New school prayer

Claim:   The satirical poem The New School Prayer was penned by a schoolchild.

Examples:  

THE NEW SCHOOL PRAYER

This was written by a teen in Bagdad, Arizona. This is incredible!

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That’s no offense; it’s a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God’s name is prohibited by the state.

We’re allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They’ve outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the ‘unwed daddy,’ our Senior King.
It’s “inappropriate” to teach right from wrong,
We’re taught that such “judgments” do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It’s scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school’s a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!

Amen

Origins:   This

bit of doggerel has variously been attributed to “a child in Boston,” “a 12-year-old girl in Boston,” and “a teen in Baghdad, Arizona.” Additionally, some versions also lay claim to a date of origin: “This was written by a teen in Bagdad, Arizona, in January of 2000, and posted on a public bulletin board.”

The earliest example of the full text collected so far comes from June 1999, which immediately puts paid to the “January 2000” claim associated with one version. But the piece is much older than that — witness the following verse harvested from a 1992 issue of The Washington Times and credited to “an anonymous student”:

Now I sit me down in school,
where praying is against the rule:
For this great nation under God
finds public mention of him odd.
Any prayer a class recites
now violates the Bill of Rights;
All I ask is a minute of quiet,
and if I feel like praying I’ll try it;
If not, O Lord, one plea I make:
If knifed in school, my soul You’ll take.

In 1993 a greatly expanded version of the above verse appeared in the pages of The Detroit News, thanks to an article by former U.S. Treasury Secretary William E. Simon, who included it in a piece he authored for the National Review magazine. Once again an “anonymous student” was credited for the prayer:

Now I sit me down in school,
Where praying is against the rule;
For this great nation under God,
Finds public mention of Him quite odd.
Any prayer a class recites,
Now violates the Bill of Rights;
The law is specific, the law is precise;
Praying aloud is no longer nice;
Praying out loud in a public hall
Upsets believers in nothing-at-all.
In silence alone we can meditate,
And if God should be reached, well, that’s great.
This rule, however, has one gimmick in it,
You have to be finished in less than a minute.
So all I ask is a minute of quiet,
And if I feel like praying, then maybe I’ll try it.
If not, O Lord, this one plea I make:
Should I be knifed in school, my soul You’ll take.

Yet even that example wasn’t the beginning of this poem. A Xerox-lore version in circulation is inscribed “1/85 found in Jim’s German book”:

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule,
For this great nation under God
Finds public mention of him odd,
Any prayer a class recites
Now violates the bill of rights;
Any time my head I bow
Becomes a federal matter now.
Teach us of stars, of pole and equator
But make no mention of their creator;
Tell us of exports in Denmark and Sweden
But not a word of what Eve did in Eden
The law is specific, the law is precise
Praying out loud is no longer nice;
Praying aloud in a public hall
Upsets believers in nothing at all.
In silence alone can we meditate
And if God gets the credit…. great!
This rule, however has a gimmick in it:
You’ve got to be finished in less than a minute;
So all that I ask is a minute of quiet
If I feel like praying, then maybe I’ll try it;
If not, oh Lord, this plea I make,
If I die in school, my soul you’ll take.

This version is simply signed “Anonymous” — no claims are made that it was penned by an anonymous student.

Anonymous student or adult with a pro-school prayer agenda, the poem, in all its incarnations, is a fine rip on “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” (which itself exists in a myriad of versions):

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take
Keep me safely through the night
And wake me up with morning light

“The New School Prayer” puts a different spin on the usual arguments in support of school prayer by asserting that the kids themselves — not just their parents — want organized prayer re-instituted within the public school system.

By the way, there really is a Bagdad, Arizona. (Yes, that’s its correct spelling — the fellow who named the place out of admiration for “Arabian Nights” stories he’d read as a child forgot the silent ‘h’ that should have been in there.) Bagdad is a town with a population of approximately 1,800. It can be found ninety miles west of Phoenix, at the end of Arizona 96.

Barbara “letting the cat out of the bagdad” Mikkelson

Update:   In November 2004, a high school principal in Athens, Georgia, read “The New School Prayer” over the school’s intercom, then apologized a week later after receiving complaints from parents who said his actions violated the principle of separation of church and state.

Last updated:   1 December 2004

 

  Sources:

    DeSmet, Kate.   “Church’s Newsletter, A Student’s Secret Prayer.”     The Detroit News.   7 May 1993   (p. B3).

    McCaslin, John.   “Inside the Beltway.”
    The Washington Times.   29 October 1992   (p. A6).     Associated Press.   “Principal Sorry for ‘School Prayer’ Poem.”

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer.   29 November 2004.

www.snopes.com

By a 15-year-old SCHOOL KID who got an A+ for this entry.

The Lord’s Prayer is not allowed in most US public schools anymore.
A kid in Minnesota wrote the following…

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule.
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That’s no offense; it’s a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God’s name is prohibited by the State.

We’re allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They’ve outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the ‘unwed daddy,’ our Senior King.
It’s ‘inappropriate’ to teach right from wrong,
We’re taught that such ‘judgments’ do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It’s scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school’s a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!

