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Categorized | From the Pulpit

From the Pulpit

Back to school prayers

My family reaches a milestone this year. Our oldest child will start kindergarten! I remember hearing my older sister and my close friends talk about how bittersweet it was to send their children to school for the first “official” day. And now I know why! I’ve been through the rollercoaster of emotions lately—joy for how excited my daughter is to go to school and learn new things, sadness that she’s growing up so fast, worry that she’ll be away from home more than ever before and all the new influences that she’ll encounter, and the other feelings that come along as our kids grow up.

So, I’ve found all new reasons to pray—for my child, for other children, and for the people who will guide them at school! Though it’s always been important to me to pray as the school year begins, this year those prayers have been especially powerful. When we gathered for our “United: A Community for One” worship service at Morley Park, it was a privilege to worship with my pastor-colleagues and their congregations and especially to lift up our schools as we prayed for our community.

Our gathering reminded me that there are always people praying for us and for the same concerns that we have. We have the blessing of sharing our concerns and asking others to pray with us. I know that I’m not the only person praying for our schools to be safe, healthy places for our children to learn and thrive. Many of you are praying, too, and that gives me great hope and help as my family enters a whole new routine.

And the prayers don’t stop with our children. We pray for ourselves as parents, grandparents, caregivers, and day care providers who all play an important role in the school routine. We pray for our children’s friends and classmates who will become best friends and confidants, and even sometimes role models and mentors without even knowing it! We pray for teachers who are called to educate, encourage, and care for students. May they have the renewed energy and passion for their high calling! We pray for administrators and support staff and all the work they do to make the “business” and “busyness” of school run smoothly. May they have patience and positive attitudes to do the important work they do. We pray for those in the lunchroom who make meals that nourish our children’s bodies so that they can learn. We pray for those on the playground who watch our children at play, keep them safe, and help them work out their problems peacefully. We pray for custodial and maintenance staff who keep the building a clean and safe space for children to learn and teachers to teach. We pray for bus drivers who get our children to and from school safely. We pray for coaches who guide our children at play and teach them to work together on a team. We pray our school board members who represent us and make the best decisions for our children and our schools.

So, join me in praying for our schools. Realize how many people are involved in our children’s education and their lives whether they are new kindergarteners or high school seniors and how much prayer they need! If you know a teacher or school employee, tell them that you’re praying for them! What a way to bless them!

And if don’t have a church home or have been away for a while, consider getting back to church or trying it out for the first time. If you don’t have a church home, I invite you to worship with us this Sunday morning. God is a constant source of help and strength as we care for our children and seek to be the best that we can be.

Pastor Mary Ivanov
Cedar Springs United Methodist Church
140 S. Main, Cedar Springs

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