O Holy God, Our Creator and Sustainer,
I ask you today to draw near to our community and hold us in your hand, tuck us under your wing, as our children go back to school. I pray that our children are encouraged, brave, bold, and compassionate. I pray that their school communities lift them up so high that can easily rise above the culture of bullying that has invaded our world. And, God, I pray for their safety, I pray that the violence that has permeated even our most innocent institutions will stop, not just here, but everywhere. I ask that you grant them a peaceful place of learning, where they are able to free their young minds from worry and fill those minds with learning. I ask for flexibility and understanding in their spaces of learning, and I pray that our children and their teachers know, truly know, that their worth is indeed not measured by any test score, and are heartened to strive for their best, without fear of comparison. God, especially hold new students and their families in your light. May they find radical welcome, places of belonging, and feelings of peace and excitement.
Lord, I thank you for the incredible gift of community, and I ask that our children have opportunities to explore that incredible gift and build lasting, supportive, silly, caring friendships.
I deeply thank you for the teachers and assistants who are in the classrooms with our children. The love and understanding they show their students give the students one of their first glimpses of Your Love. Their hands and feet are the hands of feet of Jesus, doing humble, hard, servant work. Bless them. Deeply bless them, grant them patience and understanding, and draw near to them, making your presence known when they are bogged down by paperwork, complaining parents, challenging kiddos, and exhaustion. Fill their cups as they fill the cups of our children.
Lord, I am filled with gratitude for the staff that supports our children outside of the classroom. Bless the workers who feed our children, welcome them to sit in community and share a meal. Be with them as they prepare the food and serve it to our children, especially our children who wouldn't have enough to eat otherwise. Bless the custodians of our schools as they clean and maintain our buildings helping to keep our children safe and healthy. Bless the bus drivers and crossing guards who safely transport our children to school, adding ease to our mornings and shouldering an enormous responsibility. Be with them on the roads, keep them safe, give them wisdom and patience, and extra strong ear drums. Bless our secretaries and nurses, who work tirelessly all day taking care of whole buildings. Draw near to them when they feel undervalued. Bless all staff behind the scenes that contribute to the education of our children.
And God forgive us for not doing more and using our voices to advocate strongly for their position in society. Help us to do better, to be brave and bold so that we may move toward becoming a nation that actually values educators as much as we say we value education.
Holy God, I pray for the administrators throughout the district, that their distance from the classroom doesn't become too vast that they lose sight of their call, that their professional drives don't overwhelm their hearts' desires to do the right things for children and their families. I pray that their plates don't become so full that it causes them to be discouraged. I pray that administrators are lifted up by their teams, by their peers, by the families they serve.
Amazing God, our Father and Mother, who created all nations and all people in Your Image, I pray for other children around our country and around the globe who don't have the same access to quality education, who are in war-torn countries, countries that deny access based on gender or caste, areas that are too poor or lack adequate funding to provide quality learning environments, regions where children are caused to travel long, sometimes unsafe, distances to attend school, and for all children who experience barriers to this basic human right. Let us not lose sight of how privileged we are or of all our many blessings.
Lord, hear my prayer.
So be it. So be it. Amen.