Covering Our Students in Prayer

Back to school season is upon us.  For some parents, this has been a long time coming, while for others like myself, the thought of a new school year makes us feel sick to our stomach.

School started for us last Monday. My husband has been back full-time at the high school and my oldest began Kindergarten.  While it’s been nice getting back into a routine, it’s sad that summer seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye!

So how did Kindergarten drop-off go?  Well, the first day was perfect.  We went as a family to see our oldest off.  He was excited and didn’t shed a tear (I can’t say the same was true of myself).  When I went to pick him up that day, he ran over to me and shouted, “school is fun!”  This was music to my ears, but was it too good to be true?  Well, kind of.  The days since then have, overall, gone well.  He’s shed some tears at drop-off but later tells me that he stops crying after “one minute.”  I’ve asked him who or what  makes him feel better after my husband or I say goodbye.  Some days, he tells me Jesus makes him feel better and it melts my heart!  Other days, he tells me he feels better when he starts singing “Uptown Funk” to himself.  Whatever works, right?!

It’s been tough on me sending him to new school this year, but I’ve found so much peace in prayer.  Each morning, my husband and I pray with our son.  I pray with him before he leaves, and my husband prays with him in the car as they drive to school.  I also pray for him throughout the day and have shared with our son that whenever I think about him during the day, I say a prayer that he’s having fun and learning new things.  He loves hearing this!

As we dive into this new school year, I wanted to share some of the prayers I pray over my son:

  • I pray for his safety and the safety of all those who work at and attend the school.
  • I pray for peace among the students.
  • I pray for him to have confidence to make new friends.
  • I pray he has the courage to try new things and learn from his mistakes.
  • I pray he experiences joy in learning.
  • I pray he is diligent in his work and has the desire to focus.
  • I pray he is obedient to his teacher and others in authority.
  • I pray he is able to discern what is of the Lord and what is not of the Lord and that he has the will to choose what is right.
  • I pray that he glorifies the Lord in his words, actions, and thoughts.
  • I pray that he sees those who are scared, lonely, or sad and encourages them.
  • I pray that he is kind to others and that others are kind to him.
  • I pray that he knows his identity in the Lord and is not concerned about what others think of him.
  • I pray he stands up for those who are being bullied.
  • I pray he respects and appreciates others and their cultures, beliefs, and traditions.
  • I pray that he remains enthusiastic in his faith and that his belief never wavers.
  • I pray that he senses the presence of the Lord with him throughout the day.
  • I pray that he puts on the full Armor of God each morning: the belt of truth, the chest plate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit (from Ephesians 6:10-20).

In addition to these prayers for my son, I pray daily for the school, for the other students, and for the administration and staff.  I don’t have a specific prayer memorized and there are mornings when I forget to include a couple of these in my prayer.  However, I know that it gives me peace to have these words in my heart throughout the morning as my son is at school.  And I trust that these words will be imprinted on my son’s heart as he hears them repeatedly.

There are so many other things we can be specifically praying over our children for.  Let me know if there’s a prayer you include for your children.

For all of you who will be sending your children back to school in the coming days and weeks, please know my prayers are with you and your kids.  No matter if your children attend private, public, or homeschool, let’s cover them and those around them throughout the year!  They may not be in our hands during the school day, but we can take heart knowing that they are always in the precious hands of our Father!

Let’s raise His mighty warriors TOGETHER!

Practicing Contentment

It’s currently naptime and I was really debating whether or not I should take a nap myself.  Unfortunately, the days of all four boys napping at the same time are becoming fewer.  And while I love to get a quick catnap in to refresh myself for the rest of the day, I also enjoy the peace and quiet of a still house.  So today I’m choosing to unwind by writing.

It’s a Discipline

In different seasons, I have attempted to teach my boys what it means to be content. I’ve learned that this is a difficult concept for the boys to understand.  We’ve talked about being grateful for what we have and not always wanting more.  I’ve tried to teach them to slow down and not always wonder what we’re going to do next.  And we’ve discussed not being jealous about what others have.  It seems simple enough, but the discipline of contentment is tough for all of us and it’s one that needs to be practiced.

I think contentment is often confused with complacency or settling for less than what we desire or deserve.  But this thinking is so flawed.  Settling for something brings bitterness and disappointment, while contentment brings joy and peace.  Instead of drowning ourselves in despair because we are never going to have as much as this person or look as good as that person, we can have peace knowing that God is constantly working in us and through us.  Even, and especially, in those moments when He asks us to be still, the Lord is at work.  We can be confident in knowing that God has our best interest in mind even when we don’t see prosperity in our future.

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

The Secular Influence

We live in a society where we always want the latest and greatest technology.  We want to go on vacations right now.  We compare what we have to what others have and become jealous and greedy.  It’s that ugly part inside all of us.  I think a lot of times it comes out in our insecurities and the desire to make up for what we lack.

But contentment is not about “playing a part” to make it look like we have everything together.  It’s not about giving up or quitting because we’ll never have what others have.  It’s quite the opposite!  Contentment is about realizing that this is what’s best for us RIGHT NOW.  It’s not about changing our dreams, but about adjusting our expectations.  It’s about realizing our purpose in this season.

Just Be Content

By teaching my sons to have the right attitude and perspective of what it means to be content, they can experience freedom to look forward to what’s next without being consumed by it. At 3 and 5 years-old, this means being content with the lunch they were given instead of asking for more.  It means that the moment we step in the door from playing outside, they resist the urge to ask what we’re going to do next.  It means accepting a “no” or a “not right now” for an answer without becoming upset or disappointed.  This is not an easy concept to teach them, but it’s one I choose to work on with them while they’re young because I know how much it will help them as they grow up.

Another way that I’ve found helps my boys understand contentment is by being intentional with the words and phrases I use around them.  When my oldest asks to go outside but it’s not a good time responding, “that’s a great idea and I’d love to take you outside, but right now I need to put the baby down for a nap,” is better accepted than, “no.”  Validating kid’s requests and desires is important as it teaches them how God values every one of our thoughts and desires.  It lets them know that they are being heard even if their request isn’t met.

Practice

Personally, I’ve gone through plenty of seasons of discontentment.  Some were shorter than others.  Coming out of those seasons is tough.  It ALWAYS happens not when all my desires were met, but when I change my attitude and allow myself to be still and trust God.  It’s when I choose joy and hope instead of despair.  It’s when I choose to live instead of sulk.  It’s when I pray and seek to find my purpose in the present.  And it’s when I choose to wipe off the smudges on my glasses that are clouding my view to experience life more vividly!  These are the lessons I hope to teach and model for my sons now.  By planting these seeds, my prayer is that they’ll practice this discipline daily and find freedom and joy in being content in the Lord.

Let’s raise His mighty warriors TOGETHER!