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Father, I repent for harsh and hurtful words spoken by ministers to members of their congregations. I pray for healing and forgiveness to those offended and call each one of them back into a loving, nurturing relationship with you.

It was a horrible sermon, one no family should ever have to hear. It was bad enough they had just laid their young son to rest in a nearby grave; today they listened as the minister told the congregation of the flames that engulfed the young Stephen as he languished in hell. Stephen had played hooky from school and while horsing around, drowned in a nearby pond. The Mann family held their dignity throughout the service, but forever the course of history was changed by the minister’s words. Stephen’s brother, Horace Mann, never forgave the preacher and later rejected the idea of original sin and salvation to embrace the new thought of the day which was Enlightenment, a belief that man is a god. Mann would go on to start the first public schools in America financed with taxpayer money. His accomplishments would earn him the title: Father of Public Education. Mann’s religion would influence millions of America’s children for generations to come and ultimately change the course of this nation.

School is starting all across the nation and God is calling us to pray. For the past six months or more, God has been impressing upon the IFA staff the vital necessity of praying for the public schools: students, Christian educators, and the many legal Christian ministries at work in the public schools. Don’t miss this critical time of prayer for our nation’s most important mission field and our nation’s most critical missionaries. Call (712)775-7430 (no code needed), or join us on Facebook LIVE.

In 1834, the people of Massachusetts elected Horace to as a state senator. Three years later, he helped establish America’s first State Board of Education in Massachusetts. One year later, he assumed the leadership of the Board. While running for the Senate, he had made a campaign promise to the Unitarians, who were unhappy with the current school choices of Catholic or Protestant. Would he establish schools with no religious teaching and fund them with taxpayer money? As the chairman of the Board of Education, Mann fulfilled his promise.

In his search for model schools, Mann looked to the enlightened schools of Europe. He particularly admired the Prussian (German) school system. In 1843, he made a trip abroad at his own expense to observe new curriculum and teaching methods in Europe and Prussia. On his return home, he convinced the Massachusetts Board of Education to adopt the Prussian teaching methods in the newly established American schools.

The first public schools in Massachusetts opened in 1843, and subsequent schools began to pop up all across the East. As Americans moved West, Mann embraced the idea of Manifest Destiny and considered it a God-given right and duty to spread the “religion” of education westward. After all, religion was not needed, but education was. Horace Mann and Catherine Beecher solicited female teachers to join in the movement. By calling them “teacher missionaries,” Mann and Beecher tapped into the zeal of young Christian women to share the love of God with the unreached and unlearned. Teaching, for women, was the equivalent of being in the ministry. Women by the thousands accepted the call to go to remote and difficult areas in the West where they often lived in substandard conditions, taught in makeshift schools, accepted salaries less than 1/3rd of their male counterparts, and dealt with classrooms of children ages five to eighteen—all under one roof. A teacher’s reward was not heaven, but in personal satisfaction that came from serving others.

It took nearly 130 years to reach Horace Mann’s dream of schools separated from any teaching of a personal God. Why did it take so long? Our forefathers came to America for the expressed purpose—so they could be free to worship a personal God according to the dictates of one’s conscience. For generations, those founding principles were taught by Christian teachers in our classrooms. Biblically-based moral teaching changed in the mid-1960s as lawsuits on school prayer and Bible reading yielded rulings from the highest court of our nation, the Supreme Court. Teachers and administrators, often godly people, fearful of arrests and lawsuits became silent in the classrooms. At that point, America’s education changed as well as America. History reveals public school education at its inception was off to a skewed start.

About the Author: Nancy Huff is an educator with a mission to equip believers to pray strategically for the Cultural Mountain of Education. She has authored Taking the Mountain of Education: A Strategic Prayer Guide to Transform America’s Schools. She leads prayer groups to pray at key educational locations across the US. Currently, Nancy serves as the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network (HAPN) Lead Prayer Coordinator for the Mountain of Education. For additional information go to:

212 People Prayed
2911 People have read this article

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  1. “Lord, as we read about the rise and influence of one man, Horace Mann, to strip the character of our national education of the knowledge of God and to shift our country away from godliness and truth, so I pray for a David to be raised up against the Goliath of godless, truth-rejecting public school indoctrination. The public schools continue to be a mission field that needs the seed of the gospel. I pray that believing teachers will take up the call of the mission field and are faithful to the spread of the gospel, the word of truth (Eph. 1:13) in the hostile environment of public education. Only the truth will make people free, Father. Grant that believing teachers, laborers sent out into this harvest field, boldness to live and share the gospel without fear by the power of your Holy Spirit. Empower them for action, I ask, in the majestic, holy and powerful name of our King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ, your Holy Son. Amen.”

  2. Indoctrination of facts is not the same as Truth. Gods agenda in the educational system was altered when facts took the forefront over Truth and became a god. Facts change over time with new discovery’s new technology new perspectives but Truth remains constant no matter times and seasons. We need Truth back in our educational system. How will we see or hear a God outside of time or space if we are God. Time for this temple to be cleansed.

  3. Oh Father=

    Please help us to live love and truth. May our delivery of truth not be the reason that people reject you.
    We look to you with regard to the public schools. I pray that parents would become involved. Strengthen the hands of those who represent you there. Help them to stand in truth and righteousness. Our schools have become indoctrination camps for the liberal agenda. We lift them to you and ask that parents would first of all begin to pray with their children in their own homes. Then that they would seek to uphold righteousness in the school. Please protect students who’s hearts are tender toward you. Specifically I pray that the LGBTQ agenda would not be allowed to fully take root in the schools. Please protect the boys and girls from the false premise that they can be what they want to be- that their biology doesn’t determine their sex. I pray that the obvious insanity of this belief would be spoken loud and hard by those who have influence. Help parents and teachers and community leaders to stand in truth. Show us how to pray as we are so surrounded by falsehood. We cry out to you for the impoverished school system. It no longer teaches children to value you and this country. May the lies be exposed. I pray for those on government who are seeking to make positive changes to the system. Strengthen their hands. But I pray that a ground swell of moms and dads would rise up to fight against the issues that threaten to destroy our children and families. Don’t let us continue to be so distracted by things that aren’t truly important. Have mercy.

      1. another Ditto – AMEN
        Father God help us to be influencers that speak truth lovingly, yet boldly in our neighborhoods, workplaces; playgrounds and market places. Keep us from being complacent, by helping us rightly divide that truth (II Tim 2:15)in the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen

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