Today our children here in Clarksville will begin another school year. It’s hard to believe that summer is officially over and we will soon begin the routines of school and homework and football games and after school activities. Rushed meal times and exhaustion will be the rulers of the day. I love the schedule and order that school brings but the chaos and rush I could do without.
All three of our children will be in school full time this year, with our oldest entering high school, our middle child entering first grade, and our baby entering kindergarten. I have many emotions as I look toward this year. Not sorrowful like you might expect, because I love watching my kids grow and learn new things.
But I do understand that this year will be difficult for all of us – a new town brings new schools and new friends plus a new job for me outside the home.
As we begin this year with anticipation and a little fear, I have been praying several things for my children. I hope this list will be beneficial to you as well as you prepare for a new school year.
- That they would be surrounded by Christian friends. Finding friends can be difficult. Scripture tells us not to be misled in friendships because “bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Cor 15:33 NIV) I have two children who are a little timid and one who gravitates toward kids who don’t always make good choices. As they begin a new school year, I pray they will find a good core group of kids who love Jesus.
- That they would be bold in their faith and a light in the darkness. Standing up for your faith is sometimes hard, even for me as an adult. But I am praying my children will boldly shine the light of Jesus wherever they go. I know they will sometimes fail; we all fail. But my prayer is that they will pick themselves up when they fall short because Jesus loves them. Scripture tells us that we are “the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14) I pray that our family will be the light for someone this year.
- That they would be obedient to authority. We all tend to have difficulty submitting to authority at one time or another. And some of my kids have more difficulty with this than others. I pray they will learn to obey those in authority over them because as they learn to submit to teachers and principals, they will also learn to submit to our Heavenly Father. I love what Titus 3:1-2 (ESV) says: “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”
- That they would exhibit self-control. This one is hard because, let’s face it, even as a mom, I throw tantrums sometimes. They look different than my children’s tantrums, but still… As my children grow in their relationship with Jesus, however, I pray the Holy Spirit will help them exhibit self-control in each situation they encounter. Whether it’s keeping their hands to themselves or refraining from gossip, I am praying they learn this necessary skill. Proverbs 21:23 (NIV) says that “those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” I’m praying my children will be kept “from calamity” this year.
- That they would make wise choices as they follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. Ephesians 1:17 in the NIV says this: “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so you may know him better.” The purpose of wisdom, according to this verse, is to know Jesus better. Isn’t that what we all want for ourselves and for our children? And in this day and age where “anything goes,” wisdom is hard to come by. I am praying that the Holy Spirit will fill us all with His wisdom so we know how to respond in each situation we encounter.
- That they would be kind to those who need a friend. I want my children to be the ones who see someone sitting alone at the lunch table so they go sit with them. I want my children to speak a kind word to those who need a friend. Because in the long run, it won’t matter that you were the smartest kid in your class or the most popular or had the cutest shoes. What matters is your character. I pray my children would clothe themselves “with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Col 3:12 NIV) so that others can see Jesus in them.
These are just a few things I’m praying over my kids this school year. What are your biggest concerns or fears for your children? What are you praying for this year?