September is here and it’s pretty weird. I don’t know about you, but for me, this year has felt like it has flown by and lasted forever all at the same time (and I’m not even sure how that’s possible). Here in Burleson, our schools are starting off the year this week. COVID-19 has completely changed how schools will be operating this year. Some students will be learning virtually completely from home, some will be in class on campuses, and others will be attending school both in-person and online. Even families who have always homeschooled their children are having to make adjustments this year. With all of the new procedures and policies put in place, it’s no wonder that kids, parents, teachers, and administrators have been feeling some stress and anxiety from starting this year.
As I have been praying for all of the teachers I know, my kids at church as they start back to school, and the parents that are learning how to deal with all of this, God has been revealing a few main points of prayer. I wanted to share them with you.
- Pray for guidance.
All of us are navigating through uncharted territories right now – especially those involved in the school system in any capacity. Parents, one way you can be praying your kids through this year is to ask the Lord for guidance. Seek Him and what He has planned for your family, instead of focusing only on what you want your school year to look like. Listen for the Holy Spirit’s promptings in your day to day lives. Parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators, and so many others have had to make difficult decisions already. There will be more hard decisions to make in the future, but take comfort in knowing you do not have to make them alone. Psalm 105:4 says “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.” God will guide you as you look to Him.
No matter how the children in your life are attending school this year, they are looking to you for direction. This means it is imperative to be pointing them to Christ and looking to Him yourself for guidance. There are tons of people throwing out advice right now (including me!), and while a lot of the advice you’re given might be great, it is important to look at everything through the lens of the Bible. Base the decisions you make about school and your children on what God is speaking to you through His word and your time spent in prayer.
- Pray that God would grant you more grace and patience in this season.
Everyone needs a little extra grace and patience this year. Parents, this means you too. Give yourself grace as you juggle working and teaching your child at home. Give yourself grace when your family doesn’t stick to the routine or schedule at all. Give yourself grace when you order pizza for dinner again because you are too exhausted to think about cooking. Be patient with yourself. Ask God to help you focus your time and energy where it is most needed. Give yourself grace and ask the Lord to help you do so.
Secondly, it is also important to pray for grace for the children in your lives. Ask the Lord to help you give them grace when they fail. Pray for patience when they are struggling with something at school. Your children are learning new concepts in entirely new environments.
Finally, pray for grace and patience for the teachers and administrators this year. Remember that they are all navigating the same uncertain territories as your family. Some teachers are having to teach virtually when they have never done so before. Some are having to teach both online and in person simultaneously. Some are teaching in a classroom full of children, trying to keep everyone safe and healthy while helping them learn something. Ask the Lord to help you have grace and patience with the teachers in your child’s life.
- Pray for the health and safety of your kids.
As we all keep learning how to live with this virus, it is important to continually be praying for the health and safety of the kids in our lives. There is power in prayer, and God is bigger than COVID-19. This pandemic has not come as a surprise to Him, and He is still in control of it all. One of the most powerful ways that you can protect your children is to pray for them.
Praying God’s protection over your kids does not guarantee they won’t ever get sick or nothing bad will ever happen to them, but it does help prepare you to be able to handle trials when they arise. By staying in tune with the Holy Spirit, you will be better able to take on the uncertainties that this year has to offer.
Your kids need you to pray for them. They are learning how to pray and follow God as they watch you. Take a breath, pray, and trust that God has complete control over the 2020-2021 school year. While this year might not be what we are all used to, I truly believe that God is moving and working through it all.
To all of my parent, grandparent, teacher, and administrator friends – I am praying for you and I love you! I’m also praying for the precious children in your lives. You’ve all got this because God’s got you. I’d love to hear from you. How else are you praying for your kids this year? Is there anything specific for you or your family that I can be praying for?