A Back to School Prayer

In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Proverbs 16:9

The contents of the letter surprised me. Perhaps shocked is a better word. It was the beginning of August and every afternoon my soon-to-be first-grade son and I raced to the mailbox.  Any day a letter would arrive that told us who was to be his teacher. This was the day the letter presented itself in the mail.

I tore open the envelope ready to announce the anticipated information. My eyes scanned the name a few times before my brain absorbed the data.

“Mr. Aamot.”

“Wait, what.? It’s a mistake and God allowed it.” I kept this thought to myself.

“Oh wow, cool Bud, you got a guy teacher named Mr. Aamot.” Positive words covered my negative feelings.

“How could this happen?” I filled out the form for the best type of teacher for my child. Words like nurturing, encouraging, and female described the perfect educator for my son. 

“The school staff always honors the gender request for a teacher.” A school-savvy mom advised me. As I sealed the envelope, just to be sure, I cemented the deal with a prayer. I covered all the bases. 

The school messed up and God let it happen. 

The school-savvy mom also told me, “Once the teacher-student assignment is given, it is a permanent placement.”

There was no recourse. I would just have to help my son make the most of his first-grade experience. 

Despite the circumstance, my son appeared to be adjusting just fine. A few weeks into the school year parents have the opportunity to attend Meet the Teacher and Curriculum Night. Mr. Aamot stood in the front of the classroom while the parents sat in the first-grade-sized chairs and desks. We leaned in to hear him describe his teaching philosophy.

My heart softened a little.  I liked what he said and how he said it. His voice was steady, calm, and soft-spoken. He appeared to be a kind and nurturing individual. 

“I grew up in Brazil. My parents were Christian missionaries there.” 

The school did mess up. And God allowed it. God knew what I didn’t. Mr. Aamot was a gentle soul and a person of faith. Mr. Aamot was the perfect teacher for my six-year-old son. 

God showed me even when my intentions are well-meaning, His plans are best.

Now I don’t pray to have God cement my wishes but rather I pray regarding His will. 

Here are 10 back-to-school prayer topics to pray about for your child:

  1. Good friends
  2. Good teachers
  3. Safety 
  4. Learning
  5. Work ethic
  6. Open communication
  7. Smart decision making
  8. Ability to receive correction 
  9. Desire to do their best
  10. Grow in faith and trust in the Lord 

Below is an example of a back-to-school prayer for your child:

Lord, I pray for Your will and way as my children begin the school year. I ask You to bless my children with good, loyal, and moral friends. I pray my children’s conscience and Your Holy Spirit work together to give them discernment and wisdom. I ask that those in authority over my children are positive, compassionate, and godly role models. I pray my children have the courage to ask for help when needed and will step up and be helpers as well. Keep my children safe. I ask for Your protection over their mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being. Guard their heart, mind, and soul from anything that is harmful and not of you. Give my children the ability to receive correction. I pray my children confide in me when they experience a struggle. Let them know that You Lord are with them always. Amen 

The following year my daughter was getting ready to attend first grade. I filled out the paperwork for her: nurturing, encouraging, and male. Praise God, my request was granted. My daughter was blessed, as my son was blessed, with God’s choice of an educator, Mr. Aamot. 

I learned that even when my prayers are not answered as I prescribe, trust God. He has a purpose and that purpose will prevail.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:21