Summer Prayer Journey: Praying for Banks Academy

This week we are praying for Banks Academy, which is a private Christian high school which opened in August of last year in Eastlake. As they enter their second year of operation, they are welcoming 9th and 10th grade students. A grade will be added each year until all four high school grades are established. Students who meet the qualifications to enroll at Banks Academy are offered scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition. Surrounded by public schools who are struggling with low test scores and high drop-out rates, parents in the East Lake and surrounding communities now have a choice when it comes to their children’s high school education. The school is named after the original Banks High School, which also started with just a 9th grade class in 1957, but went on to become a pillar of the community and a school recognized on a national level because of its academics and athletics. Dr. Kathy King is the school’s principal.

From their website:
Our school provides:
A safe and secure school building and environment.
A group of teachers committed to getting students caught up to their grade level.
A vision for the future in which they are taught to be self sufficient.
A quality education that is based on merit and not on pushing them through the system.
A cutting edge school in which successful strategies of learning are implemented.
A Christ centered setting in which the authority of our lives is Jesus Christ and the written word of God.

Deut. 6: 4-9, 20-25 – 4 “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

20 “When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What do the testimonies and the statutes and the judgments mean which the LORD our God commanded you?’ 21 then you shall say to your son, ‘We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us from Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 Moreover, the LORD showed great and distressing signs and wonders before our eyes against Egypt, Pharaoh and all his household; 23 He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He had sworn to our fathers.’ 24 So the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God for our good always and for our survival, as it is today. 25 It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the LORD our God, just as He commanded us.

Lord God, there is no god like You! There is no god like You in the earth or in the heavens. You keep covenants and show mercy to those who walk before You with all of their hearts. (from I Kings 8:23) You are never-changing. You are the same God who rescued Your people from Egypt, and who rescued Your people from sin and death at the cross. Hallelujah! Let Your deeds and the wonders of Your love be proclaimed from generation to generation!

Father, children today are not taught to remember You. We confess that somewhere along the way, we became too comfortable and we forgot You. As a result, our young people are growing up in a culture of fear, violence, anger, and immorality. Forgive us, Lord God, and rescue this generation! Cause us to be diligent to teach our children about You. Turn the hearts of this generation to You, Lord. Do not let the enemy continue to harm them and destroy them. Let the Way, the Truth, and the Life be made know to them.

We pray for Banks Academy as they gear up for their second school year. Equip Dr. King and her staff with the wisdom, discernment, strength, and the fruit of the Spirit as they impart knowledge and truth into their students. We pray that every young person who comes to Banks Academy would come to know You as their personal Savior and Lord, and in so doing, let it change their lives, their families, and their community for their good and for Your glory. By the time they’re reached high school age and can attend Banks Academy, a lot of these kids have already seen and experienced a lot of harsh realities. We pray that You would empower the teachers and staff to continually speak and demonstrate the love of Christ to each student. Let generational strongholds be torn down in Jesus’ name. Let wounded and hurting hearts find peace and healing through the power of the Gospel as it is lived out through the staff at Banks Academy.

We also pray that You would meet the practical needs this ministry has going into the new school year. We pray for more donors so that they can continue offering scholarships to their students. We pray that You would provide physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual protection for Dr. King and her staff, for the students, and for the board members of Banks Academy. Let the staff keep their eyes fixed on You, committed to Your Word and to prayer. We pray that Banks Academy would be a school that fears the Lord. Amen.

Feel free to add your prayers or comments below. I love hearing from those who are joining us in prayer!


Non-profits Summer Prayer Journey – First Priority of Alabama

We begin our final month of this summer prayer journey. I was excited when Kevin Moore first told me about it, but as I keep telling you, it has been so much richer and perspective-altering than I could have imagined. See the calendar, here, for which ministries are coming up next.

This week, we are praying for First Priority of Alabama. You can visit their website or find them on Facebook. They have a ton of photos on their Facebook page of the different schools they minister in. It touched my heart to see so many kids engaged with the opportunity to experience the Gospel, and to see other students leading their peers in that endeavor. It is also great timing that we’re praying for them now, as August is FP Month, which is a month filled with FP trainings, prayer gatherings, commissioning of students, speaking engagement in churches, and much more. They have several ways you can be involved in  FP month listed on this page.

First Priority was founded in 1990, with the vision of seeing the hope of Christ in every student. A city-wide church vision, First Priority provides a comprehensive plan of action for churches, students, parents, and community leaders to help create unity, resources, mentoring, and strategy within the city, communities, and on campuses to reach and disciple a generation with the love and message of Jesus Christ. Last school year, they saw over 520 decisions for Christ and over 13,000 students who participated in First Priority and FPKids. You can find First Priority on the campuses of many local middle and high schools being initiated and led by students. Greg Davis, host of Priority Talk radio on WXJC 850 am and 92.5 fm, is the president of this organization.

I Timothy 4:10-12 – “10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. 11 Prescribe and teach these things. 12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”

Heavenly Father, You are not a god made of wood, stone, clay, or precious metals. You are the true and living God, who hears with Your ears, sees with Your hands, and whose heart beats with compassion and love for Your Creation. Not only are You the God of all Creation, but You are also the God of our salvation. The story of salvation is not just a legend, but so real that it has the power to transform lives, heal broken hearts, and set captives free. We give You all glory and honor, praise and thanksgiving for being the Real, Living God Who Saves. Praise You, Lord God Almighty!

No one would argue that we live in a dark culture, and in recent weeks, we’ve seen that it’s even darker than we imagined in some ways. Our children and young people face so many traps, snares, deceit, and evil that we would never have even considered having to deal with when we were their ages. Only the Light of the Gospel can counter the growing tide of evil, and it must shine from within them, not just around them. We pray that no matter the life story, no matter the background, no matter the heartache and grief and fear and pain, step in and save this generation, O God. Be Father to the fatherless. Be Hope to the hopeless. Be Life to the dying. Be Light against the darkness. Be Rescuer to the abused. Be Comforter to the hurting. Be Love to the angry and hateful. Be Healer to the broken. Be Lord and Savior to all of them.

We pray that First Priority’s vision of the hope of Christ in every student would become a reality. That is not too big a vision for You to accomplish, Lord. Provide the resources this ministry needs to accomplish such an awesome vision. Raise up godly volunteers to mentor the students. Raise up churches to partner with this ministry and to engage in the lives of students who may never set foot in their church. Give them favor with school officials to continue meeting on campuses. We pray for Greg Davis and the leadership of First Priority. Give them wisdom and the discernment to know how You are leading them to go, and give them the courage and ability to follow. We also pray for a spirit of unity among the leadership and among the students who are participating. Give them strength to labor and strive for the Gospel and for the hearts of the students.

We also pray for the student leadership in each school who have chosen to speak out for the Gospel and to live for Christ. We pray that they would be bold for the Gospel, but in a spirit of humility. Give them the strength to be faithful and consistent in what they say, how they act, the values they display, and how the handle temptation in order to show themselves as an example of those who believe. Give them the freedom not to be perfect, but to be forgiven. Let their faith and testimony not be about works of righteousness that they’ve done, but about Your mercy to save us and wash us and fill us with Your Spirit. (from Titus 3:5) At the same time, we also pray that they would live and walk as God’s workmanship, created in Christ for good works, which God prepared for them beforehand. (from Eph. 2:10)

Lord, by Your grace and mercy, and by the power of the Gospel, let us see this generation redeemed and set free in Christ. Continue to enable First Priority to partner with You, and provide churches and community leaders to partner with them. We ask all of this for Your honor and glory. Amen.