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A Back to School Prayer

Dena Johnson Martin

Father, as my children go back to school this week, I bring them to you as a living sacrifice, knowing you have given them to me to steward and train over the years.

My years with children in my home is coming to a close much faster than I anticipated. It seems as if it was only yesterday when my firstborn was an infant, completely dependent upon me for everything in his life. And this week I am sending him off to his senior year in high school. He stands tall and wise, a testament to your tender love and care throughout the years. Yet I wonder where I have failed to prepare him and his siblings for the world. I wonder if I’ve done everything I possibly can.

Our years together have been difficult, filled with trials and tests beyond anything we could have imagined. They have weathered multiple storms, learned to pick up the pieces and start again. They’ve seen your faithfulness as you’ve carried us through every wave that has knocked us down. Their lives are built on a firm foundation, their faith grounded on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. Thank you for guiding them. Thank you for giving them wisdom and discernment well beyond their years.

As we enter this school year, my heart longs to see their continued growth in every area: the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. I release them to you in each of these areas.

For their hearts, I ask they would be soft and pliable, ready to be molded by you. I know their hearts are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9), but I ask your purifying fire to make them fully pure. Remove anything that would hinder their relationships with you. Get rid of the anger and bitterness, the unforgiveness that may be buried deep within. I know the battles my children have fought, the hurt they’ve experienced. Don’t let their hearts be hardened by the pain, but let them experience your healing as they open every little part of their hearts to you.

I ask for your guidance, that they would seek your face as they move into their futures. I pray you would guide their every step, leading them to walk in your purpose for their lives. Help them to be humble enough to surrender, to heed your voice in every decision they make. Give them ears to hear your voice and a relationship so strong that they are able to discern your voice from the many voices clamoring for their attention. Teach them to hear your voice and obey immediately.

As they grow and mature, I pray you would show them who they are and whose they are. May they see themselves as you see them, as children of the One True God. May they know they are a royal priesthood, a treasured possession, a masterpiece created by you. Help them shut out the voices around them, the voices telling them they will never be enough. Replace those voices with the truth of your word, the truth that says they were created for a special purpose.

No matter what happens, I ask you to make my children people of integrity. I pray they would always be the same people in public and in private. I pray they would live such holy lives there would never be a reason for ill words to be spoken against them. May they live honorable lives that silence all who make accusations against them (1 Peter 2:15).

May this year be a season of incredible spiritual growth. I pray they would fully surrender to you, go all in seeking your face. As they to you, I ask you to answer them and show them great and mighty things (Jeremiah 33:3). As they knock, help them to find you and all of the riches that are theirs as heirs in Christ Jesus.

Build their faith, a faith that is their own and not just mine. I know it requires trials and tests to refine our faith. It breaks my heart to see my children hurt, but I also know how faithful you are to your children as they wander through the wilderness. May they see your faithfulness providing for their every need. May their faith be purified and refined as they test you and take their faith as their own.

Give my children friends who love and glorify you. We know that as iron sharpens iron, so man sharpens man (Proverbs 27:17). Give them friends who encourage them in their faith, help them to walk more closely to you. If their friends don’t know you, I pray my children would be such a shining example that they can lead their friends to you.

It’s a harsh world out there, and I ask you to put a hedge of protection around my children. Keep them safe from any evil that might seek to encroach upon them. As they ride in cars and travel to and from school, activities, work, put your angels around their vehicles and protect them from any accidents that might be waiting for them.

I pray my children would always have a healthy dose of your wisdom as they live this life on earth. May they avoid the foolishness of this life, anything that would drag them away from your perfect plan for their lives. Help them to see the gift of wisdom at all costs, desiring to live your way all the days of their lives.

Father, keep my children close to you. I pray as I seek your face, as I seek to guide their minds, their hearts, their emotions, you would fill in the gaps where I am not perfect. I pray you would always do the parenting through me, that you would increase and shine through me, guiding them through me.

Thank you for blessing my life with these amazing gifts. I give them to you.

In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.