It’s hard to believe another school year is around the corner. Summer days have flown by and we find ourselves in the throes of registration, back-to-school shopping, and dropping off kids for athletic and band practices.
Back-to-School is a big deal. It’s a special time for every family and it’s especially important to me. When I start school next week I will be privileged to celebrate my 53rd FIRST DAY of SCHOOL, which reflects my time as a student, teacher, and administrator. Each of those years has been filled with hopes, dreams and precious memories.
Like others, I have plans for the new year. I want to help my students take academic risks and not be afraid to fall short. I want to help them build courage and confidence as they meet new challenges head on and determine next steps. And, I want to be a cheerleader for parents taking their students to school for the first time, and an encourager for those moving kids to college. It doesn’t matter whether the kids are five, thirteen or college age, starting school is an emotional time and it involves a new journey for everyone.
As we prepare for back-to-school I want us to be encouraged and prayerful. I want us to plant God’s Word firmly in our hearts and seek His peace that passes all understanding.
If you’re looking for inspiration to help start this school year off right, here are six verses to pray for students, teachers, administrators and schools. God’s Word provides the assurances we can cling to as they head back to class. There are so many needs, yet there is so much to be thankful for.
Six Verses for Back-to-School
1. WE ARE CALLED FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
Ephesians 1:4 (NIV), “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”
God has a plan for you and His plans are never random; He determined a purpose for you and your life before you were born. Be a light for Christ. Be prepared as you make plans and set goals. His plans always have your best interest at heart and His Word tells us to seek His wisdom and guidance in all we do.
2. RENEWED STRENGTH FOR EACH NEW DAY
Isaiah 40:31 (NIV), “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Because we are human we will grow tired and weary. Too many responsibilities and overbooking activities can invade family life, causing stress and challenges. Often things don’t work out as we planned, but instead of wearing ourselves out with an abundant to-do list, we can seek God’s Will and plan for our lives and that of our families. Ask Him to help you to make the best decisions for all involved.
3. LOVE OTHERS AS HE LOVES US
Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV), “You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity.”
The word ‘love’ appears in the New Testament over 100 times; the command to love one another or each other appears 11 times. There will be times when this is difficult to do. Both students and adults will experience hurt, anger, jealousy, betrayal and more. But God calls us to forgive and love even when we don’t want to. He calls His people to be kind, gracious, compassionate and care for others.
4. PRAY FOR PROTECTION AND SAFETY
Ephesians 6:10-12,18 (NIV), “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
In today’s world it’s easy to worry about the safety of our children and loved ones. Media reports arrive faster than ever before, besieging us with negativity. As parents we will run the gamut when it comes to dealing with issues that affect our kids. Bullying is more prevalent, kids are posting more inappropriate content on social media, and students are making costly decisions based on others’ opinions. More than ever we must put on the whole of armor of God to stand against the attacks by the prince of darkness.
5. DECLARE IN JESUS’ NAME THAT THIS WILL BE AN AMAZING & LIFE-CHANGING YEAR
Psalm 118:24 (NIV) “This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Begin preparations well in advance of the first day of school. Just as school districts train and communicate with teachers, parents must talk with their children about the learning process and their responsibility for taking ownership. Encourage students to be kind and make new friends. Pray for everyone to make wise decisions and support one another. Both students and teachers will be met with challenges from time to time, but school should always be a positive and rewarding environment.
6. PRAY FOR A HEART OF INTEGRITY
1 Chronicles 29:17 (NLT) “I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.”
Both students and teachers may meet with temptation and the decision to do the right thing will be up to them. Sometimes we get in over our heads, but it’s the teachable moments that make the difference and hold us accountable. As Christians, we must teach our children to stand up and stand firm for what they believe in. It should be our privilege to help them learn what it means to be just and honest. The Lord cherishes those who choose to follow Him all the days of their life. Life is not a popularity contest, but instead a mission field with invaluable experiences.
I am praying for you!