In my hometown out West, students have been back in school for a few weeks now. Here on the East Coast, there’s still a bit of summer left to be enjoyed. Regardless of what date marks the first day of school in your area, this time of year is undeniably “back to school” season. Some kids dread it, some can’t wait, others know the drill by now and are used to this routine. All kids, though, however young or old, could use our prayer as they start a new year of learning and growing.
Whether you have children of your own or not (and I’m in the latter category myself!), we all can and should be praying for the students in our families, communities, and cities.
Michael Kelley recently shared “6 Prayers to Pray for Your Children as School Begins” on his site Forward >> Progress, and his list is an incredibly helpful guide.
Here are a few prompts to get you started as you pray:
- Protect them against temptation and evil. Our world is full of sin and darkness, but instead of dwelling on those things, may we focus our prayer on the goodness, strength, and mercy of the Lord, asking that he would keep our children safe, healthy, and protected wherever they go. May they be led by by wise and patient teachers, may they be surrounded by kind and caring friends, and may they be peacemakers who share the love of Christ in their classes and schools.
- “Help them see our home as a safe place.” Kelley writes, “Help them to see that at home, they can be themselves, with all their insecurities, fears, and hurts they could never show somewhere else lest they be considered weak.” The “real world” of school can be scary at times, and parents can provide a refuge in their homes where children feel free to express concerns, ask questions, and wrestle through things without judgment or disapproval.
- Encourage them in their efforts, as well as in the bigger picture. Melissa Kruger writes this prayer in an article for Crosswalk.com: “Lord, I pray that my children will love learning; that their hearts would seek to understand the world you have created. The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly (Proverbs 15:14).” Give our children minds that are eager to learn and try new things, even when it might be frustrating or challenging at times.
- “Create in them a desire to communicate.” I can remember many after school conversations with my parents where I simply told them my day was “fine.” This prayer is an important one-- “We continue to pray that, because our home is safe, our children will confide in us the things they aren’t willing or able to say anywhere else,” Kelley writes.
- “Teach them perseverance in their studies.” While it may seem like it’s all flying by when your children are little, the truth is there are many years of studies ahead, and we would be wise to pray for our children to stay committed to their education through it all. “The perseverance to keep at it, though it means hard work, will prove (I think) even more valuable in the years to come than their mastery of the quadratic formula,” says Kelley. There are many important life lessons to be learned throughout the school years, and staying focused and serious about the task at hand is just one of them.
Though we are sending our students off on big yellow buses and in the carpool line, we still can be with them throughout the day as we cover them in prayer. If you're looking for even more ways to pray for the students in your life, here is a beautiful list of back to school prayers straight from Psalms and Proverbs that we hope is helpful, too.
May we be encouraging to all children in our lives as they tackle first day nerves and get ready for a whole new year of learning, and may we give them a safe, welcoming place to come home to at the end of the day. May we remember that God is always with them even when we can’t be, and may we trust that he is leading them and teaching them in his perfect way, day by day.
If you're looking for a fun, easy way to encourage the students (and teachers!) in your life this back to school season, check out our free e-cards on Crosscards.com and send one today!
Photo credit: Unsplash
Publication date: August 17, 2017
Rachel Dawson is the design editor for Crosswalk.com.