By Shanay Jones
Could the scariest and most defining time in my life be what I had been requesting in my prayers? As a leader of the prayer team at my school and pastor of my own ministry, I had experienced the first panic attack of my life when coronavirus greeted the world with its ugly face. My heart would quiver when I saw the news or even see the picture of the virus.
Suddenly I realized that I had to snap out of the tormenting fear I felt and grab hold to my faith! How would the world, my family or coworkers know the power of God if I allowed fear to rule my life? I had to pray over my mind and heart. I had to dive into the Word of God to increase my faith. I had to pray with the saints of God! I had to remember God’s great love for me and trust Him!
For years, the prayer team at my school has prayed for salvation and protection over the workers, students, and families of our school. I had to ask myself, Could this coronavirus be a tool that God is using to draw our students and staff to Himself? Could this be a tool that God is using to draw the world to repentance?
It was on a Friday evening that the governor of Illinois and mayor of Chicago announced that we wouldn’t be returning to work until late March, now April.
But we had to return on Monday to prepare our students and parents with homework and resources for the break. So, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, the co-leader of my school’s prayer group and I decided to have prayer with the staff at the end of the day. There were a good number of people that showed up. I saw that this would be the beginning of destiny discovered and defined during destruction. In other words, God was allowing something terrifying to draw the hearts of mankind to himself in order to show them their destiny in Christ Jesus!
The Bible tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” This scripture showed me that God answers our prayers the way that He wants to! He is God!
As we all stood around in a social distancing circle, I could feel the concern and fear of uncertainty in the room. I could also feel a ray of hope illuminating from the hearts of individuals who were hoping in the prayers of the prayer team! Glory be to God! Hallelujah! All it takes is the faith the size of a mustard seed to see the hand of God! After the prayer, we said our “see you laters” in hopes of a blessed tomorrow.
As a way of staying connected to our prayer team and staff, we created a prayer line open to our school. We are doing our best to spread the word about our weekly prayer and devotion. This is a great tool that the Lord is using to keep us all encouraged.
As a school prayer leader, I see myself as a friend and family member to my co-workers. I desire what God desires … that we all be saved! I am committed to my assignment. I decree that in my school I will see the goodness of the Lord! In this destruction, we will discover our destiny and our life will be defined in Christ!
Shanay Jones is a special education paraprofessional at Christopher School in Chicago and the pastor of Shanay Jones Ministries. She attributes her overall growth in ministry to what she calls her “training ground”: Chicago Public Schools. CPS is where Shanay learned (and is still learning) the power of prayer. Through her ten years in education haven’t been easy, God has used her hurts, joys, and pains to build her into a beautiful vessel for His glory. The skills and lessons she has learned from her students are invaluable.
Teachers Who Pray welcomes blog submissions from educators and school staff of faith who want to encourage the body of Christ during the COVID19 pandemic. Submit your 400-600 word blog post by emailing it (or sharing it on a Google doc) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are selecting entries on a rolling basis and will edit the piece in collaboration with you before publication.