Back To School Prayer

A-Z Back-to-School Prayers

Back To School Prayer

Whether your children are heading off to public school or private school, home school or maybe even boarding school, one of the most important things you can do for the new school year is pray with boldness on their behalf.

  Our kids are living in a world with no absolutes.  Prayer is one of the powerful ways we parents can model a faithful life and protect them from the attack of the enemy.

Not sure what to pray? We’ve made it easy for you this A-Z guide of prayer ideas and enjoy the free printable!

Click the image above or on this link to get the FREE printable (PDF) – A-Z Back-To-School Prayers.

A – Afraid (Psalm 27:1) “Please impress upon my children’s hearts, that You desire to be their light and salvation and the strength of their life.  With You, they do not need to be afraid.”

B – Boldness (Proverbs 28:1) “May my children be bold as lions and always know that the righteous are safe within Your will.”

C – Courage (Joshua 1:9) “Please fill my children with strength and courage.  Help them know that courage and integrity will protect them.  Allow them to choose to do the right thing, even when others do not.”

D – Defense (1 Peter 3:15) “Go with them, Jesus.  Help them to spend time with You in their private life so that they always have an answer to those who ask of the hope within them.  May they always give a grace-filled answer.”

E – Eternal (Ephesians 3:11-12) “Make known to my children Your eternal purpose accomplished through Christ.  You can provide them boldness and confidence through your eternal plan.”

F – Faith (Ephesians 6:16)  “Help my children to daily take up the shield of faith, so that they can defend themselves from the fiery darts of the enemy.”

G – Gird (Ephesians 6:14) “Allow them to gird their waist with Your truth.  We live in a world with no absolutes.  Help them never to compromise the truth found in Your Holy Word.”

H – Helper (Hebrews 13:6) “Heavenly Father, be my children’s Helper right this very moment.  Help them to know that with You, they don’t have to fear.”

I – If (Romans 8:31) “As my children may question their strength at times, help them to know that You are for them and no one can stand against them.”

J – Jesus (Hebrews 10:19)  “Because of Your blood, Jesus.  All because of Your blood on the cross.  As my children enter and walk the halls of their school, may they know that any good in their life comes from the perfect and complete work on the cross.”

K – Kindness (Ephesians 2:7) “May kindness be what my children are known for.  Because of the kindness You first showed them through salvation, may they always be kind to others, especially the children that are left out.  May they always include others and never bully others.”

L – Lusts (Titus 2:12) “Help my children to deny ungodly behavior and worldly lusts.”

M – Marvel (Acts 4:13)  “May others marvel because of my children’s choice to obey God rather than man.  May they see a difference in my children, because they’ve spent time with Jesus.”

N – Noble (Philippians 4:8) “Please fill my children’s minds with things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.”

O – The One (Deuteronomy 31:8) “You are the One true God.  You are the one who goes before my children and prepares their steps.  Please be with them even now and empower them.”

P – Pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17) “Help my children to know that prayer changes everything.  Help them to always know, they can talk to You at any moment.”

Q – Quench (1 Thessalonians 5:18-19) “Please show my children that their power and strength comes from living a life of walking in the Spirit.  Help them not to quench Your Spirit’s power in their life.”

R – Rock (1 Samuel 2:2) “When my children need strength to stand, help them to know that there is no one holy You, oh God.  There is no rock You, Jesus.”

S – Stand Fast (1 Corinthians 16:13) “Help my children have the strength to be a leader.  When others are choosing to do evil, may my children stand fast, have faith, and be brave.”

T – Take Up (Ephesians 6:13) “Help them to take up the whole armor of God.  Please help them learn throughout their life, that spending time with You will give them boldness and strength.”

U – Utterance (Ephesians 6:19-20) “Cause my children to be confident to open their mouths boldly about Your greatness.  Please give them great pride in Your amazing power and love.  If they boast, may it be in You alone.”

V – Victory (1 Corinthians 15:57) “Please remind my children that the victory has already been won through Your Son, Jesus Christ.”

W – Wait (Psalm 27:14) “Help my children to learn that waiting on You will give them strength and courage.”

X – X-Rated (Psalm 119:37) “Please help my children to turn away from looking at any worthless thing.  Protect my children’s eyes from sexual sin and immorality.”

