Children are a gift from the Lord;
They are a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3 NLT
It’s that time of year again when many of us are sending our kids back to school. And whether it’s their first or twelfth year in the classroom, it’s not uncommon for them to feel anxious. There are so many unknowns that await them—new teachers, possibly new friends, a new routine, a harder schedule, or maybe even a new school. Our kids may not realize it, but these are all character-building milestones and really nothing to fear at all.
Parents, on the other hand, are well aware of the more treacherous hazards they may face: making friends with the wrong crowd; being the victim of bullying; getting exposed to drugs, alcohol, and even sex, to name a few.
There are so many things for our kids to look forward to each school year, yet many to be cautious of as well. Most of us do everything we can to ensure our kids are well-prepared for what they might encounter, but it’s helpful to remember that they are also in God’s hands.
Therefore, one of the best things we can do for our kids now and in every season of life is to pray for them.
Pray for their strength and courage. Throughout their school-aged years, our kids will face all kinds of peer pressure. Standing up to this pressure is incredibly difficult for any child. Pray that they will be strong enough to do the right thing, no matter what.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Pray for their protection. Whether it be bullying, an accident on the playground or field, or violence in school or on the bus, our kids live in an increasingly unsafe world. Pray that the Lord will keep them safe and free from harm.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1–2
Pray for their wisdom and compassion. Whether they’re confronted with an opportunity to console a sad friend, befriend someone eating alone at the lunch table, or simply knowing when to remain silent, pray that the Lord will help them recognize and understand these moments for what they truly are.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
And pray for their joy. Every day is an opportunity for them to learn and grow, but that’s difficult to do if they routinely feel unhappy. Pray that God fills their hearts and minds with a joy only the Lord can provide. Pray that they might be a light to their friends, teachers, school staff, and bus drivers.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
This week, look for opportunities to discuss these principles with your kids. Then continue to pray these things for them, and know that they are true for you as well.
Today’s author: Mark Henderson—Founder of The Inspired Legacy
Mark is a creative professional with more than 20 years of experience in the fields of web design and advertising. He also serves as the chief content officer at The Inspired Legacy, an online ministry dedicated to shining a light on God’s gift of parenthood. The organization aims to inspire and equip fathers to boldly lead their families, love their kids unconditionally, and leave a legacy of grown children that carry on these same traditions. Mark resides in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with his wife, Kimberly. Together, they have three children, two girls, and one boy.