School starts in the next couple of weeks for us here in the Liberty, Mo., area (cue the collective groan from the kids), and it's a unique year for our family in that our oldest child is starting middle school. This brings up a whole new blend of worries, insecurities and excitement – oh, I was talking about me, but yes, the kids too – that need to be bathed in prayer.
I hope to keep coming back to these throughout the school year and praying them over my kids. Know that us EtchLife folks are also praying for your kids as we start the new year...we're all in this together! You can grab these as a pretty free printable or phone wallpaper by clicking the image below!
That they will be a friend who looks out for others.
The Good Samaritan story in Luke 10 is a great example of someone who notices, goes out of their way to encounter someone in need, then goes above and beyond. I pray my kids will not just be kind to the people who are already their friends or already in their spaces, but that they will "look out" and have an awareness of others outside their immediate circle who may need a friend, whether in a certain moment or for the long haul.
They will bring the light of Christ's love with them into the classroom.
Matthew 5:16 // In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. I pray God will give us the strength and wisdom to cultivate our family's collective desire for Him at home like a campfire, and the kids can dip their torches in and carry that light with them so it brightens their classrooms with hope and love.
That their words will show God's love.
Proverbs 15:1 // A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
We talk a lot about this verse at home, because it manifests itself about 500 times a day. But I pray the kids can be people who can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, bring gentle words into situations where harsh words seem to reign.
That they will be bold to speak when necessary and ready to listen when necessary.
James 1:19-20 // My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God's righteousness.
We live in a culture that seems to grow more divisive by the second. I hate to be a pessimist, but I'm not sure it's going to get better in the immediate future. That's why I'm praying my kids will have the courage to speak up when needed, to defend someone being picked on, to share their beliefs when they conflict with what they see around them, or to protect themselves from someone who would do them harm.
But I also pray they would have courage to listen. Our culture seems to communicate that listening to people you disagree with isn't an option. Wouldn't it be amazing if this next generation could bring a different view to the table and value listening?
That they will find learning that delights their heart.
Proverbs 16:16 // Get wisdom -- how much better it is than gold! And get understanding -- it is preferable to silver.
While school is an amazing lab for character development, that "education" bit is pretty significant too, right? I always hope and pray that the kids will find "their thing," something that really delights them to learn about. Some days this seems like asking a lot. But God designed my kids and knows how to bring out the gifts and loves and talents He placed in them!
*BONUS PRAYER FOR THE ADULTS* That God will give us the wisdom, patience and discernment to handle each new phase as it comes.
In our house, our two kids are several years apart so in different places in life, and their personalities are totally different. We need wisdom from the One who created these small beings to begin with!
What are you hoping and praying for your kids as a new school year begins? Comment below! And as you get ready to head back, here are a few products that can integrate God's truth into everyday life!
Alphabet Scripture Art Set // These cards are so beautiful, and offer great opportunities for families to have fun learning and memorizing scripture together. Imagine if you worked on memorizing a scripture every two weeks...this would take you through the whole year!
Lunchbox Notes // These encouraging notes are a sweet way to say "I'm thinking about you" when you tuck one in a lunchbox, folder or backpack. And, they are blank on the back which is perfect for a handwritten note.
She Reads Truth Bible (CSB) // Does momma need a new Bible? Hey, let's be honest, getting the kids ready to go back to school is no easy task and you just might need to treat yourself.