The Pledge and the Prayer

I can’t remember every single high school teacher I had, most but not all. And I remember very few college professors. However, I remember vividly every single elementary teacher. They each just had such an impact on me. Butler, Richardson, Horsley, Stockton, White, and Davis were my teachers. They were very different but they were each good teachers.

Her name was Juanita Richardson. She was my second grade teacher. She was a kind, gentle, older Christian lady. She was very soft spoken and you never doubted that she loved each of her students.

Her husband was converted very late in life due in part to her godly living no doubt. Mrs. Richardson was a living example of what we find in 1 Peter 3: 1-2. Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives.

It was very nearly 50 years ago that I was in her second grade classroom. I have vivid memories of many things that year. But one thing stands above all the rest. It was how we began our day every day. This was a time very different than the world we live in today; a time before the courts and the powers of our government limited the open reference we could make to GOD and our religion.

The one memory that is above all the rest is that we began our day with the Pledge to the flag and then we recited the following prayer. I remember standing and facing the flag and then bowing our heads and reciting this prayer.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight O LORD my strength and my Redeemer.

I didn’t know it then but of course now I know this is the last verse of Psalm 19. It is one of my favorite passages. Think of how different our world would be if we could begin our day with this simple prayer.

First, consider the words of my mouth. If I could just control my tongue! Many of the problems I have encountered in life have been rooted in things I said. Read the third chapter of James and note how the tongue directs (horses and ships), destroys (fire), and displays the heart (out of the same mouth comes blessing and cursing).

Next, consider the meditation of one’s heart. Solomon said “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7. We are what we think about! Our actions are rooted first in our thoughts.

What if our desire was truly for our words and thoughts to be acceptable to Him? And to continue the verse, what if we truly considered Him as our source of strength, as our Redeemer? Do you think that would make a difference in our world?

And think of how different our world would be if all of our second graders across this great nation were led in this simple prayer by godly teachers at the beginning of every day.

Yeah 1964 was a time very different than today. We probably will never see the time when our classrooms will begin their day with this prayer. But there is nothing preventing me from doing so individually. GOD, help me today to use my tongue
and my thoughts in ways acceptable to YOU.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight O LORD my strength and my Redeemer.

And while you are in prayer today, thank GOD for those godly teachers and others in your life that have had an influence on you. There were many in my life but today I am especially thankful for Juanita Richardson.

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2 Responses to The Pledge and the Prayer

  1. Roshelle says:

    Is this the Mrs. Juanita Richardson from northeast Oklahoma? Married to A.E.?

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