illiteracy are so closely linked that they are practically one and the same. Their mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of children and their families by advancing literacy through enrichment and intervention programs. They do this by providing literacy intervention, enrichment programs, and educational programs for elementary and middle-school students throughout Alabama. Better Basics was recently listed as a “Top Ten Charity to Watch” by Charity Navigator, and has a 4-star rating with them based on fiscal responsibility and program results. Karen Kapp has been the executive director since 2008, having been part of Better Basics since 1998. As of this month, she is retiring and Ammie Akin will become executive director. (Can we all take a moment to appreciate the alliteration in the names of these two executive directors of a literacy organization whose name is also alliterated?! It’s just fantastic.)

Proverbs 1:1-7 – “1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, to discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity; 4 To give prudence to the naive, to the youth knowledge and discretion, 5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, 6 To understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Holy Father, You are awesome, great, majestic in wonder, and fearsome. No one and nothing can stand in Your awesome presence unless You enable them. Yet through Your Son and through Your Word You have revealed Yourself to us in ways that we can understand. But even the deepest revelations to humankind of who You are are but the tiniest of portions of Yourself. How amazing to know that such a holy God desires a relationship with us! You amaze us with Your splendor and with Your love!

Father, we live in a culture in which it is more obvious than ever the father of lies rules. It is so vitally important to know truth as it is revealed in Your Word by the Holy Spirit. Our young people, our children, are paying with their lives for a lack of knowledge and truth. Yes, I know literacy is vital to being a successful student and becoming a successful adult, but as I was researching and praying about how You would have us pray, the importance of knowing Your Word quickly came to the forefront. We pray that as these students learn to read and cultivate a love of learning and reading, that You would reveal Yourself to them. Draw them to Your written word and to the Living Word. Let the precepts and statutes shape their thinking. Let the revealed person of Christ teach them how completely they are loved – and what real, safe, sacrificial love looks like.  We pray that our students in the metro-Birmingham area, and throughout our state, would know wisdom and instruction, have discernment and understanding. Let them receive instruction in wise behavior, justice, and equity. Give them knowledge and discretion so that they can become wise adults who know and defend truth.

We thank You for Better Basics and their passion to spread the love of reading to students around the state. We especially pray for them as they transition from one executive director to the new one. Even the best of leadership transitions have their challenges. (My church just changed worship pastors earlier this year, and is now changing our lead pastor, both under the best of circumstances, with the former worship pastor and former senior pastor getting called to bigger levels of responsibility because of their faithfulness and integrity, so boy do I get this, and boy can it still be so hard at times.) We pray that Ms. Akin will keep her eyes steadfastly on the Lord, walking in the fear of the Lord and with wisdom and discernment. We pray for unity among the staff and volunteers even as they grieve not working with their friend and former director and support and encourage their new director. Encourage and strengthen them through this transition. We pray for new ideas, new creativity, new partnerships, and that together as an organization, Better Basics would continue to grow in wisdom, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord. Use this organization to spread literacy, the love of learning, and most of all, truth as it is revealed in Your Word. Amen.

To find out more information about Better Basics, and how to get involved by giving, volunteering or praying, go here.