I turn on my computer or flip on my phone, and I’m flooded with images of the back-to-school season. Tiny tots with too-large backpacks hold “First day of Kinder” signs, older students pose for the obligatory photo, and college-bound freshman cling to their parents with a mixture of joy and trepidation written across their face. It’s a time of tensions: fear and excitement, grounding and giving wings, the mourning of an old phase while anticipating the next.
I’m sending my own off today … off into the wide world of elementary school. The date that has been looming on the calendar all summer is here, and I’m a raw mix of emotions. Because as it turns out, those well-intentioned grandmothers (the ones who tell you to enjoy it because they grow so fast) … well, those grandmothers were right. There were days I thought the hard, humbling preschool moments would never end, but then I blinked, and suddenly he’s entering first grade. I want to press the shutter on the camera and never release it; just freeze time.
Yet the hands on the clock march onward, and here we are. His backpack is packed, clothes are laid out, his lunchbox is stuffed. We’ll walk to his class—he with a spring in his step, while I fight to swallow the tears—and I’ll mark another milestone in this parenting journey.
I wonder if you’re here too? Standing at the threshold of a new class, a new season, a new year, swelling with excitement, sadness and a little bit of anxiety? Perhaps your baby is entering kindergarten, your little one is moving onto junior high, the oldest is driving to high school, or you’re leaving your very heart on the grounds of a university that your child now calls home.
No matter the age, whatever the stage of education, whether you’re a parent, a grandparent or just someone who cares about our students, I have a request.
Will you join me in praying for our children and our schools across your town, your state, our country for the next month? Let’s start today, August 18, and let’s pray daily until September 18. Because the this world is a bit of a scary place, and sometimes sending our children out into the world feels a bit like sending sheep into a lion’s den. I know, because I have to fight this fear and anxiety on a daily basis. I feel a sense of urgency for our children and our nation like never before. It is time that we went to battle. So let’s don the full armor of God, taking up as our weapons the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit.
Let’s go before the Lord, heads bowed, hearts humbled, and let’s pray in solidarity for our children, the schools, the staff, and their fellow classmates. Let’s pray that whether our kids are walking onto elementary schools, secondary learning institutions, or colleges and universities, they have an opportunity to spread light and grace to a world desperately in need of the Gospel. And let’s pray that they’re safe and protected while they do so.
Are you with me? I hope so! Because I long to see a movement across this country that brings hope and good news back into our schools. I long to see children coming to Christ, parents transformed, teachers redeemed.
If you’re ready to join me, it’s simple to commit. Pray. Just pray. Pray as you feel led, but if you need some direction, consider praying for the following:
Pray for the supernatural protection of our students.
Pray that evil would be held at bay and would be banished from our schools.
Pray that students would be allowed to continue to express their religious freedoms.
Pray that the Holy Spirit would flood our campuses with a presence so thick it cannot be denied.
Pray that students, teachers, staff and administrators who do not know the Lord would come to know the saving grace of Christ.
Pray for healing and wholeness in student’s home lives.
Pray for spiritual hunger and revival.
Pray that our children may have the opportunity to be a city on a hill, a light amongst the dark.
Start today, then pray with us for the next month until September 18. And don’t worry if you happen to jump in late or forget a few days; there’s nothing magical about the timeframe, but there is power when voices are raised in unison.
If you’d like to spread the word (please do!), share this post and download the image below to broadcast the pledge. (Click here to download. The image is 250×250 pixels to fit blog sidebar buttons.) Then use the image as your FB profile pic, upload it to Instagram, post it to your blog or note the pledge on Twitter. Let’s get as many parents as we can to commit to going before the Lord daily for one month to lift up our students and our schools! Because our students are in a battle, but we have the Warrior God on our side.
“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. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 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.” – Ephesians 6:10-18
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