A Parent’s Back to School Prayer

Dear Lord,

Firstly, please put Your powerful and healing hands on every single staff member, administrator, paraprofessional, nurse, guidance counselor, bus driver, janitor, crosswalk guard, police officer, parent/guardian and child entering this building.

Give each of us the self-awareness to understand our role in the greater school community, and the consideration toward others that outwardly demonstrates our respect for their role, too.

So many hopes and fears as I think about this new school year. This prayer is my own personal reminder to let my faith be stronger than my fear!

Ignite in our children an earnest desire to do their best in school, whether that’s mastering what belongs in the kindergarten cubby or taking every advantage of The Year of Lasts before they head off to college, trade school, or the working world of adulthood.

Protect their hearts and minds from the fears they never should have had to face, and help them firstly to trust in You, and to master the skills and drills their school has taught them in the event of danger on campus.

There is such a delicate balance between having age-appropriate street smarts and losing all trace of childhood innocence. Lord, please give all of us who interact with these precious children the wisdom and the words to know how to keep them safe while also helping them preserve that all important magic of young adulthood.

Lord, empower our educators with the stamina to balance the excessive non-teaching demands that hang like an albatross around their necks with the vitality and passion that made them first choose this profession.

Whatever is keeping them in the classroom, be it retirement, love for the community, commitment to the kids, or maybe something else altogether, impress upon those of us who are in their midst what they need when they need it.

Be it sharing an encouraging word, surprising them with one of their favorite treats, or even something as simple as giving them the benefit of the doubt when our kid cries foul about something that just doesn’t quite add up, let us feel Your presence, and make us aware of how we can sow love and support into our teachers.

Lord should anyone in our school communities feel unseen or unappreciated, I would ask that You especially heighten our senses to be alert and aware enough to see beyond what we are used to seeing. Give us the awareness and the courage to make eye contact, to strike up a friendly conversation, or even just to say, “thank you for what you are doing,” and to say it in such a way that the sincerity can’t help but be felt.

When the newness wears off and the day’s demands leave us all feeling less charitable, especially make Your presence felt then. Before we’re tempted to name and shame the carpool rulebreaker on social media groups, encourage us to slow our roll enough to realize that tackiness for what it is, and not to be party to such petty behavior.

I ask that You pour Your grace into every kind of household. There are those who have much and those who have little, those with two parents and those where one parent is doing his or her level best, and those where a guardian has stepped in to help heal what was broken. All of us need You, and none of us can produce the kind of human this world so desperately needs without Your help, and the helpful army of caring individuals that comprise our school communities.

Peeling away the various measures of status or lack thereof, we are not as different as we’d like to believe. And we essentially want the same basic things – to be known (faults and all), to be accepted and respected by our peers, and to be welcomed into the fold (not just included as though it were some kind of charity – including someone without making an effort to help them fit in is about two steps better than leaving them out altogether).

Lord, please also help us to be in tune with what our kids may be feeling but not saying aloud. We can move through our days so distracted, trying to be fully present but also feeling completely exhausted just making sure everyone is fed and where they need to be when they need to be there.

Keep our parental Spidey senses sharp, such that if something seems off, we pick it up right away, and can advocate for these young souls in our care, helping them to navigate and overcome what is sure to be just one of a lifetime’s worth of challenging moments.

Lord, we know that Your mercies are new each morning, and that on the good days, the bad days and the ho-hum days in between, You are walking with us.

In this, we can trust and be thankful,


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