School districts have been grappling with how the school year will look. We realize this is an issue that is fraught with worry and filled with multiple issues for parents. We are not alone though. We can pray together about these issues for the sake of our children.
A Prayer for our Children
(By Carol Gratsch Boyce)
People are making decisions all around us that affect us greatly and we sometimes feel powerless and battered amidst the circumstances coming our way. If our school is going back we worry about the health of our children, their friends, and their teachers. If our school is not going back we worry about how we will juggle all our commitments, how we will teach when we sometimes feel unqualified, and frankly how we will maintain our sanity!
We thank you for listening and hearing us. We thank you that when things get too crazy or our worries too big, we can close our door and close out the distractions and pour out our hearts to you.
Now, Father, in the midst of all the whirling chaos around us we pray for our children.
We pray for our preschoolers
who are missing out on all the formative tasks of learning to get along with others, of creating friendships, and developing a love of learning that comes from good schools and good teachers. We know we can do this at home too, Lord, but it comes so much easier in the company of other children. We pray that for the unread stories, unsung songs, and unpainted easel pictures, our children will learn the important things in other ways, perhaps bedtime stories, singing in the car, and beautiful paintings done for shut-in neighbors or fellow church members.
We pray for elementary students who know what it is like to miss their friends and activities, who are missing the challenges of the classroom, and the benefit of other caring adults in their lives. We pray that for the unused backpacks, the first instruments not taken up in band, the gift of being "student of the week" our children will still learn to organize their thoughts and work to become a proficient student, will find accomplishments that stir their soul, and will find pride in being a good person by helping others even if it is just writing encouraging words on a sidewalk with colored chalk.
We pray for our middle schoolers
who miss their peers, so important to them at this age, who are just branching out to learn subjects more in depth, and who won't get a chance to share what team they are on, whether it is a sport, an academic team, a team of dancers, musicians or artists, or simply whether they are maroon or gold. Father grant that for each lost opportunity to learn new things, to hang out with friends, to be a part of a group, they might have their interest awakened to learning something they love, to develop closer, more intimate friendships, and to stay physically fit so when the time comes they might once again be ready to be a part of a team.
We pray for those in high school who are missing the dances, the homecoming parade and game, and the opportunity to choose classes they will either excel in or conquer out of sheer determination. May they find challenges that make them kinder and stronger as well as moments of joy and laughter. May they develop a sense of belonging even as they stand apart from the people they belong with. May these circumstances steady them and develop in them the ability to roll with the punches and persevere so that they come out whole and unscathed by their experience.
We pray for college students who are facing new ways of learning and for parents who send them off to unknown situations wanting the best but fearing the worse. Watch over them and keep them in your loving care so when this is this if finally over, and even now, they may enjoy their college years.
We pray for the vulnerable children who are missing food served at school or are trapped with abusive parents who show too little love for their tender hearts. We pray for families who have no good options for childcare. We pray for children with special education needs who will find it even more difficult to learn under the present circumstances. We pray for children who don't have the technology or the internet capability to keep up with others. Help us to remember that these children matter and their future is ours. Help us to better provide for them so that all children will get the benefits of a good education.
We pray for teachers who, though fearful, long to be back in person with "their" kids, who are missing the excitement of creating new lessons and getting their rooms ready. We pray for them as they struggle to provide "hands on" lessons through a computer. Help them not be discouraged and help parents understand how difficult a task this is and to show kindness for these people so important in their child's life.
Father, you're hands are big enough to hold all these problems. Your arms are big enough to hold us and our fears. You know how this all started and you know how it will end. Help us to see things from your timeline and perspective, knowing that along with these problems you have given us a gift of family togetherness. May our family bonds grow stronger even as other bonds we have held weaken.
Grant that we be people of hope; that we spread it, live with it, and that it nurture in us the love and peace that comes with it.
Thank you for the everyday miracles we sometimes miss, for the ways you can move through our circumstances, and for your care for us during these trying times.