Tags: Religion | students | prayer | exams

Prayers For School Exams

By    |   Thursday, 28 May 2015 05:59 PM

There is nothing like a school exam to make a student want to appeal for divine intervention. For some students, prayer is a powerful and comforting way to get a boost of positive energy when sitting down to take a big test.

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Private, religious educational institutions, such as Xavier University and Marquette University, offer exam prayers on their school websites. Secular institutions, such as New York University have the chapters of the Christian Newman Club on campus, also offer texts of prayers on their school-sponsored club webpage.The prayers ask for good focus and peace of mind rather than anxiety.

Prayer for academic success is not unique to Christian faiths, however, Chabad.org, the website for the Orthodox Jewish synagogue, has a page advising students how to pray for exams and suggests reading certain chapters of the Torah during exam preparation periods.

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Organized group prayer for success at school becomes a problematic matter when it is conducted as compulsory part of participating in public school activities. In 2013, the Washington Post published a story about the Maryland public high school football team of Suitland High School in Prince George’s County, kneels and recites the Lord’s Prayer on the field before every game. In 2013 the team’s then-captain Steven Rivers, a Muslim, told the Washington Post that “I’m not even supposed to be saying the prayer. But I do because I’m the captain… I say my own prayer.”

Prayer has become a tradition for the Suitland football team, expanding beyond the Christianity and to other faiths as well. The Washington Post also reported that 60 Maryland high school football coaches claimed to have witnessed their teams engage in student-led prayer before games.

Another example of group prayer offered at public school is the organization See You at the Pole, a nonprofit organization that encourages students of all ages to lead prayer at the flagpole of schools nationally before the start of the school day. According to the group’s site, students pray to “lift up their friends, families, teachers, school, and nation to God.” The encourage students to "gather your friends" to pray.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) monitors and at times intervenes in matters of group prayer at public school, whether for exams, athletic games, or just to start the day, saying on their website, “The ACLU works to protect public school students’ religious freedom by curbing the practice of school-sponsored prayer and proselytizing while simultaneously ensuring that students may freely express and exercise their faith.”

URGENT: Should Students Be Allowed to Pray in Public Schools? Vote Here Now!

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There is nothing like a school exam to make a student want to appeal for divine intervention.
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Thursday, 28 May 2015 05:59 PM
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