It’s that most wonderful time of the year. It’s also the most tearful time of the year.
Children are headed back to school. Moms are ready for their children to have a regular schedule. They are ready to send them off for a year of learning, growing and becoming more independent. But there are also a few tears, reminding moms they won’t be at their child’s side, that the world is sometimes a harsh place and another milestone has passed.
I’m at a new place of motherhood. I’ve sent both of my children off for their “last” first day of school. Both of them will graduate from college this year. As my son drove away this morning for his last semester—ever—I reflected back on all the years that has brought us to this point. Some have been challenging, but it is exciting to see him complete this goal and look towards the future.
My daughter began her last full year of college and she’s embarking on a new challenge this semester—student teaching. Instead of sending off a child to school, she’ll be one of the sweet faces that greets children each morning and prepares them for a life of loving music. On her first day, a 6-year-old asked her if she was a kid or an “adult”. She wasn’t quite sure how to answer, but quickly decided “adult” would be the best way to establish a sense of authority.
No matter what stage of education my children have begun, there is one consistent way I’ve approached each year as they leave the house and encounter a new year of school. It’s the best thing I’ve found that I can do for my child.
What is it? This may seem trite or a simple Sunday School answer, but praying for your child is the best thing you can do. It really is the greatest thing you can do—at any stage of life. Praying is not “wishing” or “asking” the Lord to grant your children every request like a Genie in the bottle, but it is going to the Lord and standing in the gap for your child. It is going to battle for your child in the spiritual realm and desiring God to be glorified in their life.
As you send your children off to school this year with new backpacks, lunch boxes and tennis shoes, here are a few specific ways you can pray for your child.
- Pray for them to be respectful of authority. Pray they will learn to listen and obey their teachers. As they learn how to respect others, they will learn how to respect God and obey Him.
- Pray for them to treat others as you want others to treat your child. Help them develop sensitivity to others who are left out or might be different. Pray for your children to develop a love for others now because we need them to love our world with the Gospel.
- Pray for your children to have a hunger for learning—however that might look for them. Do not compare your child to others or shame them because they don’t make straight As. Discover your child’s learning strengths and help them find ways to learn in that strength.
- Pray for your child’s teacher. Be their advocate. Teaching is difficult work, and the ones who teach do it because they believe in the next generation. Listen to their counsel and partner with them to help your child be successful in school. By the way, it doesn’t hurt to surprise them with a gift card or school supplies once in awhile too.
- Pray for your child to be caught when guilty. This isn’t always an easy prayer, but helping your child develop honesty and integrity throughout their education will result in adults who have character.
- Finally, pray your child will be light in a dark place. Pray for them to share Christ with others and look for opportunities to stand against cultural pressures that go against your Biblical worldview. As scripture says, pray they will be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.
If you would like to join a group of other moms who are praying for your school and for your children, look for a Moms in Prayer group. The sole purpose of Moms in Prayer is that every school in the world would be covered with prayer. To find a group near you or to start a group, visit momsinprayer.org.