Y – Youth (1 Timothy 4:12)  “Empower my children as they go through their day.  Help them to know that You love children and don’t want anyone to despise them.  Let them be an example to others of what You can do through them.”

Z – Zealous (Titus 2:14) “Please help my children to run from evil and despise it, and be zealous of good works.”

Many of these prayers center on the hope that our children will be brave and stand tall and proud in their faith this year.

Join me in praying over our children throughout this school year, and encouraging them to act on their faith with boldness. It’s difficult for kids to know exactly what it looks to walk in faith every day, but if we give them specific examples of things they can do, it seems more manageable!

And if you’re looking for a great resource on making prayer a daily part of your children’s lives, look no further than the Lucado Treasury of Bedtime Prayers from Max & Denalyn Lucado, where kids learn about the four different kinds of prayer: worship, trust, compassion and gratitude. Plus, mommies to young babies can let them know they’re praying for them with I Prayed For You. And children can practice thankfulness with the adorable board book A Night Night Prayer.

Your Turn

What are some of your hopes & concerns for your children in this new school year? Which of these prayers resonated most with you? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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4 Critical Back-to-School Prayers for Our Kids

Back To School Prayer

A new school year is right around the corner for our family, and we are potentially facing some big changes.

you, I want my kids to transition well into a new school year. I want my kids to love learning, to excel in their endeavors, and have an enjoyable year. I want my kids to their teacher and get along well with other kids. I want them to have ease and safety and be A-okay.

I really do want my kids to have an easy life — so much so, that sometimes I forget the importance of allowing my kids to experience natural consequences, the growth that comes through facing life’s struggles, and the satisfaction of success after failure.

The protective Mama in me wants to control my children’s circumstances and grant them a trouble-free year, but far more than that, I desire God’s plans for my children, even if that means unexpected circumstances, unwanted struggles, and new experiences.

I don’t want to control or manipulate, demand or impose. I might think I know what is best for my children, but God is the One who sees their hearts and knows their feelings. He is the One who understands them better than they do themselves and loves them more deeply than I ever can. He has a plan, and He knows what He is doing.

God has a plan for my children — for their good and His glory, and I want to join God in the work HE is doing in my children’s hearts and lives.

Here are 4 critical areas of prayer for our children as they head back to school this fall.

{Parents, if you’re up for the challenge, come join me on my Instagram or  page where the community has committed to praying for our kids every day through the month of September.}


One of my deepest desires is for God to be working in the hearts of my kids, drawing them to Himself, compelling them by His love, convicting them of wrong, comforting them through struggles, strengthening them in all of life’s varied circumstances. I desire for my children to know and walk in the truth! 

For two of my kids, that means that I pray regularly for their salvation first, and then, along with my other two, I pray that my children will know they are loved and live a life of love (Ephesians 5:1-2).

I also pray for my kids to know, love, and obey God’s Word and that they will be sensitive and responsive to the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives.

One of my deepest longings for my children comes from Ephesians 4–

  • Prayer: By the riches of Your glory, Lord, strengthen ______ with power through Your Spirit in her inner being so that You may dwell in her heart through faith. May she continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and may she be rooted and grounded in love, knowing the extravagant dimensions of Your love for her, this love that surpasses understanding, and may______ be filled with all the fullness of You! (Ephesians 4:16-19, 2 Peter 3:18)


Good character comes through training and practice, and we work toward that in our family, but more than having “good” kids or moral human beings, I want my kids to be changed from the inside out! I so desire God’s Spirit to transform the hearts and lives of my kids, making His fruit evident in their lives as they remain in Him.

  • Prayer: This is my prayer, God: that ______’s love will abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so that he may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ. May ______ not look at the things that man looks at, but open his eyes to see the world through Your eyes and respond to it with Your wisdom and love. May ______ trust in you with all of his heart, not relying on his own understanding but acknowledging You in all his ways and walking the straight paths You have prepared for him. (Philippians 1:9-11, 1 Samuel 16:7, Proverbs 3:5-6)


Our relationships with others affect our hearts and our minds — our very lives, in fact. We pray for our children to have healthy relationships, and we must guard carefully the influences to which we submit.

There are times, however, when we have little choice over those who are in authority over us or our children.

In those times, especially, we must pray specifically that our kids will be protected, discerning, and cling  to truth.

