Thursday, August 11, 2011

School Time, Prayer Time

Here in the Dallas area, we are just over a week away from a new school year. Stores are full of school supplies, clothes for the new year, tennis shoes to go with the dress code. Homes are full of mixed emotions: kindergarten parents cherishing their final moments before their little one goes off to elementary school--and the rest of us realizing that the time is here and we are ready to get back into a fall routine. (I'm kidding, sort of....) Kids, too, have mixed emotions--some are excited to see friends and meet their new teacher; others are worried that they won't have friends in their class or that their teacher won't be the one they wanted.

Wherever your family falls in the "ready for school" arena, there is one thing that I know I want to remember as we near the fall routine. I want to remember to pray. Starting now (and maybe some of you started this months ago), we should be praying for the class our child(ren) is in. We should be praying for the teachers and students who our children will encounter. We should be praying for the friends that they have, the curriculum they're taught, the principal leading them. No matter if you're in public school, private school, or even home-schooled, there are challenges that will come up this year, and those challenges should be covered in prayer.

I believe that schools are mission fields, and I want my children to be bold in Christ. It is so easy to get caught up in the task of learning what is deemed important, but I want my children to grow up knowing the most important thing above all else, and His name is Jesus.

Education matters to me. I taught middle school for five years, and I value our teachers immensely, so don't misunderstand me. I want my children to value their education, but I want them to value Jesus more....And so I pray. I pray for the situations they're in, the people they're around, and for them to be unafraid of the Truth--no matter the cost.

I know this task may seem daunting--there's so much that we can be praying for/about when it comes to our children. One way to make this a little easier is to pray with your child on the way to school (if you're able). Start their morning off with God on their minds. Bring their worries about bullies, tests, or even their haircut before the Lord in front of them. Speak praise for the good choices they've made. Ask God to bring Himself to their minds as they go throughout the day. Say a Scripture to have them focus on if there's a particular situation you know about. Stick a Bible verse in their lunch box along with your "I love you" note.

But no matter how you do it or when you do it, do it. Pray. Much difference is made for the Kingdom when we come before the Lord in prayer. Let Him be in charge of this school year--not schedules, programs, or homework. Jesus. He will carry you--and your children. After all, they're all His anyway. He will care for them--He already does.

Now what are you waiting for? Let's pray!

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