Our summer is officially ending as the new school year launched this week. Our youngest daughter has logged in to her online classes, and her nose suffered through a required COVID test to attend dual-enrollment classes at a local college. My husband, Rob, is already tackling the stack of books required for the second year of his master’s program. Our middle daughter is settled in with new roommates close to campus. We’re confronting the unknowns of our grade-schooler’s year, as we wrestle to choose the best option for his head and heart. Summer has ended with a hard stop as we jump into the school year we never saw coming.
As my loved ones scatter to grow and learn, I celebrate their independence. The fresh start is exciting despite the changes to school as we know it. God will certainly develop their gifts and stretch them in ways I can only imagine. Yet, my fears are real even as my heart feels joy and gratitude for what God has in store.
How will my kids thrive if they can’t return to the classroom?
Is my family’s health at risk?
How will they cope with wearing a mask all day?
Will my child suffer from loneliness, bullying, or rejection?
Will they feel stressed out or struggle academically?
How will the kids get along with their new teachers?
Can my daughter’s job cover the expenses of school and housing?
Will last year’s stresses and challenges follow us into this school year?
What if the worldviews my kids encounter derail their values and their faith?
Will my husband feel overwhelmed by adding grad school to his plate?
How will our relationship change as my child becomes more independent?
Can our family stay connected in this stressful, busy season?
As the “what-if’s” fill my mind, I can slide into fearful worry.
I’m tempted to micromanage and control every detail as “Boss Mom” takes over.
The ache of letting go can stir up a poor-me attitude that steals joy from my heart.
Instead of counting blessings and trusting God for each of my loved ones, I can fall deep into the pit of anxiety and doubt.
So I have to ask the question:
Will this school year begin in fear or faith for you and me? How can we experience God’s promise that we “will go out in joy and be led forth in peace”? (Isaiah 55:12) The answer is found on our knees in prayer.
Join me in praying for the family you love, the hopes and concerns we all carry, and God’s perfect plans to be revealed.
Lord, it’s hard to let my children move into what’s ahead. As a parent, I want to hold them close and protect them from every danger and struggle. Help me to trust you with the details of my kids’ lives as they begin their school year.
Guard my children’s hearts as they engage with other students and staff. Sustain their confidence when teasing, criticism, or harsh words attack their well-being. Fill them with your Spirit so they can respond with kindness and respect to everyone. Strengthen them to stand firm when they’re tempted to sin or follow the crowd. Help them to find their identity in you as beloved children of God.
Equip my kids to succeed. Teach them to be self-disciplined and focused. Give strength to endure when they’re weary and want to quit. Provide what’s needed to grasp new concepts and grow their skills. Despite the setbacks to their learning earlier in the year, continue to use their education to prepare them for the “good works, which God prepared in advance for [them] to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Give my children the priceless blessing of friendship. Allow them to know the joy of belonging and feeling wanted. Surround them with others who bring out their strengths and build up their spirits. When they suffer moments of loneliness, reveal yourself as their constant, faithful friend.
Lord, this year will bring its share of challenges and pain.
Each child has to adapt and show resilience in this school year we never saw coming. Fulfill your promise “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” so no hardship is wasted. (Romans 8:28) Use every hurt to reveal your mercy. Use each failure to create humility and a deeper reliance on you. Let the false teaching and confusion of the world make the truth of your Word our greatest treasure. Help me to trust you’re in control, growing my children in strength and maturity every day.
Throughout this school year, draw us closer to you and each other.
We surrender our days and plans to you–give us guiding wisdom at the crossroads we encounter. Keep us from crowding you out of our busy days so we can worship and pray as a family. Help us to value relationships over the to-do list so we invest deeply in the ones we love. Focus our eyes on eternity, seeking your kingdom instead of just building our own on earth. Fill our home with love, encouragement, and peace as we walk this year together.
Today, I place my children in your hands.
Your power is greater than the enemies and barriers they face. Your love surrounds them every moment and you never leave their side. You know them inside and out as the author of their lives. Thank you for all you’ve planned for the weeks and months ahead. Your will for each of us is “good, pleasing, and perfect” in every way. (Romans 12:2) Loving Father, you are “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to [your] power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)
To continue praying for your kids this school year, use discount code PRAYINGPARENT through August 31, 2020 on your own copy of Powerful Prayers for Your Daughter or Powerful Prayers for Your Son. And reach out with your prayer requests for your child–we lift up each and every one!