How to Spiritually Prepare for Back to School

by Shelby Turner 

From purchasing pencils to scheduling haircuts to calming back-to-school jitters–the weeks leading up to the start of a new school year are full of preparation for parents. Our house is no exception, although I am more of a last-minute mom when it comes to preparing for school. Putting in Target pick-up orders the night before school starts is the norm for me. But I usually get my kids sent off to school with (almost) everything they need for a solid start to the new year.  

I’m sure this year will be no different, but what I lack in preparing school supplies, I am determined to prepare spiritually for this year. Over the summer, I’ve thought a lot about my spiritual role in my kids’ education. Sure, I help with homework, pack lunches, and communicate with teachers. But I want to do more. Specifically, I want to commit to pray diligently for them while they are at school. I want to pray for their safety, friendships, academic success, and their character growth. The school makes a massive impression on my kids. This year, I want the frequency of my prayers to match the magnitude of the impression school has on them. So I am making a simple plan to pray for them all school year long.  

Here’s my prayer plan, and I encourage you to try it out this year, too. It will take about an hour to prepare this school year prayer plan, but it will be worth it! Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Choose five main topics of prayer for your kids. You will pray about one of these topics each day of the school week, Monday through Friday. Here’s what I chose: 

Monday – Faith 

Tuesday – Friends 

Wednesday – Academics 

Thursday – Character 

Friday – Safety and Success 

  1. For each main topic of prayer, write four specific prayers for your children. Feel free to include verses you want to pray over them as well. Mine are listed below. You can use these exactly, adjust them a little, or write your own! 

Monday — Faith 

Lord, firmly establish my children in the love of Christ. Ephesians 3:14-19 

Lord, teach my kids to be sensitive to your leading in every moment, big and small, at school. John 16:13 

Lord, equip my children to stand firm in their faith when they encounter criticism of their beliefs. Ephesians 6:11-18 

Lord, help our family keep first things first by reminding us to prioritize church, prayer, and time in the Bible as a family even when our schedules are full of activities. Joshua 24:15 

Tuesday — Friends 

Lord, please bring godly friends into the lives of my children. Romans 12:2 

Lord, help my children be friends to those who are weak, lonely, and hurting. Romans 12:10 

Lord, help me build friendships with and be a witness to parents, teachers, and administrators at our school. Mark 16:15 

Lord, please open doors for us to share the gospel with our friends. Matthew 28:19 

Wednesday — Academics 

Lord, give me wisdom and patience as I support my children through their academic strengths and weaknesses this year. James 1:5 

Lord, help my children to be secure in you. Let this security anchor them through any academic fear or anxiety they face. Psalm 27:1 

Lord, give my children curiosity, passion for growing and learning, and the ability to comprehend the things they are taught. Proverbs 2:6 

Lord, please continue to develop my children’s interests and skills. Help me see the unique gifts and talents you’ve given them. Psalm 139:13-14 

Thursday — Character 

Lord, in every high and low my children face this year, please build their perseverance to work hard and be faithful in all things. Romans 5:3-5 

Lord, give my children the courage to try new things, make new friends, and be a witness for you. Deuteronomy 31:6 

Lord, teach my children to be humble and live with a heart of servanthood. Philippians 2:3 

Lord, lead my kids to be kind people who are generous with their resources and their words towards others. Proverbs 11:25 

Friday — Safety and Success 

Lord, keep my children safe from harm during their school day. Psalm 91:1 

Lord, protect my children from harsh words, insults, and gossip. Proverbs 17:9 

Lord, give my children favor with teachers, peers, and administrators. Proverbs 3:3-5 

Lord, help my children to work in all things as unto you and not unto man. Colossians 3:23 

  1. You now have 20 personal prayer prompts for your children! We are going to add reminders to pray these prayers into your phone calendar. Find the Monday before school starts on your phone calendar. Add an event with your first Monday prayer prompt. Set it for a time that will allow you to stop and pray for a minute. Mine looks like this: 
  1. Repeat this process with all 20 of your prayer requests. You should have one prayer request on each school day for four weeks in your calendar at the end. Be sure to choose to repeat each prayer request every four weeks and turn on an alert for the event. This way, you will have a reminder notification to pray for the entire school year!  

In the mad dash to prepare for a new school year, don’t forget to be intentional about preparing to pray for your children’s school year. The year will undoubtedly hold joys, trials, and growth. As parents, we can’t control what happens at school, but we can regularly uplift our children to the Father through prayer. And God hears our prayers and responds according to His perfect will (1 John 5:14). I am committing to pray diligently for my children this school year, and I hope you will too!  

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