As kids and young adults around America prepare to head back to school, things are no doubt poised to be different amid the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, sparking a slew of back-to-school prayer requests.
While some schools are closed and remote, others have plans for a full return. And amid the mixture of reactions, there's plenty of confusion abounding as well as a plethora of questions for parents, politicians and school leaders, alike: What will school look like? How will the day-to-day unfold? What will parents do if schools are closed and they're heading back to work?
READ ALSO: POWERFUL BACK-TO-SCHOOL PRAYERS FOR TEACHERS
Amid the chaos and questions, it’s essential to keep in mind the importance of turning to God to ask Him to bless and guide students' paths, to protect them and to offer ongoing guidance as young people embark on new and unchartered back-to-school scenarios.
So, we’ve put together a list of helpful back-to-school prayer options — invocations you can use throughout the year ask God to bless your children’s lives, and as we navigate the pandemic.
Considering all the pressure facing kids and young people amid COVID-19, prayer for back-to-school time is a helpful way to ask God to sustain and prepare kids for the year ahead. Let’s dive into prayers for elementary, middle, high school and college students:
Back to School Prayer AMID COVID19: Elementary Students
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” - Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
It’s important to start the year with a first day of school prayer. Consider sitting down with your young elementary school kids and encourage them to say a prayer for school. Elementary school can be scary for young children who aren’t used to being away from mom and dad, and the pandemic is likely only intensifying that uncertainty and fear.
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Here are some prayer options for first day of school prayer and prayer for back to school more generally:
Lord, please bless [child’s name]. We ask in this back-to-school prayer that You give him/her strength and courage to be away from mommy and daddy — and that You sustain and guide him/her as he/she learns and grows. We ask that You protect and be with [child’s name] this school year and that You equip us as parents to help guide him/her. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
God, as we start a new school year, this prayer for back-to-school time is focused on my request for Your help. Please help me as a parent of a small child with a young and developing mind. Please guide me to help my child learn. And I also pray for [child’s name’s] new teacher — please grant him/her wisdom and protect my child, Lord. Thank You for Your love and guidance. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
As you consider ways to help your young kids transition to school, you might consider streaming some of these amazing titles on PureFlix.com: “Paddington Goes to School,” and “Prayers for Little Children.” Each offers some helpful guidance for kids.
Prayer for Back to School Time AMID COVID-19: Middle School Students
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
Middle school is a pivotal time in many kids’ lives, as it signifies a transition out of early childhood, with an approach toward the teen years. From a potential first day of school prayer to general invocations for safety and protection during back to school time, there are many ways to seek God on behalf of your kids.
Here are some back to school prayer options for your kids, especially as we navigate COVID-19:
God, as my child heads toward middle school I pray that You would guide him/her. There are new pressures coming as high school approaches. I ask that you protect my child’s heart and mind. Help him/her to focus on You and to remember You in his/her interactions with others. I also pray that You would help him/her to find the right friends and influences. Please guide me as a parent as I navigate the middle school waters and help guide my child. I also pray for our family's safety. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Lord, this first day of school prayer is my effort to focus intensely on You, and to ask that You would fill my child’s heart with Your love. Please help him/her to remember Your love, Your standards and Your care for him/her. Please guide his/her decisions this school year, and help guide him/her to embrace the academic challenges ahead. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
Prayer for Back to School: High School Students
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:19 (NIV)
High school is a pivotal time for parents and kids alike. As we consider prayer for school experiences, it’s important to note the massive changes teenagers go through during the high school years.
From learning to drive to preparing for the SATs and college admissions, a great deal happens between the 9th and 12th grades. With that in mind, consider saying some powerful prayers for back-to-school time for teens:
Lord, this prayer for school focuses on [child’s name]. High school comes along with so many responsibilities and happenings. Please guide our family and protect him/her throughout this school year. I pray that You protect him/her against peer pressure, and that You help him/her to take his/her studies seriously. As events and massive changes unfold, I ask in this back-to-school prayer that you would just prepare [child’s name] and guide his/her life for Your purposes. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
God, peer pressure concerns me, especially in a culture that embraces so many values that counter Your truth and love. Please protect [child’s name] as he/she navigates the waters of high school. I am so grateful for the ways in which You have guided my life and I pray You do the same for my child. This back-to-school prayer is my effort to truly lift my child up to You. Please guide me as well and give me the emotional and spiritual resources I need to keep him/her grounded.
If you’re looking for a solid resource for teens, consider streaming “The Young Believers,” a film that shows “four Christian teens ... navigating through their senior year using God’s Word as their guide.”
READ ALSO: 10 Bedtime Prayers for Children
Back to School Prayer: College Students
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” - Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV)
College is a time of growing and exploration, but it’s no secret that it’s also a time when many young Christians’ faith is challenged. And with the new pressures posed by the pandemic, these pressures will only intensify.
Back-to-school prayer is essential for young adults heading to college, as the influences — the partying, secular ideologies and other elements — can have a major impact on worldview.
With that in mind, let’s consider one first day of school prayer and another general prayer for school success:
God, as my child is growing into an adult, I ask in this first day of school prayer that You would guide and protect him/her. College is an amazing time, but it’s also a time when many young people lose their faith in You. Please protect him/her. Please guide him/her to make the right decisions when it comes to peer pressure, partying and other negative influences. Please also help him/her to be a witness in the classroom and out of the classroom. I also ask that You would help him/her to seek Your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Lord, as I say this back to school prayer for [child’s name] I ask that you would sustain and guide him/her. Please help him/her to perform well academically and to learn more socially, all through the lens of loving You and loving others. Rather than getting distracted by the things of the world, I ask that You would give him/her Your heart for those around him/her. Please take his/her life and do wonderful things for Your will. Please also guide me as a parent with the resources I need to support him/her. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
READ ALSO: 5 Encouraging Prayers for Mothers
As you look for the first day of school prayer options and general back-to-school prayers we hope that this list of invocations is helpful. Our kids our precious, and these prayers are a starting point for prayer for back to school time. Praying for safety for children and teachers, alike, is essential, especially as we navigate such uncertain times.