Amping Up Back-To-School Prayers for Our Kids AND Us
I see and hear you mamas who are taking those kiddos to school and college. Some of you are elated to get them back-to-school after a long summer. But others, like my niece who took her daughter to college, said: “I’m not gonna lie, I teared up the moment we pulled onto the campus, again while decorating, and more as we walked about. I have a feeling that I’m not done yet!”
To help those moms saying goodbye to their new high school freshmen, I love how Tulsa’s Bishop Kelley High School (where my nephew is a Math Teacher and the Girls’ Soccer Coach) has a school tradition of the upperclassmen standing outside and welcoming the freshmen with signs that say “Kiss Your Mother Good-bye”, and when they do kiss their mom, they scream for joy. Check out the video here: https://www.facebook.com/BKTulsa/videos/2004578409565118/
While the arrival of the school year brings a fresh, new start, it can carry new concerns to a mama’s heart. This photo is of my two on their first day of school (first grade and third grade in Cleveland, OK). I wondered how they would handle a brand-new school and classroom with kids they didn’t know and if they’d find a close “good” friend and not hang around the wrong crowd. I wondered if they’d do well in their classes. Some of you may be fretting about your prank-pulling middle schooler, earnestly hoping he doesn’t make a habit of getting called to the principal’s office. You may be stressing over academic concerns. “Will my struggling second grader ever make progress in her reading? Will math ever click with my fourth grader who gets hives when he sees a story problem? Will my high schooler graduate with honors, or better yet, will my high schooler graduate?”
But more than all those “school days” concerns, we also long for our kids to be spiritually and physically healthy. Long ago, in my children’s early years, I found an antidote to worrying about my children in the story of Mary and Jesus.
Luke 2:52 mentions four areas Jesus grew in as a young boy: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.” Our Lord grew wiser each year. He physically grew. His relationship with His heavenly Father continually strengthened. Jesus even gained favor with people here on earth who saw Him day to day. And how I love the simple sentence that precedes this: “His mother kept all these things in her heart.” We never see Mary fretting and fussing, worried and anxious. She pondered about her son and his growth, but she didn’t allow her mama heart to become rattled.
Let’s strive to be like Mary. Let’s turn our anxious thoughts into treasured prayers, kept safe and held fast by our loving Father — the one who knows our hearts and loves our children even more than we do. When a concern pops up in our mind, let’s carry that concern to God. When we start to fear for our child’s future, let’s petition the only one who knows exactly what the future holds — THE ONE Who knows everything about everything.
When we turn our worries into our prayers, we’ll realize our children aren’t the only ones being taught; we are learning life-long lessons in trusting and treasuring, knowing God is in control.
Heavenly Father, I pray for all these precious children that are starting a new school year. Protect them, encourage them and fill them with strong minds to learn and grow. Help them to be a great friend to others as they, themselves, have great friends. And, I pray for all the moms (and dads) to turn their concerns and worries into prayers, knowing You are in control. Please help them to treasure each moment with their children as they grow in wisdom and stature and favor with others and also with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Philippians 4:6-7, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving; let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”