My kids are filled with excitement as they anticipate the beginning of a new school year. We have bought new clothes, found backpacks that match their individual personalities, delivered supplies to their respective schools, met all the teachers……and now we wait. We wait as seconds tick off the clock. We wait with anticipation of what this new school year will offer us all in terms of victories and disappointments. We wait patiently to enter into the unknown. We wait knowing that in just a few hours our children will begin new relationships with peers and adults who will all have a voice into their souls. We wait and wonder if we have done everything we can to prepare them for the unknowns that will be revealed as early as tomorrow morning.
As this afternoon gradually turns to evening I know that in just a few hours my kiddos are going to brush their teeth and let us tuck them into their beds. When they wake up, they will all enter into new worlds. It will be the first day one is a freshman, one is a 4th grader and one is a 1st grader. As the evening gradually turns into tonight, I wonder if I have done everything I can to have them ready for their BIG first day of a new school year. It dawns on me that there is one thing left for me as the parent to do…..I need to pray over each of them individually.
I pray for them every day.
I pray with them practically every night.
I pray alongside of them at basically every meal we share together.
Tonight I will do the most important thing I can do for my kids…..I will pray over them.
Tonight they will hear me petition our heavenly Father on their behalf. They will hear their name specifically lifted up to the God of our salvation. They will know that their name, the one that will be called during attendance tomorrow, has touched the ear of God.
Tonight they will hear me pray a grown up prayer. They will likely hear words they don’t fully understand, but tucked away in their subconscious, they will hear that their dad believes that God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. Even if they don’t understand the words, I am certain they will understand that I believe God will be with them tomorrow and in the days ahead. They will understand that I believe God is going before them and that He is trustworthy and powerful. They will understand that I believe God is powerful enough to handle everything the enemy will throw at them.
Tonight they will hear me acknowledge there is an enemy who is out to hurt them and ruin them. They will hear me refer to this enemy as one who is fighting a losing battle because our God has already proven His superiority and strength.
Tonight they will hear me ask God to use them…..as lights in the darkness. At this moment in their lives God has them in these specific classes, with these specific kids and teachers for what I believe is a specific reason. They will understand that I know how hard it is to be light in a dark place. They will hear me ask God to be strength in their weakness and peace in their fear.
Tonight they will hear me pray for their teachers and administration. My prayer is that God would guard the hearts and minds of those who will pour into my kids. They will hear me refer to these leaders as human beings with souls, families, fears, insecurities, struggles and victories just like the rest of us. We will pray God protects their homes and hearts throughout the year.
Tonight they will hear me thank God for His provision. He has been such a faithful God to me and to our family. We will thank Him for our health, our home, our family near and far, our friends, our church……and most of all for the salvation He has provided through Jesus. They will hear God get credit for every good and perfect gift He has graciously entrusted to me.
I don’t know what your nighttime routine is, but may I encourage you to do something? If you don’t do it often or have never done it before, this may feel a little bit awkward – but may I encourage you toward some needed awkwardness?? After the teeth are brushed and the bedtime stories are read – pray a grown up prayer over your kids…..say their name…..petition our good and gracious God…..and send them off tomorrow with the most important thing you can give them which is confidence that our faithful God and King is with them.