How To Pray For Your Children As They Go Back To School
A Supply List of Back-to-School Prayers
By Shane Pruitt
We have four children, but only two that are “school-age.” Raygen is our oldest, and will be starting 5th grade this year; yes, another treacherous grade with standardized testing. And, believe it or not, it’s already stressing her out. I swear she is ten-years-old going on sixteen. When I was ten, I had a bucket on my head and I was hitting myself with a hammer! I definitely didn’t understand or care about tests.
My wife took our two oldest daughters back-to-school shopping for clothes the other day. After all, we all know that the first-day outfit sets the course for the rest of the school year. Can I get a witness? (Ok, I realize there is a hint of sarcasm here.)
However, it caused me think about all the back-to-school preparation that takes place in millions of homes every year: buying clothes, trying to remember when tax-free weekend is, the scavenger hunt of school supplies (Where did that darn supply list go again?), going to meet the teacher, picking the right electives, and if your child is older, helping them find out what classes can be considered dual-credit for college.
As parents, we can be guilty of putting far more time, energy, and effort into getting everything ready for the upcoming school-year than we actually do about getting our “precious little one/ones” ready to enter this new year.
The greatest “supplies” that we can send with our children to school are not Lisa Frank Trapper Keepers and Big Chief tablets (You can tell I went to school in the 80’s & 90’s). Rather, our intentional prayers should be the most valuable “supplies” they will carry with them this year.
Here is a short list of “supplies” that most kids will be asked to bring with them when school starts. I hope this will be a creative way for you to pray for your children, and that you will be reminded to pray for them every time you see or deal with these items:
- Backpack: Lord, I realize this is what my child will use to carry things from, and to our house. I pray that our house would be a place of comfort, encouragement and rest. May it be a great place to launch from each day as they go to school, and a better place to come back to everyday after a long day of learning.
- Pencil: Lord, I pray that You will give my child a desire to work hard. That she would want to apply herself even when its difficult. Father, would You help my child realize that school and hard work is one of the tools that You are using to write her role in Your story, called life.
- Notebook Paper: Lord, just like paper starts out blank, then fills with shapes, letters, etc., I realize my child is very impressionable. Would You please protect them? Let them make wise decisions, and discern what is right, good, and acceptable. Would You fill their heart, mind, and soul with Your beautiful handiwork?
- Markers: Lord, would You live through my child, so that they will leave a mark on their teacher, classmates, and school that reflects what is important to You and to our family? May they leave marks of love, not pain, upon every soul they come in contact with.
- Eraser: Lord, I know my child is not perfect and will make plenty of mistakes this year. Would You teach them the meaning of grace? I pray that they are quick to understand how you have already erased all of our mistakes forever. And as they understand this, may my child be quick to forgive themselves, their teachers, and their classmates.
- Crayons: Lord, we praise You for being a beautifully creative God. Daily, help my child appreciate that fact that You make people in all shapes, colors, heights, weights, walks-of-life, etc. I pray my child would be kind and loving to all other children. Not, just the ones that tend to look like them.
- Folders: Lord, I know that homework, notes, and grades will be sent home with my child from her teacher/teachers. I pray for my child’s teacher right now. Give them patience, rest, and joy in their work as they train up the next generation of leaders. Father, I pray that You remind me often that he or she is just a human being that bears Your image, and is not is going to be perfect. May I, as a parent, be good to them, kind, and understanding that he or she is not “out to get”my child, but is there precisely because they love children.
- Scissors: Lord, I know that my child will be exposed to things that may not be healthy, agreeable to our family beliefs, or pleasing to You. Would You help them“cut through”the nonsense, and focus in on their main reason for being at school.
- Pencil-sharpener: Lord, I pray that my child’s greatest desire is to be a tool that is used for your Kingdom. Help them value this time in their life, knowing that You’re using school, life, and interaction with others as an instrument that will sharpen them to be used for your Kingdom’s work.
May we approach this upcoming school year a little differently by spending just as much, if not more, time praying for our children than we do hunting down bargains and supplies. As they leave our house to trek out into the world, the greatest things we can give them are our intentional prayers.
(We also wrote an article called, 10 Ways to Pray for Your Child’s Teacher this School Year)