  • Prayer: Lord, I pray that ______ will show proper respect to everyone. Strengthen her and help her to love others, fear You, and honor those in authority over her. But, Lord, protect ______, too. Don’t let any teacher or authority figure take her captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Rather may ______ be discerning and destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (1 Peter 2:17, Colossians 2:8, 2 Corinthians 10:5)

Pray with us as we make our children’s friendships a matter of prayer, too!


We all want our kids to be safe, but even more than I desire physical safety for my children, I long for spiritual safety. I want my kids to be saved by the blood of Jesus and to walk through all of life’s circumstances with Him.

In this world, my kids will have trouble (John 16:33). They will face disappointments and challenges and temptations, and even persecution.

Of course I want my kids to be safe physically, and I do pray regularly for their physical safety, but even more so, I want my kids to be saved and to know the presence, peace and power of our Savior Jesus Christ as they walk through these challenges.

  • Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you have redeemed ______ and called him by name. He is Yours! When______ passes through the waters — through ups and downs and struggles and suffering, through disappointments and betrayals and bullies and pressures, through insecurities and fears and temptations and heartbreak — be with him! When he passes through the rivers, do not let them sweep over him. When he walks through the fire, do not let him be burned. May ______ take refuge in YOU and be glad. Let him ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over my boy, that he may rejoice in you! (Isaiah 43:1-2, Psalm 5:11)

We have an incredible opportunity to strengthen and support our kids by praying for them! Join us as we pray God’s Word for our kids daily through the month of September.

Praying with you,

Erika //

Resources for you:

September Prayer Challenge — Praying God’s Word daily and specifically for our kids

Praying the Scriptures for your Children

Praying the Scripture for your Teenagers 

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A Back to School Prayer for our Kids

Back To School Prayer

Sometimes I get frustrated that the Bible gives us such little explicit instruction on the task of raising children.

 Honestly, there are few things that matter more than raising up the next generation to love the Lord.  I have been a little weepy at the thought of my firstborn starting first grade this week.

 His love for life and zeal for God is amazing (and encourages me daily), but there is still so much I feel we need to teach him.

As I was pondering all of this over the weekend, I began thinking about Jesus and how Mary must have felt when he was growing up.

 Obviously Jesus was the perfect Son of God and would never sin even in his youth…but I find comfort in knowing that even so, Mary and Joseph probably discussed the best ways to bring him up just my husband and I do about our very imperfect children.

 The Bible tell us so little about Jesus’s childhood.   But there is one tiny verse that encompasses the monumental years of his youth that I have been dwelling on:

As school begins once again, this is the verse I am praying for my children, specifically for my oldest.  It includes three of the most important aspects of a child’s life:  mind, body, and spirit.  Each of these aspects come with their own strengths and weaknesses, with obstacles and challenges to overcome in every facet of life.

In Wisdom

Lord, I pray that you will allow Caleb to grow in wisdom this year.  I pray that he will learn everything he is expected to know academically.  I pray that he will be successful in his studies and that he will be a diligent worker in what is asked of him.  Most of all, Lord, I pray that you would allow Him to grow in YOUR wisdom.

 Help him to learn more about your character through his interactions with others.  Help the scriptures and stories we have been sharing with him from your Word to be a lamp to his feet and a light to his path.  Give us, his parents, the wisdom to help him discern between right and wrong in the situations he is faced with this year.

 Above all else, help him learn to love You more.

In Stature

Lord, I thank you for the lives of our children.  I thank you that they are healthy.  I pray that you will protect their bodies and help them to continue to grow strong.  Protect them from illness and harm, Lord.

As school begins, I pray that Caleb will know that he is created in your image.  I pray that he will know that is “fearfully and wonderfully made”.

 I pray that he will know that You created him exactly the way that you want him to be.  At times, words from others can be cruel.

 Protect his heart and help him to rest in the truth that he is a priceless gift to us and, most importantly, to You…so much so that you sent your son for him.

In Favor with God and Man

Lord, I pray that you would allow Caleb to be a light for you.  I pray that he would be obedient to his teachers and kind to his classmates.  I pray that he will show kindness and compassion to everyone, but especially those who are treated poorly by others.  Give him the strength to stand up for the outcasts.

 I pray that he will have integrity to do the right thing even when no one is looking.  Help him to surround himself with people who will help him grow closer to you.  I pray that he will be both a leader and a follower– a follower of yours but a leader for his peers.  Help his words and actions to be pleasing to you.

