Back-to-School Praying

Since 1975 when I started kindergarten, every August has meant “back to school.” Every August, I have either been a student, the husband of a school teacher, the pastor of a church with a school, or the parent of a student. That is a lot of back-to-school prayers (and a lot of tuition).

For those of us with children, I’m convinced that the first day of school marks the beginning of a new year more so than January 1. As we begin another school year, let me give you a couple of reminders about praying for your child and your child’s teachers.

When praying for your child’s teachers:

  • Pray for the teacher’s salvation. This is the most important prayer we can offer for anybody. Pray that your relationship with your child’s teacher can lead to spiritual conversations.
  • Pray for a good relationship with that teacher. Pray that you will model Christ in all of your dealings with your child’s teacher.
  • Pray that the teacher will always be fair. This is not always easy, because they, like you, are human.

When praying for your child:

  • Pray that your children will learn this school year. After all, learning is the reason they are going to school. Don’t pray that they will make good grades; pray that they will learn what they need to know at this point in their lives.
  • Pray that your child will grow spiritually this school year. There is nothing more important than your child’s spiritual well-being.
  • Pray that your child will grow relationally with others this year.

In a community where I formerly lived, a group of parents informally met once a week to pray for their children while at school. The group called themselves Wall Builders. The name came from the idea that in prayer they were building a “wall of prayer” and therefore protection.

Often, I find myself praying—Lord, give our administrators, teachers, and students safety at school—both physical safety and spiritual safety. 

Would you carve out some time today to join me in this back-to-school prayer?

I offer this prayer as we see students head back to school.

Heavenly Father,

These are unusual days for all of us. In addition to the normal concerns of every school year, this school year has the added burden of yet another surge in the Covid-19 pandemic. Lord, how we hoped, prayed, and believed that when this school year started social distancing, mask mandates, temperature checks, vaccinations, quarantines, contact tracing, and the like would be words and phrases for the history books. But here we are, and this dreaded virus is as problematic as ever.

So, Lord, help us. Bless our administrators. They are under a heavy burden. Parents and politicians are relentless in their criticisms. The division of decision causes them sleepless nights while they second guess even their own decisions. Lord, may they have a renewed sense of their calling and believe that You have raised them up for such a time as this.

Lord, help our parents. They are nervous. They want to do the right thing, but every expert and so-called expert has a different opinion. Give them grace with administrators, teachers, and yes, other parents.

And for our teachers, Lord, they are heroes. They are on the front lines as much as anybody in our nation. They are being asked to do things they did not sign up to do. Give them healthy bodies, patient and cooperative parents, eager and well-behaved students. Give them a spirit of submission to the authorities above them. Help them to reach every student. Do for them what seems impossible today—give them the best year ever.

And, please Oh Lord, help our children. They just want to be kids. They want to go to school, have recess, play ball, be in the band, go to Friday night football games, and experience everything a kid ought to experience. We want that for them too. We pray in the name of Jesus that you will keep them well. We pray especially for those little ones under twelve not yet able to receive the vaccine and pray for the day when they will be able eligible.

And, Lord, we pray for all those in the medical community. They are weary. They are tired physically from long hours. They are tired emotionally from seeing so much death. They are disappointed that the end is not yet in sight. They are disheartened that so many have politicized a pandemic. Grant them the compassion to continue to see every patient as a person.

For all of us, Lord, give wisdom to do our part in defeating this enemy. Help us to learn and grow as You desire. Call us to repentance. Let us be reminded of those basic Biblical truths that You call us to each day: to be kind, to consider others before ourselves, to number our days, to not worry about tomorrow for today has enough trouble of its own, and to turn from our sin and be saved.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Dr. Steve Horn
Dr. Steve Horn
Steve Horn serves as the Executive Director for Louisiana Baptists. He was born in Columbia, Louisiana, and grew up in Lafayette. He served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Lafayette from June 2005 through May 2019. Dr. Horn has served in numerous national and state denominational positions including President of the Louisiana Baptist Convention in 2014-2015 and President of the Executive Board of the LBC in 2010-2011. He is married to Linett and they have two sons, Joshua and Dru.

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