As your kids head to their school, we prepare them with proper school supplies, a nice backpack, and a lunchbox to hold a nutritious meal. But are we preparing our kids spiritually for the kinds of things they may face at school? Throughout the year, consider praying for the following. – By Arabah Joy
1. That they would be a light in the darkness at school
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14 (ESV)
As our kids walk the halls of their schools, let’s pray that the light they shine for Jesus would be bright. As others interact with them, may our children draw people to Christ through their words and actions.
2. That they would recognize the authority of their teachers
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution…1 Peter 2:13a (ESV)
One of the problems we faced with our kids as they entered the junior and senior high years was dealing with respect for their teachers. Even when facing conflict with teachers, the Bible says we need to respect the authority placed over us.
Let’s pray that our children have respect for their teachers, even if they face conflict with those teachers, knowing that this year God has put those teachers in authority over them.
3. That they would do their schoolwork to the glory of God
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV)
One of the things we try to stress in our home is doing homework well, instead of doing it quickly to get it out of the way. It’s human nature for kids to want to rush through homework, so they can get on to doing things they love. But let’s pray that they take the time to do their schoolwork to the best of their ability, as if they are doing schoolwork for the Lord. Because they are.
4. That they would be a friend to the friendless
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 (ESV)
Doesn’t it seem like every year there is one kid in class who has a hard time making friends? Some years that kid was my child. Oh what a difference it would have made if just one child came alongside her to be her friend.
Our experience has spurred us to pray that our children would be a friend to the friendless. Bullying or even just loneliness can take such a toll on children. Let’s pray that our kids have the courage to reach out in kindness when they see another child who could use a friend.
5. That God would open their eyes to anything unbiblical
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26 (ESV)
One of the things I remember as a Christian student in public high school was the day my science teacher made fun of one of my classmates for challenging the accuracy of the Big Bang Theory. Years later, I admire my classmate for sticking up for her beliefs.
When our kids go to school, especially public school, they will be exposed to beliefs that are in opposition to what the Bible says. Let’s pray that our kids listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to recognize such thoughts and ideas. And let’s pray that our kids would desire to discuss these issues with us, their parents.
6. That they would not be ashamed of the gospel
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16 (ESV)
Sooner or later in public school, a Christian kid will probably be made fun of for their belief in Jesus. Hopefully it won’t happen on a regular basis. But even if it does, let’s pray that our kids are confident enough in their faith that they are not ashamed of the gospel. Pray they recognize that everyone, including those who make fun of them, needs the salvation the gospel offers.
7. That they would have wisdom in choosing friends
“Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV)
Choosing friends is important. It’s a talk I’ve given to my kids over and over. You see, in college, I thought I was a strong enough Christian to hang out with whomever I pleased. I chose some non-Christian partying friends. I didn’t change them. They changed me.
Let’s pray that our kids choose well when they choose their closest friends. That they choose friends who will encourage them to strengthen their relationship with Jesus.
8. That they recognize and take opportunities to share the gospel
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…Matthew 28:19 (ESV)
Even our children are presented with opportunities to share the gospel. Pray that they recognize the opportunities to share Jesus with their friends — that they would be open to inviting others to church or youth group or AWANA.
9. That they would be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20(ESV)
There are a lot of opportunities to get angry at school. An unfair grade, a cold shoulder from a friend, or even a misunderstood assignment all have the potential to stir up anger in our children. Let’s pray when they are tempted to lash out in anger that they would remember to listen first and not sin in their anger.
10. That they end the school year more spiritually mature than they began
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 (ESV)
Each school year we expect that our children will have more knowledge at the end of the year than they had at the beginning. It’s why we send them to school. But do we expect that they will grow spiritually every year?
More than anything else, let’s pray that our kids take their faith in Christ seriously. That they are motivated to read their Bibles and pray. And that they would end the school year more spiritually mature than they began.
That, to me, would be a successful school year.