Can you believe we’re already stepping into the fall season? Even if you find yourself in denial, kids and youth across the country are preparing to head back to school. As pastors, leaders and parents, we have the privilege and calling to contend in prayer on their behalf.
The start of a new school year can elicit a host of questions and emotions for all ages: “What will my teacher be like?” “Who will I sit with at lunch?” And then the parental concerns begin: “Will the other students be kind to my child?” and “Will they be safe?” A new school year can be exciting, terrifying, hopeful and everything in between!
For this reason, we lean into the encouragement found in Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (NIV).
As we do this, we are assured: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (v. 7). So, how do we pray? Whether you have kids of your own, pastor kids or know kids, here are a few ways to help you get praying for the new school year.
“Kids and youth across the country are preparing to head back to school. As pastors, leaders and parents, we have the privilege and calling to contend in prayer on their behalf.”
- Pray for the safety of kids and youth. Whether at home, in the classroom, on the bus or on the sports field.
- Pray that God’s promises and peace would cast out all fear.
- Pray Psalm 91 over students, that “no harm will overtake [them]” and “no disaster will come near [their] tent” (v. 10).
Solid identity in Christ
- Students of all ages are asking the question, “Who am I?” Pray that they would be deeply rooted in their identity in Christ.
- Pray that kids and youth would know they are chosen by God, created in His image, called His child, redeemed by the work of the cross, freed from sin and loved by the God of the universe.
- Speak a blessing over students as they step into the new school year: “May you be transformed by the truth that God knows you, He sees you, and He loves you always. May the Holy Spirit equip you to live as a child of God without shame or fear.”
- Pray for good, godly friendships for kids and youth as they start the year, that they would share a common love for Jesus and grow in faith together.
- Pray that students following Jesus would have eyes to see people who need a friend and the courage to be that friend.
- Friendships have a powerful influence over kids and youth. Pray they would be attentive to the voice of the Holy Spirt to make wise decisions.
Opportunities to be on mission
- What would it look like if kids and students across our nation felt empowered and equipped to share the love of Jesus with their peers? Schools can be dark places. Pray that the light of Jesus overcomes the darkness.
- The goal isn’t for our light to be glaring or blinding. Instead, our light comes from God to point people to Him. Pray that students of all ages would shine the light of Christ to those around them.
- Speak blessing over students as they step into the school year mission field: “May you know that Jesus loves you. May you be strengthened by the Holy Spirit for kingdom purpose in the year ahead. And may you be a light to others shining His light in the darkness.”