Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5.16-18, ESV
Raising kids isn’t for the faint-hearted. Educating them is no cake walk either.
In the run-of-the-mill routine of life, we can slip into two traps: putting our parenting on auto-pilot or being so over-the-top protective that our children are never allowed to choose or learn failure. Parenting demands a balance of training, vigilance, and prayer.
Heaps of prayer.
Mountains of prayer.
The I-wore-out-my-knees kind of prayer.
As we dive into a new school term, take Paul’s advice: Pray without ceasing.
It doesn’t matter if you homeschool, private school or public school—do not be overconfident or over-anxious. Whatever situation you have chosen for your child’s education—whether you think it’s the best or you are dealing with the worst—proceed with prayer. We need the Lord’s help in this endeavor day-in and day-out.
You might be saying, “I don’t have kids,” or “My kids are out of the house,” or maybe “I just have grandkids.” No problem! Adopt a kid to pray for: kids in your church, nieces or nephews, your friend’s kids, or your grandchildren.
I often wonder how on earth I survived my school years without severe scarring or apostasy. Knowing what I know now about what could have gone wrong, I am convinced someone must have been praying for me.
Below are links to PDFs with prayer suggestions tailored to your school situation. If you’re struggling with structure, I suggest using the A.C.T.S model—Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication—and writing out your prayers. There are many times when I start to ramble, my mind wanders, or I simply find myself distracted. Writing out prayers helps to focus our intention in approaching the throne of Almighty God. You can post the PDF next to your desk at work, on your bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator, or (if you have a “War Room”) put it on your prayer wall.
Here are some suggested prayer ideas using the A.C.T.S. method:
Adoration: Praising God for Who He Is
- God is our loving Father
- He is faithful
- His steadfast love never fails
- He hears our prayers
- He sees everything
- He cares
Confession: Confessing your sins to the Lord and asking forgiveness
As a parent, I often fall short in many ways. I seek forgiveness when:
- I lose my temper
- I allow self to be the focus
- I lose sight of what is truly important.
- I get lazy in my efforts
- I do not love my kids the way Christ loves me
Thanksgiving: Gratitude for God’s gifts
Express gratitude for:
- My child(ren) (Psalm 127:3-5 – “Children are a heritage from the Lord… Like arrows in the hand of a warrior… Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!”)
- That strong-willed kid: be thankful for the patience you’re being taught and the opportunity to empathize with other parents
- the opportunity to raise them in a free country
- the ability to educate them
- the choice to educate them in the way we prefer
Supplication: Seeking God’s help
For Our Child(ren)
- Remembrance of the good lessons we have taught them
- Strength to resist peer-pressure and temptation
- The wisdom to be respectful to those in authority
- Attentiveness to their studies
- Opportunities to learn discernment between truth and lies, good and evil, right and wrong.
- Protection from harm
- Friends who will positively influence them and be positively influenced in turn
- May they learn to the fear the Lord and heed wise advice (Prov. 1.7)
- Provide them with a good and patient teacher
- If the child has a bad teacher, pray for your child to learn the valuable lesson of how to succeed under bad supervision.
- Wisdom (for the child) to choose the Lord over the world.
For The Parent
- Help me be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger
- Wisdom to ask the right questions and listen carefully to their answers
- Wisdom to constructively address issues/questions/problems as they arise so that we can lead them in the way of the Lord
- Help me to know when to step in and when to step back.
I hope these ideas encourage you to send you children into the day with prayer.
Here are the links to the PDFs:
What requests are you making for your children as you enter this school year? Please share in the comments below!