Church publishes prayers to ease exam stress
The Church of England has published a selection of prayers offering reassurance to students and teachers in coping with the current examination period.
The prayers are offered for use during collective worship or within Christian Union groups, but can easily be adapted for personal use by students and teachers seeking peace during testing times.
The Rev Janina Ainsworth, Chief Education Officer for the Church of England, comments: "Everyone involved in education knows the pressures of the exam season. Whatever one thinks about league tables and the relevance of academic achievement, Christians are called to consider the broader picture. We hope these prayers will be used to give a helpful perspective and a sense of God's infinite love during testing times."
The majority of the prayers and resources for the examinations period have been specially adapted from a collective worship resource produced by the Culham Institute in association with the National Society.
The prayers form the latest addition to the regularly updated selection of prayers for contemporary concerns, including one for the emergency situations in China and Burma.
The move follows successful similar ventures in recent months, including 10,000 visits to a selection of 'back to work' prayers released on the Church of England website in September 2007, and more than 7,500 views of the Church's prayers for those affected by debt, published in January this year.
Surveys conducted in recent years indicate that around two-thirds of UK adults pray, leading the Church of England's Head of Research and Statistics, the Rev Lynda Barley, to describe prayer as "one of the best kept secrets in modern Britain".
The special selection, which includes a prayer for busy teachers concerned about their class, and prayers and resources written for use by or with primary and secondary school students, is freely available at: www.cofe.anglican.org/prayers.
One of the chosen prayers reads:
Thank you for stories in the Bible that show us that being worried and afraid are common feelings. Thank you even more that with Jesus we too can face storms and massive waves knowing that he is there to calm us.