All this I ask in the name of your son Jesus.  Amen.

No matter whether your child will be attending public school, private school, or will be homeschooled, I think this prayer is all-encompassing for what we desire for our kids.

 And I fully realize I am asking God for a lot…I certainly don’t expect my children to be perfect.  In fact, I need to pray much of this same prayer for myself.

 But this is what I most desire for the lives of my children.

When we place the well being of our children in God’s very capable hands through prayer, we are surrendering control to Him.  I’m not sure there is anything else as equally scary, freeing, and comforting as this.  All I know is that He is certainly more capable than I am!

PS- I thought I would create a printable scripture card for those of us who wish to consistently pray this prayer for our kids throughout the year.  Stick it on your bathroom mirror or in the visor on your car…any place that you will see it regularly.  There are 4 identical cards on a page…you can print one for yourself and give the others to friends/neighbors if you would .

Click on the image below to access the printable file:

Is your child heading off to school soon?  What else would you add to this prayer?  

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7 Back-to-School Prayers for Students

Back To School Prayer

It’s back-to-school season. And that’s weird to me.

This is only my second year of not going back to school, but it still feels strange. My heart and mind are in sync with the school calendar. And as a student, September seems more the beginning of a new year than January. It’s a new season—new classes, new teachers, new backpacks, new books, new schedule. The longer, lazier days of summer shift into the shorter, sharper days of fall.

When I was a student, the end of the summer season was all about preparation—getting my books, supplies, and calendar ready, gearing up for the new year.

But it’s only in recent years that I’ve realized there’s something else students should prepare as they approach a new school year: their hearts. They need to recalibrate and tune them to the frequency of focused faithfulness. And the way that they do that is through prayer. Intentional prayer.

There’s something else students should prepare as they approach a new school year: their hearts.

So, students (and those who have or serve students), here are seven specific things to pray as you go back to school.

1. Pray for gratitude

Education is a profound privilege. Over 70 million young people don’t have access to it, so if you do, that’s a providential gift from a benevolent God. Do you realize that?

Pray that God would make you grateful for it, that he’d awaken you to the rich blessings he’s bestowed on you. Pray with thanksgiving for the opportunities and privileges he’s given you—and pray that you won’t grow oblivious or hardened to them.

2. Pray for humility

I’m ashamed to admit that, as a student, there were times when I was the know-it-all kid. I was the one who thought she had all the answers, who thought that she and the instructors were intellectual equals. What I regularly lacked (and sorely needed) was humility.

Students, don’t make the same mistakes I made. Pray for God to break any pride in your heart and give you a willingness to submit and grow this year. Pray for a teachable spirit. Pray for protection against self-righteousness and self-pity and arrogance. And pray for empathy and compassion.

3. Pray for witnessing opportunities

Whether your school is public, private, or Christian, whether you attend university or community college, or even if you’re homeschooled, ask God to give you opportunities to share the gospel and be a witness. Pray for boldness and clarity. Pray for faithfulness. Pray that God would put people in your life and give you the courage to reach out to them with the message of hope that you hold.

4. Pray for serving opportunities

Pray that God would make you a sacrificial student who’s keenly aware of how you can serve those around you. Pray that he would give you chances to serve your teachers, your classmates, your family, your friends, and whomever you meet—opportunities to comfort the hurting, speak life, encourage, help, heal, love—and then seize those opportunities when they come.

5. Pray for diligence

Pray that God would make you a dedicated, committed student this year. But don’t pray for praise, accolades, achievement, or grades; instead, pray for diligence. Pray that you would remember you’re working for God, not man (Col. 3:23), and that you would prioritize faithfulness over favor.

6. Pray for the people around you

Pray for your teachers, advisors, and coaches—that God would give them wisdom, strength, and grace. Pray for your classmates—that God would prepare their hearts, that he’d save the unsaved, and that they would find joy this year.

Pray for your friends—that they’d be motivated, faithful, and diligent. Pray for those who work at your school—that God would give them patience, delight, and encouragement.

Pray for your family—that God would give them peace in this new season, wisdom in daily life, and contentment in the mundane.

7. Pray for joy

Pray that you’d find happiness in Christ this year. Pray that your life won’t be marked by discouragement, frustration, and anger, but peace and satisfaction. Pray for trust and confidence in your identity in Christ and ask for a greater desire to serve and please him. Pray for joy this year.

