Going back to school can be scary for kids as well as parents. Be intentional in preparing your family this year with prayer.
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GOING BACK TO SCHOOL
I recently posted about changing our fearful mindset about our kids’ futures to one of hope because this is something I struggle with.
My kids have grown out of their baby years (I have a first grader) and little kid years (I have a middle schooler), and I need the constant reminder to turn to God instead of Google to help me with my parenting worries.
There’s only so much we can solve by researching and talking with others, because when it comes down to it, our children’s futures haven’t happened yet. It’s all hypothetical.
We can worry and plan and be proactive, but the truth is, we have to place our trust in God. We need to be going to Him daily and presenting him with our kids and praying for them.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns—and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?...Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." Matthew 6:25-27,34
While I firmly believe that mantras and affirmations can impact ourselves and our children positively, I also believe that turning those into prayers is another extremely affective way to nurture our children into successful and mature adults.
I may not have grown children, but I was raised in a family (as was my husband), where we knew our parents were praying for us. We knew this because they told us.
When we got married, they shared with us how they always prayed for us to have a Christian spouse.
We prayed with our parents as children when we were going through something hard—an upcoming test, a bullying situation, an especially difficult teacher.
They affirmed in us that we were more than what our friends thought, and that they saw something special in us that God would use one day.
Share these thoughts and prayers with your children. Start up a prayer routine of your own to pray for your own children, individually and daily.
WHAT DO I PRAY?
Having your own list of things and your own prayer style is a great place to start, but if you need guidance, I have a few places to turn.
1. USE THE PSALMS AS A TEMPLATE
Use the Psalms by turning these poems into a personalized prayer. For example, let’s take Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23
Now for every “I” and “me”, replace it with your child’s name. Pray this over your child:
The Lord is [name]’s shepherd, [name] lack(s) nothing. He makes [name] lie down in green pastures, he leads [name] beside quiet waters, he refreshes [name]’s soul. He guides [name] along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even though [name] walk(s) through the darkest valley, [name] will fear no evil, for you are with [name]; your rod and your staff, they comfort [name]. You prepare a table before [name] in the presence of [name]’s enemies. You anoint [name]’s head with oil; [name]’s cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow [name] all the days of [name]’s life, and [name] will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23
2. USE A RELATIONSHIP PRAYER BOOK
THE POWER OF A PRAYING PARENT
Stormie O’Martian is known for her bestselling prayer books for almost any relationship and genre you can think of. I like her Power of a Praying Parent book for some good pre-written prayers you can use. These aren’t directly from scripture, but use scripture as a reference in her self-written prayer paragraphs. They cover multiple topics and ages for ideas.
PRAYING FOR BOYS
I haven’t specifically read a book of prayers for girls (but now I will have to!), but I discovered this book called, “Praying for Boys” by Brooke McGlothlin, when my son was a toddler and prayed through the entire thing. This one is similar to the Psalm exercise I included above, taking scriptures and praying them over your children. Great reference book.
PRAYING CIRCLES AROUND YOUR CHILDREN
Another good find is “Praying Circles Around Your Children” by Mark Batterson, which is more of a reflection, than actual template like the others. A short, insightful book that challenges how we pray for our children.
3. WRITE YOUR OWN BACK TO SCHOOL PRAYERS
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with skipping all of that and simply pouring out your own heart to Jesus for your children. When we’ve gone through some especially hard times, I have stood in their doorways at night after they’ve gone to sleep and prayed over them. These are the prayers that I don’t necessarily want to share with them, but they are deeply spiritual for me as I see their sleeping faces.
Keeping a journal of your prayers instead of saying them out loud is also another great way to pray. I like doing this in a conversational tone to God rather than a record of how my day went or as if I’m writing a journal to myself. I love looking back on my old prayers and seeing how they were answered. Many times I’m almost comforting my old self in my grief and thanking God for the blessing of getting me through it.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…
Make prayer a regular part of your day. If you don’t already have a regular prayer practice, you might want to kick off your school year with a few hours alone in prayer. Not sure how to start? I’ve got you covered!
I created a Prayer Walk Workbook to guide you through one hour (or more, depending on how you want to do it) of guided prayers and journal prompts. I promise it will be encouraging!
For more posts on prayer and motherhood, check out:
- January: Print this 31 Day Bible Study on Prayer
- How to Create Your Own Prayer Walk Using the Psalms
- Raising Your Kids on Hope Through Positive Parenting
- What I Learned About God’s Role in Parenting from “Navigating Motherhood”
- Tips for First Time Moms
You’ve got this!
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