Sunsets, camps, sticky games, water balloons, devotionals, campfires, cards, classes, and sleepovers filled our summer days with our amazing teenagers. My husband is a youth minister–so summers for us are a festive and crazy time of year full of travel, camps, and special memories. We know it is for you as well. Fitting in all the summer appointments, camps, and even vacations makes June and July fly by!
Though the weather is still warm, summer is drawing us into its final act. School is starting this month all across the country. This week we are joining their parents–and parents across the country and world–in prayer over all students, parents, and teachers as the school year begins once again.
Almighty Father and Creator who is with us as we live, breathe, and move,
We pray for your Spirit to guide our students as they head back to school. Lead them in your ways as they explore, learn, and grow. Whether they are resuming school at home, in a public or private school, may your protection be with them. Spark a curious nature in them as they explore history, literature, math, writing, science, music, theatre, and more. Instill in them a desire to learn and develop the talents with which you have gifted them.
Sustain the older students with peace during difficult periods of testing and stress. Help them to make choices that bring you glory. Bless the younger students with wise and able teachers who can feed their inquisitive nature in a positive direction.
Be with all the students and the relationships and friendships they form. Surround them with friends who will strive to bring out the best in them and encourage them on hard days. May they too learn how to be good friends who stir one another on to good works. Be with the kindergarteners and those entering school for the first time as they not only adjust to new schedules and routines, but as they also learn how to interact with kindness in the classroom and on the playground.
May your Spirit fill those students who feel left out or lonely with hope. Bring comfort and caring teachers and friends into the lives of students starting at a new school.
With the students beginning school at home, grant them excitement. Help them to take advantage of opportunities to work on their individual gifts and talents. May they have a hunger for learning and a passion to grow in all areas.
As new and veteran college students head back to school, strengthen their faith and increase their wisdom. Guide them as they plug into a community of faith and learning. Bless them with friends who help them to make good choices and help them to stand firm in their faith. As they face decisions that impact their future marriages, careers, and families, empower them with discernment and passion for the things that are truly important. Ward off loneliness as they find their place, often far from their families.
Be with all the parents as they surrender control over their kids, unable to monitor their interactions and choices while they walk the halls at school. May they hand their worries and fears over to you. Enable them to be engaged in what is happening in the hearts and lives of their children when they are at home. May they love their kids fully and with open ears on the hard days when nothing seems to go right. Grant them peace as they remember that you are always watching over their children. Help them to make wise decisions regarding activities and the family calendar. May they be discerning in guarding family time and not willing to sacrifice too much to busyness. Give these families genuine and important connections this school year.
Bless the parents preparing to homeschool this year. As they organize and prepare their materials, give them peace. Help them to find the time they need. Guide them in how best to structure their days for the benefit of their families. Help them to preserve when it gets difficult. Let them identify and meet the needs of their children. Grant them the patience they will undoubtably need. Give them the gift of creativity and out-of-the-box ideas. May they look back on the school year fondly remembering these precious moments of learning with their children.
Bless the teachers who are opening not only their classroom doors, but also their hearts. Protect them from burnout and cynicism. Empower them with excitement and passion for both the subjects and their students. Guide them in wisdom as they manage their classrooms and deal with discipline. Help them to reflect honestly–granting themselves compassion on the hard days. Provide them with mentors who can share their expertise and encouragement. Bless them with the time they need to plan, communicate, grade, and prep for class while still prioritizing time with their own families. May the impact they have on young lives be an eternal one of not only growing in learning, but in joy and empathy. Open their eyes to the students who are struggling both in school and outside of school. Give them gentle hearts for their students and discernment in all things.
As the school year bring back into our lives new routines and schedules, may we all seek to keep you first in all things. May we remember your ways and that your presence is with us during every moment of every day whether we are students, parents, teachers, or some combination! In your holy name we pray, Amen.