And you can pray with confidence, because we know God hears the prayers of his people. “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).

Students, call on the Lord this year for help and hope and faith and joy—and watch him answer your prayers.

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Five Back to School Prayers for Kids and Grandkids

Back To School Prayer

One of the best ways you can prepare your children this year as they go back to school is through prayer. And praying Scripture over them is one of the most powerful ways to pray.

Here are five back to school prayers you can pray for your kids and grandkids:

1. Prayer for Peace 

Lord, I pray that my kids (grandkids) will experience the peace of God this year that exceeds all understanding. I pray they will not worry about things they cannot control, but that You will guard their hearts and minds and keep them trusting in You.

I pray they will not only enjoy the peace of God, but peace with God. I pray they will develop a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving as they look to You daily for their needs. I pray that You will give them the capacity for joy that bubbles up from Your peace.

(Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:6-7; Romans 5:1)

2. Prayer for Protection

Lord, I pray Your emotional, physical, and spiritual protection over my kids (grandkids). Keep evil far from them, and help them to trust You as their refuge and strength. I pray You will guard their minds from harmful instruction, and grant them discernment to recognize truth.

I pray You will make them strong and courageous in the presence of danger, recognizing that You have overcome and will set right all injustice and wrong one day. Help them to find rest in Your shadow, as they live in the spiritual shelter You provide for them.

Let them know that the only safe place is inJesus,and that their home on earth is only temporary.

(2 Thessalonians 3:3; Psalm 46:1; John 17:15; Psalm 91)

3. Prayer for Purity

Lord, I pray that You will create in my kids (grandkids) a clean heart and that You would constantly renew a right spirit within them, keeping their thoughts and actions pure and motivated by love.

Guard them from temptation, and let them know You are always faithful to give them a way out and help to endure.

May the words of their mouths and the meditations of their hearts always please you and edify others.

(Psalm 51:10; Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Psalm 19:14)

Lord, I pray that my kids (grandkids) will develop a passion for the things of God. I pray they will hunger and thirst for You and Your Word and will love You with all of their heart, soul, and mind.

Give them compassionate and generous hearts to love others as much as You love them. I pray they will always work and study with excellence, but that You will help them desire a servant spirit of greatness, rather than a worldly lust for success.

I pray they will fall in love with Jesus over and over again.

(Psalm 42:1; Matthew 22:37-39; John 13:34-35)

5. Prayer for Perspective

Lord, I pray that my kids (grandkids) will develop an eternal perspective and purpose, not an earthly one.  Help them to see life–and every challenge–through Your eyes, eager and unafraid to share with others the good news of Jesus wherever they go.

I pray that they will set their minds on things above, not just what’s going on here, and that they will be rooted and grounded in Your love. I pray they will come to understand the extent of Your own love for them–that it surpasses all the head knowledge they will acquire in school.

I pray they will be filled up with You from morning ’til night.

(Galatians 2:20; Matthew 28:18-20; Philippians 1:21; Colossians 3:1-2; Ephesians 3:17-20)

Other Prayers for Your Kids

These are only sample prayers, and hopefully easy ones to remember. They are by no means exhaustive. Find your own Scripture promise or principle and pray those things daily for your kids or grandkids.

But don’t confine your praying to the first few weeks of school. Your children and grandchildren need your prayers all year long–as long as you or they live.

It’s the best protection You can give Your children or grandchildren! When we pray Scripture, God listens! And we can always know those prayers are in His will.

It’s Your Turn

What will you pray for your kids (grandkids) as they go back to school? Share your comments with us.

*For more from Rebecca, please visit To sign up for Rebecca's new encouraging blog/newsletter, or to purchase her newest devotional books from Zondervan – Day-votions™ for Women, Day-votions™ for Mothers, and Day-votions™ for Grandmothers – please click here

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4. Prayer for Passion

Lord, I pray that my kids (grandkids) will develop a passion for the things of God. I pray they will hunger and thirst for You and Your Word and will love You with all of their heart, soul, and mind.

Give them compassionate and generous hearts to love others as much as You love them. I pray they will always work and study with excellence, but that You will help them desire a servant spirit of greatness, rather than a worldly lust for success.

I pray they will fall in love with Jesus over and over again.

