Throughout the country, a new school year is once again, upon us! This is always a very exciting and promising time of year for the teachers, students, and staff; but also, especially in this complex day and age, a time of inherent anxiety. It is a time of prayer!

From Philippians 4:6-7 in the Words of the Apostle Paul: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.

So, what is Prayer?

Prayer is a conversation with God. It’s asking Him to meet your need or the need of someone else. It’s praising Him and thanking Him as we commit things into His hands.

When we pray, we open the door for God to come into our problems and situations and work on them. In that sense, prayer forms a partnership with God.  More often than not, we cannot directly change people and fix their life challenges, but God can minister to their hearts and lives.  As written in Jude 20, “we can reach God by praying through the power of the Holy Spirit”.

Further, the Bible tells us in James 5:16 that “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Prayer is passionate. It is about sincerity… and putting your whole heart into it.

So as you consider this new school year, public, private, and parochial, pray for:

–  The students.  Pray for each student, yours and/or others, and their families daily by name. At our church where we also have a Christian school, the elders receive a list of the school families and pray for 5 different families each day.  Or, it could be as simple as identifying students that you know from your friends, co-workers, or church. Your prayer petition could be for their safety at school and negative outside factors including the internet, physical and mental bullying, and now even weapons in the wrong hands.  Pray for their hearts and minds, that they are able to learn things that are both of this world, and of God. Pray for them to stand up boldly for Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

– Their friends and classmates. Pray for friendships with others from whom they can learn, have fun, and grow. Pray that they, in turn, are positive influences in the lives of their classmates. Pray for the students to be able to share and mentor each other as they learn and mature together in their homes, local areas, and global community.

– The student’s teacher. Pray for the student’s teachers by name.  Know that they want all students to succeed in life.  They encourage student persistence, understanding, listening skills, and achievement. Pray that the teachers in your child’s or other students’ lives will have a connection with them as they learn and grow. That they will truly care for their students, and that in turn, the students will respond in kind, knowing that they matter. Pray that they will have positive attitudes as they deal with daily issues and that they will remember their calling… why they became teachers in the first place.

– The school leadership. The school staff, including the principal, assistant principal, and school administration.  Also, the school’s support team, including aides, counselors, medical professionals, transportation personnel, the tech support staff, and coaches. Pray for blessings for all of these educators and support teams that they will realize how valuable they are to the school as facilitators of learning.

– Christian leadership. Pray for your church pastors, the office staff, volunteers, and others who bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the next generation of believers, full of grace, love, joy, and fellowship within your church community.

Finally, in the words of I Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.

So, fill the children and their educational support system in prayer through the Holy Spirit. Help them to love unconditionally, be filled with joy overflowing, remain peaceful and patient, be kind to others, and walk in goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness. Pray they continue to develop these as they journey through their lives!