Back to School Prayer-parations
Posted on August 28, 2014
Back to school prayers seem to be at the end of the preparation lists many families follow. Lots of energy and money go into acquiring the school supplies with just the right notebook color, coordinating the latest fashions, attending orientation sessions, and discussing safety to thwart dangers. If you are one of the lucky (and smart) families that places prayer at the top of your preparation list, then you are truly blessed. Prayer-parations are the most important step of any endeavor, including going back to school.
The Bible has many examples of believers planning for an unknown future by praying for God's guidance and protection. David spent much of his life not knowing what awaited him. For example in Psalms 13, 18, and 27, he credited God for his ability to have the wisdom to persevere and live through the perils.
Remember that David and others who overcame their trials did not survive by prayer alone. Prayer was essential and guided their progress, but they took responsibility to prepare. As a concerned parent, you already prepare your students with clothes, lunches, and safety discussions. But it is important to teach your children that they are responsible for their own preparedness. Just as Jesus taught his disciples when he sent them into the unknown to share His good news:
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues.” Matthew 10:16-17 New International Version (NIV)
Basically, Jesus was saying we must be alert. We will face many frightening and dangerous hazards. Don't be unprepared or naïve. Through your vigilant guidance, your children will learn to walk in this world remaining true to their God.
Our children can be taught to prepare for facing new frontiers by turning to prayer first. Each child will be comfortable with prayer in a different way. Younger children may need a parent to pray with them and for them. As children grow older, they will learn to speak their own prayers through the examples provided by those prayers and through encouragement to just talk to.
For teens, prayer can be life-changing and life-saving as they navigate the temptations and emotional challenges of adolescence. Pray with and for your teen. They may know how to pray, but it is reassuring for them to know that you, as their parents, still hold them up in the eyes of the Lord.
Remind your children (and yourself) that prayer is a resource they can use anywhere at any time. God is always listening.
A sample prayer is only an example. We all lose our voice sometimes and the prayers below offer inspiration for your own prayers or those of your children, no matter their age.
Thank you for the new school year. It is a little scary going into this next grade. Please help me work hard and be a good friend to my old and new friends.
Help me to remember that You are always with me on hard tests or when someone is not being nice to me. I want to act like Your child, but sometimes I forget to talk and act like You want. Please help me remember.
Some kids I meet at school don't know you and some do things that are wrong. Help me be brave enough to invite them to go to Sunday School with me and to be a good example for them. Help me to say "no" if they want me to do bad things.
Thank you for taking care of me and for loving me. Amen.
Middle or High School
Dear Heavenly Father,
Help me focus on my studies as much as fun and friends. Show me how to live the kind of life You want me to live. I want people to know that I follow You, but it is a little scary to share You with them. Give me the courage to invite them to church to get to know You like I do.
Give me patience when teachers are boring or I am frustrated trying to learn a subject. Help me avoid temptation of doing things that will hurt others or myself. Forgive me for when I am weak. If I am in danger, protect and guide me.
Thank you for my family and their love. Help me to be respectful and obedient, even when I don't feel like it.
Please help me keep You as my number one priority. Thank you being there for me at all times and for hearing my prayers.
In the name of Jesus, Amen.