(Psalm 42:1; Matthew 22:37-39; John 13:34-35)

9-Day Back-to-School Prayer Challenge: A Novena for the Start of the School Year

Back To School Prayer

Ah, back-to-school season. The time of year that most students (teachers?) dread and all parents rejoice. It’s also the time that my control freak tendencies go into overdrive, I read #alltheblogs about which day planner/organizer will change my life, and then proceed to calendar the rest of the year a maniac.

This year feels different.

With my oldest starting kindergarten and echoes of the school shootings in Parkland and Sante Fe still fresh in my mind, I felt the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart to loosen my grip on my need to control everything and to begin by offering up the year to God. This nine-day prayer challenge, inspired by the structure of the traditional novena and the constant reminder to pray unceasingly (1 Thessalonians 5:17), is my answer to that call.

Many would have us believe that “thoughts and prayers” are an empty sentiment, a way for people to say that they care without actually doing anything. I believe that action, inspired and informed by prayer, is what will change the world.

So starting today, I’m inviting anyone who wants to join me to commit to setting aside even just five minutes each day to pray for our children and our schools, for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to the specific ways in which we are being called to take action and be part of the change, and for God to give us the vision that we need to be who God is calling us to be in a broken world.


  • You are encouraged to pray at the same time every day, hopefully in the same space whenever possible. Setting an alarm on your phone is helpful. I to light a candle. Do what you can to set yourself up for success.
  • I’ve found that limiting my time to 15 minutes (at the most!) makes it more ly for me to pray again the next day. Remember that prayer is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Finally, you are invited to make this prayer your own. There are specific intentions each day followed by some of my own thoughts. Use those to guide you or pray about what’s on your heart that day.

Day 1: Remember who God is

Over the summer, we celebrated John the Baptist’s birth and recalled how his mother Elizabeth, many women in the Bible, gave birth in impossible circumstances…how new life came about when barrenness should have prevented it.

I couldn’t help but think of where we are today and the seemingly endless news cycle of suffering and injustice. We are living in a time when active shooter drills have become the norm and the list of gun violence victims has grown too long.

Immigrant children remain separated from their families. The people of Puerto Rico are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria one year later. Even the Church isn’t immune as the sexual abuse crisis dominates the headlines.

Too often, the idea of change seems impossible.

And yet, Scripture reminds us that we worship a God of the impossible. Who, in the beginning, hovered over the waters, brought order to chaos and brought forth light into darkness. Who, as a pillar of fire by night, led the Israelites Egypt. Who, through an impossible birth, became human and became a Light to the Nations.

As we begin our prayer together, may all our senses be awakened to the Light of the Impossible God that already burns within us.

Day 2: Learn how to pray

As I’ve grown older, my enthusiasm for the start of a new school year has ebbed and flowed. wise, my prayer life has gone through countless seasons of dryness as well as seasons of abundance. When I’m in a dry season, it’s groping in the dark for a light switch. In times of abundance, prayer feels spring rain on parched earth.

Over the years, I’ve found God much less demanding and judgmental than I once believed. Now, I recognize that God takes whatever we have to offer, blesses it, and makes it more than enough (John 6:1-15).

And so when we pray, let us not approach God as our ancestors may have, as someone appeasing an angry God or making a wish, as if God were a genie.

Let us ask the Holy Spirit to teach us how to pray. That we might approach God with the attitude of Christ who, with the closeness of a Son with his Father, cries out Abba, Father, and seeks a deeper relationship with God (Luke 11:1-13).

Day 3: Make a fresh start

The first day of school, no matter what season of my life (student, young adult, mother), has always been my very own lightning rod of both eager anticipation and low-key-to-crippling anxiety.

On the one hand, it’s a chance to reset my intentions and make a fresh start.

On the other hand, the prospect of starting something yet again can feel futile, especially when it always seems it’s the same thing, just a different day.

Unchecked, this feeling of futility seeps into my worldview and colors my perception of God and my place in the world. It can lull me into believing that God remains distant and aloof, that anything I have to offer has little significance.

Yet Scripture reminds us that our God is all about making things new. Today, ask Christ to open your eyes to the Spirit already transforming the world around you.

RELATED: How to Start a Prayer Journal

Day 4: Have eyes to see

Recently, when reading the story of Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52, I kept finding myself irritated by Jesus’ question, “What do you want me to do for you?” It felt unnecessary. Why does Jesus insist on making a blind man say what he needs when the answer is obvious?

