Starting With Prayer

My daughter had a friend sleep over last night. Now, we always end our days with me praying for my girls individually before they go to sleep. Now that we've hit the pre-teen years with my older daughter, I'm acutely aware that sometimes I can embarrass her. So, last night I asked her if she wanted me to pray or just kiss her and leave the room. She responded that she wanted me to pray for both her and her friend.

I've found that praying with my girls at the end of the day helps them, and it helps me. My girls know I'm praying for them, and I learn what's bothering my girls.

Prayer is powerful, and knowing that someone is praying for you is a boost.

As we head into the new school year, we need to make sure that we are covering our kids in prayer -- and that our kids know it. James 5:16 says "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." Prayer is powerful and effective. God is listening, and He wants to hear your heart for your kids.

There are going to be times during your kids' lives where there is nothing you can do to help a situation. You won't be able to make them learn the material, you won't be able to solve a problem with a friend, you won't be able to change the hard teacher, but you can pray. And prayer is powerful and effective.

Break it down

So, as you send your kids out the door to school or you sit down in your schoolroom at home, start your planning and preparation for this school year with prayer. Specifically, pray for your kids in these areas:

Spiritual -- Ask God to help your kids grow in their relationship with Him this year. Whether your child is 2 or 15, they can learn more about God and draw closer to Him during this school year. Ask God to help them stand strong for Him.

Emotional -- As kids grow, they begin to learn to deal with more and more emotions. Ask God to help them to learn to handle those emotions in an appropriate way. If your child struggles with a particular emotion, ask God to step in and help your child to control it.

Physical -- Pray for health and safety for your kids this year. My girls tend to be accident prone (we're frequent fliers at the ER), so this is a big one for us.

Mental -- Ask God to help your kids do well in school. We won't all have A+ students, but we can ask God to help our kids live up to their potential. Ask Him to help your kids focus on their studies and give their best effort every day.

Relational -- Pray for your kids to choose friends wisely. Ask God to help them make good decisions even in the face of peer pressure. Pray for your kids' friends, that they would be a good influence on your son or daughter.

Start with this list and personalize it for your kids. Pray specifically for the things that they struggle with. You can find a printable list to get you started here.

Create a prayer station

And don't forget to let your kids know you're praying for them. This year, we have a bulletin board that hangs in our kitchen. We'll be using that as a family prayer board. Everyone in our family can write a prayer request on a slip of paper and tack it to the board at any time. The other members of our family will be praying over those requests. This is a great tool to get your kids to let you know what's on their minds without them having to tell you face to face. And it's a great way for your kids to know that you are praying for them.

It doesn't have to be a bulletin board. You can use a jar or a window or a wall. But creating a station in your home where your kids can bring things to be prayed over helps them to know that prayer is powerful and effective. It helps them to understand that loving someone means you pray for them. Encourage your kids to pray for each other when they know something big is going on in the other child's life.

Covering your school year in prayer -- and continuing to pray throughout the year -- can make a big difference for your kids. Because prayer is powerful and effective.

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Linking up today with Time-Warp Wife and A Heart Reflected.