This week marked the first week of school for many families.
Some children approach this time of year with enthusiasm; excited to reunite with old friends, meet their new teachers, and resume some form of consistency.
Others approach the school year reluctantly; digging in their heels, refusing to accept that the long, flexible days of summer have come to an end.
Whether your child belongs to the first category, or the second, one thing is certain- both our kids and teachers alike, need our support if they are going to make it through the school year successfully.
What’s the best way we can offer our support?
I am a firm believer in the power of prayer to transform our lives. Not so much the prayer itself, but The One to whom we pray.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
On the first day of school, the hubs and I give our kids a proper send-off, by laying our hands on them, and praying a blessing over them for their upcoming school year.
We pray, not only for them, but for the teachers they will have, the classmates they will encounter, and the coaches they will be assigned. We pray for the cooks that will serve them, the principal that will oversee them, and everyone in between.
Anyone, really, who has any involvement in helping to ensure that the school year runs effectively.
If you’ve not before implemented the practice of prayer as a way to send your kids off to school, it is never too late to start!
Equally important as praying for our children, is the responsibility to pray for our educators!
Teachers are Uh-mazing! But far too often, they’re given a bad wrap.
They are scrutinized, criticized and ostracized.
Year after year, they selflessly and consistently pour themselves into our offspring, and yet they are often overlooked, undervalued and unappreciated.
I have home schooled my own children on many occasions throughout the years. During those times, school was frequently the most challenging, exhausting, and tedious part of our day, bar none.
And the whining…
The whining was relentless. And that was just coming from me! (I wish I could say I was joking).
It required massive amounts of patience. On my part, and theirs.
And this was only with my kids! I can’t imagine having a classroom full of them! God love ’em.
Seriously guys, I would not want their job!
I have several friends who work in the education field, and I think they are awesome! God’s gift to the generations.
I admire them, respect them and appreciate them beyond words.
And I want my children to do the same.
If you’ve never really considered the idea of praying for your children as they head back to school, I encourage you to do so.
Not sure what to pray for? Here is a good place to start!
I have compiled a list of 10 prayer prompts, followed by a special prayer for our educators.
1. Protection. Pray that the Lord will keep them safe; physically, emotionally and spiritually. That they will be kept from harm’s way, and free from those who would want to do evil. That they would be protected, whether hard at play on the playground, or studiously at work in their classroom. That their minds will be alert, their immune systems strengthened, and their hearts guarded. That they will be unscathed when hurtful words are spoken against them. And finally, that they will remain pure in spirit at all times.
2. Confidence. Pray that they will enter the school year confidently; knowing who they are, but more importantly, whose they are. That they will be secure in their god-given identity, and unafraid to be their true selves. That they will walk through the hallways of their school with their head held high, and their value intact. That they will believe in themselves, and not shy away from new opportunities to shine.
3. Humility. Pray that their confidence will be well-balanced with a healthy dose of humility. We want our children to be confident, not arrogant. Pray that they will not think of themselves as better than anyone else. That they will not belittle their fellow classmates, or become jealous of their friends’ success, but will look for ways to encourage others to shine, as well.
4. Compassion. Pray that they will have a heart of compassion. That they will seek to include, rather than exclude. That they will recognize when someone is outcast, lonely, afraid or sad, and they will come alongside to offer acceptance, friendship, comfort and laughter. That they will always find it better to be loving and kind, opposed to cold and mean.
5. Kindness. Pray that they will treat others the same way that they themselves want to be treated. That they will be careful with their words. That they will will not be rude, or selfish or mean. That they will uplift, instead of tear down. And that they will be the light to those around them.
6. Courage. Pray that they will be courageous; unafraid to stand up for what is right, and brave enough to stand out and be different. That they will laugh in the face of fear. That they will have the courage to say “no” to peer pressure, and the strength to run from temptation. That they will be bold enough to blaze their own trails, instead of following the crowd. That their ambition will not be to fit in, but to be set apart. That they will not be afraid to come to the defense of a fellow student being bullied, and will strive to be a peace-maker if at all possible.
7. Service. Pray that they will have a servant’s heart. That when they see a need, they offer themselves, (their time, their money, their effort), as a solution. That they are willing to give a helping hand where it is needed, whether it be assisting a struggling student with their studies, doing their part to keep the cafeteria clean, or helping their teacher tidy the room at the end of the day. That they recognize creative ways to bless their communities and continuously look for new opportunities to get involved.
8. Diligence. Pray that they will remain steadfast in their studies. That their desire to learn will not wane, but will only grow as the school year continues. That they will not give up easily, but will instead push themselves to new heights. That they will set attainable goals that will help set their feet on a path towards success. That they will work hard, and see the fruits of their labor.
9. Respect. Pray that our children learn to respect those that are in position of authority, as well as those that are on the same playing field. That they will show signs of respect, not only in words, but in deeds. That they will listen attentively, and answer accordingly. That they understand that to show respect to another, means to value their personhood. Help them to act respectively, even if it is undeserved. In the words of Laurence Stone, “Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.”
10. Gratitude. Pray that our kids have an attitude of gratitude. That they would learn to appreciate those who work tirelessly behind the scenes, (teachers, parents, coaches, volunteers, etc), for the betterment of their education. That they feel grateful, and not entitled. That the expression of gratitude can help them find greater enjoyment in life, and can change the overall atmosphere in a room. Pray they realize that if they lead by example, it is likely that others will follow suit.
Prayer for our educators~ Father God, we lift up our educators- our teachers, para’s, principals, tutors, counselors, volunteers, coaches and parents. We ask for your hand of blessing to rest on them as they prepare to help shape, mold and educate our children in the year ahead. Give them what they need, when they need it, to ensure a successful school year.
We pray that you would guide them, as they set out to lead our children. Equip them with the necessary tools and resources for the year ahead. Bestow them with wisdom and understanding, to best know how to care for each individual student that fills their classroom this year.
Bless them with camaraderie and support from fellow teachers and staff. May they be given parents to work with, who respect and appreciate them, and cheer them on! Cover them and protect them from hurtful criticism, and provide them with people who will come alongside and speak life into them.
We pray that you will give them the ability to lead well, and teach effectively. May their students be excited to learn. Help them to create an environment that encourages growth in our kids. An environment that is safe. Where trust among peers is built. And students thrive.
Lord, give them strength to carry on. When the days are long and the students are restless, give them the ability to keep going; knowing that they are making a difference. When they feel like no one notices or appreciates the work that they do, remind them that there is One who sees, and knows. May they be reassured of your love.
Give them grace to overcome every obstacle that comes their way, and the ability to face, head on, any struggle that they are presented with, with sheer determination and resilience. When they are overwhelmed, give them your peace.
Help them to see their students the way that you do, God. Even the difficult ones. Might they remember that they may be the only light that these children see today. Remind them why they do what they do. May they find purpose and fulfillment in their calling.
Lord, we thank you for our teachers. They are needed. They are noticed. They are appreciated. They are loved.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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