Amen.

www.knye.com

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It’s that time of year where new clothes are purchased and organized  supplies are awaiting the big event; the first day of school.

Whether you or not you are sad to see the summer come to a close, a new school year is upon us all.

It’s a fresh slate and a time of new opportunities.

new school prayer

As a parent of two children heading to school, I am especially sensitive of this experience and am looking for ways to ease the transition for us all.

But before I do anything else, I am committing to pray every day starting August 1st for my children’s new school year.

Will you join me for 30 days of prayer for your child and the new school year?

So get your tissues ready {or maybe I am the only one who is teary in sending the kids off to school}, and hit your knees. Let’s dedicate 30 days to pray for the new school year.

Day 1- Spiritually

Pray that your child will understand the Gospel and learn to apply biblical principles to every aspect of life.

Day 2- Relationship to the teacher

Pray that your child will develop a deep respect and appreciation for his/her teacher and will act respectful of all authority figures.

Day 3- Relationship to peers

Pray that your child will develop a close bond with his peers and that he/she will choose friends wisely.

Day 4- Wisdom

Pray that your child will develop the ability to discern right from wrong and put it into practice on a daily basis.

Day 5- Conviction

Pray that your child will be convicted by sin and be found out when he/she does wrong.

Day 6- Honesty

Pray that your child will desire to be honest, even when it’s hard or when he/she gets into trouble.

Day 7- Kindness

Pray that your child will treat others with kindness, even when it is not popular.

Day 8- Compassion

Pray that your child will be compassionate, and show the love of Jesus to those who are hurting.

Day 9- Being a servant

Pray that your child learns to be a servant and sees the beauty of being the hands and feet of Jesus.

Day 10- Humility

Pray that your child learns to be humble and not to brag about his/her success.

Day 11- Desire to learn

Pray that your child will develop a love of learning and desire to be a life-long learner.

Day 12- Strongest subject

Pray that your child will be challenged in his/her strongest subject and will be pushed out of his/her comfort zone.

Day 13- Weakest subject

Pray that your child will make progress and tremendous growth in an area of weakness.

Day 14- Confident learner

Pray that your child will be confident in his/her abilities as a student.

Day 15- Learning issues exposed

Pray that any learning issues or suspected weakness will be brought to light.

new school prayer

Day 16- Emotional growth

Pray that your child will mature in emotional stability and be comforted as their faith deepens in understanding.

Day 17- Sensitivity

Pray that your child will have a tender spirit and be will to help those in need.

Day 18- Evangelical spirit

Pray that your child will be excited to share the message of Jesus, no matter the cost.

Day 19- Become a good listener

Pray that God will open the ears of your child to hear the teacher and an open heart to listen to others.

Day 20- Self-control

Pray that your child will learn self-control and have the discipline to use it in even the toughest of situations.

Day 21- Think before speaking

Pray that your child will learn to guard their tongue and to think about words before speaking aloud.

Day 22- Guarded mind

Pray that your child will have a guarded mind and thoughts of the Lord will be planted, and not be easily uprooted.

Day 23- Softened heart

Pray that your child has a softened heart towards the gospel and will hear the good news with open ears.

Day 24- Quick to forgive

Pray that your child will be quick to extend grace when a wrong has been done to him/her.

Day 25- Slow to anger

Pray that your child will have a long fuse and not anger easily.

Day 26- Joy

Pray that your child will experience the joy of the Lord and not look for happiness in the things of the world.

Day 27- Strength

Pray that your child will have the strength to do what is right and do grow in physical strength as well.

Day 28- Safety

Pray that your child will be safe in sports, and on the playground.

Day 29- Protection

Pray that God will protect your child from harm’s way.

Day 30- Balance

Pray that your child will learn to balance responsibilities in school, home, and life with God’s help and strength.

Grab a printable copy of the 30 Days of Prayer for the new School Year FREE for subscribers to Faith Along the Way!

Mom’s Back-to-School Printable pack is exclusively for subscribers, and will be e-mailed to you in a welcome e-mail. Be sure to check your spam box if you don’t see it right away!

How do you prepare your children for back-to-school?  What are your prayers for your children as they start a new year?

new school prayer

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About Sarah Ann

Welcome to Faith Along the Way! I am a redeemed child of God and perfectly imperfect in every area of my life. Wife to Hubs, we’ve battled the storms of Cancer, infertility, adoption & Autism together the past 10 years and praise God for his continued guidance. I hope you’ll join us on this journey through life as we trust God with faith along the way.

faithalongtheway.com

It’s been awhile since posting, summer and life has been busy with work. Did get a chance to get away for abit over the summer this month. Visted some family with my brother and went places in BC. Have alot of pictures to sort thorugh, I think I got through maybe a quarter of them. HAHAHA, While I was there My Aunty Tracy gave me some really cool to read, and so I thought I’d share. Hopefully it’s easy to see/read (double click to make it bigger!) 

It’s called New School Prayer, It was written by a 15 year old school kid who got an A+ for this entry ( Totally Awesome) The Lords Prayer Is not allowed in most US Public Schools any more. A kid in Minnesota, worte the following: 

new school prayer

tiggermcd.com

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