Prayer: Lord, I believe that I am working for You in my school and I thank You for this place to be Your witness. Amen

Scripture: My prayer is not that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. John 17:15-16 NIV

“Why would you go into that den of iniquity? Public schools are Satan’s workplace!” I had visited the store enough times to recognize the owner’s loud voice. He was answering a customer’s sincere question, in an adamant and angry manner. This store owner’s reputation carried the marks of a good businessman. The Christian Book Store had doubled its size in just a few years, until it was the largest in the county. But that day, I left with not only my package, but a strange mixture of guilt and anger.

Although as a Christian I had taught in public school for 10 years by then, I knew very few other Christian teachers. Some church people I knew shared the same opinions that this man did. I was strangely moved to disagree, and from that day on, demonstrate a different philosophy. I can thank this sincerely wrong Christian for propelling my professional life in a direction it has taken for over 25 years. He influenced me to search the scriptures for God’s truth, and His will for me and for the other Christian teachers I know across America.

One pastor that I had earlier in my life had told me I was the church’s missionary in the public school. At the time I thought that was a pleasant spin on my job, but I hadn’t taken it seriously. Now I knew he was exactly correct, and I wanted to continue filling that role.

Yes, in the public schools, as in our society, we find influences of Satan and evil. But, I have also found kind, wise, compassionate people who tolerate my desire to live my faith, though they do not share it. I have touched the lives of thousands of people, who may never have bumped into a Christian unless I had worked in the public school. I had the ability to pray for my students, many of whom never had a prayer spoken for them. I had the ability to influence school policies, public meetings, and curriculum. I have worked beside non-Christian district and state leaders in education. No, I haven’t preached Christ to them, but BEING there has been a witness of Christ to others.

Copyright Shirley Wilson.  To connect with the author, email

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