By Victoria Riollano, Crosswalk.com
We must pray for our children.
As a parent, before my children are allowed to leave my home, we pray. In this day and age, it's critical to have your child covered in prayer. From the tragedy of school shootings to the pressures to conform to societal norms, we do our children a great disservice to not seek the Lord for them on a daily basis. Prayer is not a ritual but our way to call out to our Father in heaven for protection against the seen and unseen evil of this world.
Although our children may be innocent, unfortunately, the world around them can be belittling, insensitive, and cruel. Even more so, we never know the interactions that they may encounter, the words being said, or the silent tears in their own hearts. Let us never become so busy that we forget to pray for those we have been entrusted with.
"I took my troubles to the LORD; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer." Psalm 120:1
1. For Safety
The unfortunate truth is school violence is a reality that many parents have learned to fear. From Sandy Hook to Robb Elementary School, we are reminded that there are people filled with hatred and willing to do the unthinkable. According to the Center of Homeland Defense and Security, gunfire incidents on United States school grounds have sharply increased. So much so, lockdown drills and talks about how to respond in an emergency shooter situation are commonplace in elementary schools. As parents, we must be moved in these moments to pray over the schools and our individual students.
Although the rise in school violence may be true, God’s word still remains. Throughout the Word, the Bible is clear that we can call on Him for protection. He is not limited by time, space, or location and can surely be with our children no matter where they are. In Psalms, the Lord assures us this,
”For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11
May your prayers for your child be a reminder that the Lord has angels on assignment to protect them. Yes, you can pray that the Lord sends angels to guard them in every place they go, from the school bus to the classroom to the cafeteria! Pray for their safety not just under the extreme circumstances but even for daily moments that can cause harm. From accidental injury to school fights, to bullying, and protection from illness, let us pray that every aspect of their well-being is shielded.
“See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.” Exodus 23:20
2. For Discernment
Children need the ability to discern early in their lives. Having the ability to distinguish between right and wrong will make the difference in their entire academic experience. They need the wisdom to know which children will be a good friend for them or which will be a negative influence. They need the ability to know when something from a friend or within the school curriculum contradicts the word of God. This same discernment will guide them in the event of a tragedy to know what to do and where to go. It will also help them make daily choices to advocate for themselves when needed.
Our children may not realize they need or even desire such wisdom. However, the Lord speaks to children. As I’ve often been taught, “There is no junior Holy Spirit.” He can speak to them and bring revelation in a way that they can understand. Praying for our children to walk in godly wisdom is one of the best weapons against the enemy!
"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." James 1:5
3. For Their Minds
Before your child goes to school, pause and pray for their mind. The truth is that children experience immense amounts of stress. Many times, people assume children should have it easy as they don’t have bills to pay or jobs to work. However, children are often privy to the financial woes of the home, the arguing of parents, the unrest in the news, and the fears of the parents. The major difference is that they are often not in a position to fix these situations.
So, not only are they frustrated, but they may also feel helpless. This is in addition to the pressures of fitting in at school, bullying, fear for their safety, mandatory testing, and having to worry about their health in situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Being a child certainly isn’t easy in practical terms.
It's important that we pray for their minds as they go. Here are just a few aspects of this prayer:
That they would be alert as they learn new information.
That their minds would be settled as they encounter difficult topics.
That they would be at peace and not in fear.
That they would remember who God says they are when faced with bullies.
That they would have a clear focus.
That anxiety would cease.
That they would not allow self-doubt to overtake them.
That they would not succumb to any lie of the enemy.
“And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” Isaiah 54:13
4. For Their Teachers
Last but not least, let us pray for the teachers, staff, and administration who take care of our children on a daily basis. Many of them spend more time with our children than with their own. Teachers not only ensure that students reach the next level of academia, but educators are also the first line of defense when troubling times come. Teachers are the ones who pick our children up when they fall on the playground, they settle bullying disputes, they see when students are having a tough day, and they use their words to encourage.
These same teachers would be the first to put their lives on the line if a tragic event were to occur in the classroom. In fact, many of the teachers who lose their life during a school shooting do so in an effort to protect the children in their care. We see this so clearly with the story of Eva Mireles who lost her life attempting to protect the students in her fourth-grade classroom as a gunman opened fire.
We must recognize that our child’s teachers are not glorified babysitters. Instead, they are a powerful influence in our children's lives. Your child’s teacher is in desperate need of prayers for safety, discernment, wisdom, health, and strength. Let us remember them and pray for them with the same fervor as we would a friend we deeply care about.
The truth is, we will not always be in our children’s presence. We also know that as long as there is evil in this world, we cannot guarantee that trying times won’t come. Whether it be a daily irritation our children face or an unthinkable circumstance, we must know that God is with them. May we pray for God’s presence to go before them. May we believe that He will protect them from every attack of the enemy.
Lord, I thank you for my child. As they go off to school, I thank you that you are with them. I thank you that you are their place of safety. Your Word says that you will never leave them or forsake them. Lord, I thank you that you would dispatch angels to stand at the doorposts of my child’s school. I pray that you would protect them from all harm. May disease nor peril befall them.
Lord, keep them covered by your mighty wings of protection. Lord, I pray for wisdom that they may discern what is good and what your perfect will for them is. I pray for their minds. May their minds be guarded by your truth. I pray against every attack of the enemy against their minds, their physical bodies, and their emotions. May the enemy’s plan be thwarted and powerless.
I pray that you would bless them with long life. I pray that their time in school is blessed. May their school be a place of joy where they can encounter lifelong friendships. Teach them to shine your light to their teachers and be a delight to everyone they encounter. I praise you in advance for all these things and thank you for being a good God, no matter what I see with my natural eye.
In Jesus' name,
"And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 'Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, "This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:
'The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.'" Numbers 6:22-26
Related Resource: Listen to Our FREE Parenting Podcast!
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Johner Images
Victoria Riollano is an author, blogger, and speaker. As a mother of six, military spouse, Psychology professor and minister’s wife, Victoria has learned the art of balancing family and accomplishing God’s ultimate purpose for her life. Recently, Victoria released her book, The Victory Walk: A 21 Day Devotional on Living A Victorious Life. Her ultimate desire is to empower women to live a life of victory, hope, and love. She believes that with Christ we can live a life that is ALWAYS winning. You can learn more about her ministry at victoryspeaks.org.