I became so caught up with dissecting Jesus’ words that I almost lost sight of what the Spirit was showing me: that I am the blind beggar.

Since then, Bartimaeus’ uncomplicated reply has become the prayer that permeates every part of my life: “Master, I want to see.”

Today, we pray for eyes to see that before we can be sent out to bring glad tidings and proclaim liberty in our homes, classrooms, and wider communities, we must each recognize that without Christ, I am poor, I am held captive, I am blind, I am oppressed (Luke 4:18-19). That the wholeness that Jesus offers is not for someone else, it is for me.

Day 5: Focus your eyes where you want to be

My 5-year-old (for a reason still unknown to me), insisted on joining ice hockey camp this summer. One of the first things they learn, before anything else, is how to fall. It was a sight to see her, a newborn deer, wobble onto the ice and proceed to fall. Over and over again.

What struck me as I watched from behind the glass was the coach’s lesson on how to get back up. You take a knee, and look up, put your hands on your knee and push yourself up from the ground. He emphasized, “Don’t look down. Your eyes need to be where you want to be.”

In that moment, I was reminded of our call to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. To resist the urge to focus on the fact that we’ve fallen. Today, as we face first days, meeting new people, and starting fresh, let us pray for resilience, so that when we fall, we remember to look up and seek the face of Christ.

Day 6: Seek guidance to light your way

My dad, just his father (and un me), has been gifted with the greenest of green thumbs. Watching him garden this past summer has helped me realize how much discipline is involved.

His flourishing garden reminds me of our call to stay alert and pray unceasingly:

  • To pay attention through prayer, so we can distinguish the real wheat from weeds. In Matthew 13:24-30, Jesus speaks of a specific weed — the darnel — that looks just wheat in its first stage of growth.
  • To “beware of false prophets” and wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15-16a), to “test every spirit” (1 John 4:1-6) by looking at their fruit (Matthew 7:15-16a).

Today, may we see as God sees, so we might recognize and uproot from our lives the weeds which sap the life from the real plants and nourish those things that produce good fruit (Galatians 5:19-23).

Thus, making space in our lives to be still before God, choosing to be kind (on the internet and in real life), and nurturing life-giving friendships that give us joy and challenge us to be better versions of ourselves.

RELATED: 5 Creative Ways to Prayer for Others

Day 7: Have courage in a time of storm

At times, life has felt a windstorm, my attention pulled in too many directions, overwhelmed by discordant voices claiming to be Truth (Ephesians 4:14).

When I’ve overcommitted myself — said yes to too many things and spent too much time trying to wring out every last drop of advice from the internet—those are the times I’ve wanted to stay in bed, pull my comforter over my head and hide.

Today, let us ask the Holy Spirit:

  • for the wisdom to recognize what we must surrender in order to walk fully in the grace that is being offered to us today.
  • for the courage to let go of the illusion of control, that everything is up to us, that I, alone, can fix this problem.

May we stop placing our trust in ourselves and instead seek the God who is our rock and refuge in the storm.

Day 8: Live the signs of God’s love

When I’m about to embark on something seemingly impossible — the paper that refuses to write itself, a difficult roommate situation, a Church and country that is deeply divided — it’s easy to look around and see what Ezekiel saw: a valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14).

I believe God’s words to Ezekiel are being spoken to each of us now. They are a reminder we are each called to be the prophets that the world desperately needs. Called to speak life into hopeless situations and to shine light into a world that feels shrouded in darkness.

May we be alert and attentive to how God’s Spirit calls us to take action, in our own unique way (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8).

Today, let us remember we are not alone. That when we raise our eyes and look around, we stand in a vast multitude (Ezekiel 37:10). Take heart. Take courage. Trust in God.

Day 9: Remember who we are

Thank you for your YES, for responding to the Spirit’s call to pray in one accord during this back-to-school season. Know that the same Spirit who gathered us in prayer continues to speak to us long after this challenge has ended.

May we all recognize our unique role in God’s kingdom; that we are many parts of one body (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). So, let us stop criticizing one another or wanting it all done our way. Let us recall that, as children of the light, we are to build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:4-11).

May we obey God’s voice so our hearts will beat as one. Let us recognize the tactics of the enemy, the sowing of division and hatred. Let us instead listen to the voice of Jesus and allow his prayer for us to take root in our hearts: “That they may all be one…so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21).

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