My back to school prayer is a little bit different this year. But, who am I kidding, everything is different this year. Well, maybe not everything. I mean, I still have most of the same prayer requests of the years past. It’s just that this year, I have even more.
First and foremost, please God, keep them safe. Every year, well every day, I pray for their safety, but never as much as I do now. These days, it feels like there is a darkness just following us around waiting on us to slip up so it can catch up with us. Forgot your mask, didn’t wash for 20 full seconds, 6 feet apart! Please, just watch over them.
When they are sick and tired of having a piece of cloth covering their face, please God, help them to be able to put out of their minds that it is even there. Please let the mask breaks be right on time.
Please Lord, be with their teachers. Give them peace in going with the flow. Right now, they have no idea what the year will bring — whether they will be reminding kids to keep their distance or pull up their masks every 5 minutes or whether they will have half a class out if quarantine is necessary.
When their teachers are feeling defeated, remind them that us parents are behind them 100% — trust me, we have an even better understanding of what all they do after last spring. God, please really drive into them the amount of admiration and appreciation that we have for them in how they mold our children in a way that seems so natural.
And help their teachers to know that we see them adjusting — making bitmoji classrooms just in case, putting in the extra work with videos for online studies, changing everything that they have done in the past to accommodate the new now. May they feel the love of a cheering section behind them pushing them forward with grace, understanding and thankfulness.
Lord, please be with our older kids — the ones who know that school is different this year — and help them to sink quickly in to a new normal. Remind them of the excitement of just being back in the swing of things and push out any negative comparisons that creep up. Give them the strength to not only embrace the differences but grow and learn through them.
When they long to play with their friends that are in different classes while at recess and yet they have to stay with their own class, please comfort them by providing them with new friends. Help them to branch out and latch on to someone they have never talked to before — may have never talked to if not in this circumstance. Guide them in the direction of kindness and please let them be a source of kindness for others as well.
Please God, help them to thrive, in whatever avenue that they should be thriving in this year. Maybe is it a year to grow substantially emotionally and socially or maybe it is a critical year for academics. Whatever it is, Lord, please place the reins in their hands and direct them to the path that is the most positively influential for this year of their life.
If they get worried, comfort them. If they feel down, lift them up. If they fail, push them to try again. If they mess up, give them the strength to admit it and fix it. And if they miss mommy, wrap your arms around them to make them feel loved (and then make sure that they come home and tell me because I will miss them like crazy).
I trust you, Lord, that my decision in sending my children to school is the right one. Recently (especially), I have wavered back and forth on what is best for our family. Please also give me, and all the parents out there, peace in our decision for our children’s schooling, whether in the classroom or online, because we truly don’t always feel like we made the right one.
It’s different this year, God. But one thing remains the same: You. Always was, always is and always will be. And I know that You will be there every step of the way.
So please Lord, help this year to be one that they will never forget — but not because it was so different. Simply because they, with their teachers, classmates, principal, staff and all the people who helped along the way, overcame and exceeded at making this a year full of fun, learning and growth — one that they will always remember.
We ask you this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.