By Annie Yorty, Crosswalk.com
As our children go back to school, we throw ourselves into preparations. Instructions from teachers send us scurrying for supplies, including everything from notebooks to calculators to tissues. We shop for new school clothing, shoes, backpacks, and more. For those who don’t buy lunches at school, we stock the pantry with nutritious, easy-to-pack foods. With older students, we analyze class schedules to make sure our kids have the courses they’ll need for their next steps in life.
By now, most of us have already posted first-day-of-school pictures on social media. We breathe a sigh of relief as transportation snafus finally resolve. The days fall back into routine after summer’s freedom. But have our preparations been enough?
When we send our children to school, we allow others to influence them. We all can remember that special teacher who inspired and motivated us. Most of us also recall others, perhaps a coach or a bully, who devastated our self-image. The content of the curriculum itself shapes young minds and hearts. There’s no doubt our kids will encounter material that is contrary to God’s holiness. Despite our best efforts to shield them from the world, our children’s peers will expose them to all forms of ungodliness. And behind all those primary concerns, we wonder if the recent spate of mass shootings could make its way to our hometown.
These transitional days back to school mark a critical need to lay a foundation of prayer for our children. Our best resource for prayer is the Bible because it contains God’s will for us. Meditate on the following verses and ten prayers for the school year. As you pray, include the names of your children to make them personal.
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Here Are 10 Prayers for the School Year:
1. A Prayer for Protection
“This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” (Psalm 91:2-4 NLT)
Father God, there is no one more capable than You to protect my children—not even me. Under Your strong covering, they find refuge, safety, and security. Please surround my kids with Your love, faithful promises, and power as they go about their days at school. Protect them from accidents as well as from anyone who might seek to inflict intentional harm. I ask You to give wisdom to the administration as they create and enact policies to ensure safety within school boundaries. When they travel to and from school, I humbly request Your protection there as well. Amen.
2. A Prayer for Wisdom and Insight for Teachers
"Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:2-6 NLT)
Father God, You are the source of all wisdom. You desire to transfer Your knowledge and understanding to everyone. I’m grateful for teachers at school who know and follow You. Would You please give them strength, wisdom, and courage to stand for the truth within their classroom? I pray they will study Your Word and seek to apply it to their calling of teaching. For any teacher in school who does not yet know You, would You develop a thirst for truth that cannot be quenched with anything but You? Open their spiritual eyes so they may learn to respect and honor You in their classrooms. Help me to be Your faithful ambassador to them as well. Amen.
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3. A Prayer for Godly Friendships
"Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble . . . A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12 NLT)
Father God, You created my children to need and desire relationships. You are the cord that sustains strong friendships. My children often feel uncertain and worried as they grow and change. Please give them discernment as they choose friends at school. Provide a friend who stays devoted to You and help them to grow in You together. When one falters in faith, please give the other the strength to pray and lift them up to You. With Your help, I believe they can stand strong against any human or spiritual opposition they encounter. Thank You for the joy of godly friendships. Amen.
A Prayer for Growth
"So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better." (Colossians 1:9-10 NLT)
Father God, through You, all things in this world are upheld. You are the Lord of every subject. I ask You to give my children curiosity and the ability to learn and grow academically. I pray they would choose to work hard to apply themselves to their studies at school.
But even more, I pray they will find You at the center of every academic subject. Would You please draw their attention to Your attributes through the material they read and the topics they study? Use both positive and painful experiences at school to grow their knowledge and understanding of You. Help them to serve You so their lives will reflect Your glory to everyone at school. Amen.
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5. A Prayer for Pure Hearts
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 NLT)
Father God, none of us is born with a pure heart, but You offer us holiness through Your Son, Jesus. Your enemy, Satan, has influenced the world around my kids with thoughts and behaviors that oppose You and would stain their hearts. Please give them the strength to offer themselves fully to You so they will be transformed from the inside out to be holy just as You are holy. Amen.
6. A Prayer for Light that Shines
“No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:15-16 NLT)
Father God, if we have received salvation through Jesus, His light resides within us. I pray that You would draw each of my children into a personal relationship with You. For my kids who have already received Your light in their hearts, I ask You to deepen their devotion to You.
You wish to create beacons of hope for a lost world through my children. Please teach them to obey Your Word so their good deeds shine to administration, faculty, and other children within their school. May each one who encounters my children see You in them and praise You. Amen.
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7. A Prayer for Freedom from Fear
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 NLT)
Father God, the fears my children experience are all inspired by Satan and by their misunderstanding of Your power and goodness. Your enemy would like to keep them imprisoned by their anxiety. But Your Son came to earth to live and die on the cross so they may have peace of mind and heart. Please give them a greater awareness of Your unconditional love so they can speak up and act without fear today. Teach them to transfer each of their worries to You, the One who is strong and faithful to carry them. I pray Your peace would wash over their hearts and minds.
8. A Prayer for Guidance
“The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.’” (Psalm 32:8-9 NLT)
Father God, my children often think they know the best path for their own lives. But You have complete wisdom and knowledge of their past, present, and future. You offer that insight to their lives by speaking through the Bible and Your Holy Spirit. Please teach my kids to sense Your personal guidance throughout their day. Help them to willingly follow the path You have laid out for them to avoid the pitfalls of temptation. Amen.
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9. A Prayer for Balance
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, “What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?” These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:31-33 NLT)
Father God, the pressures of school, sports, and other extracurricular activities often distract my children from You and strangle their hearts with anxiety. But You have provided a way to prioritize and balance their lives. Please teach them to desire You above all else and help me to model Your priorities to them. Give them the wisdom to seek balance and simplicity that leaves room for the higher calling of knowing You and Your righteousness. Amen.
10. A Prayer for Endurance
"I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." (Philippians 3:14 NLT)
Father God, from a child’s perspective, a year seems long and arduous. My children sometimes feel like giving up when they can’t see the end of a difficult class. I ask You to help them to persevere and finish what they have started. Show them the benefit of remaining diligent at school for You. Amen.
Pray Every Day
Whether your children go to public, private, or home school, your prayers provide the vital foundation they need to trust God and grow to know and serve Him. Why not commit to praying these ten prayers for your children every day of this school year?
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