Hello Foothills UMC families,
I don’t know about you, but for me, it feels like the first day of school arrives earlier each year. I wanted you to know that I am thinking of your family and am praying for a smooth transition.
I am also including some prayers you can pray with your family. If you are a teacher or educator or work at a school, I included a prayer for you, too.
Prayers for the New School Year
1) God of all wisdom, we praise you for gifting us with curiosity and learning. Give to all students, teachers, and caregivers a clear sense of your love. May they feel your presence throughout this school year. Guide their choices, their quest for knowledge, and their relationships. Use their successes and failures as opportunities to grow in understanding of who you would have them to be. Continue to shape them, that they may walk in the way of Christ, grow strong in Sprit’s love for all people, and know the complete joy of life in you. In the name of Christ our Great Teacher, we pray. Amen
Linda Witte Henke, adapted, “From the Vine,” in Marking Time: Christian Rituals for All Our Days, Moorehouse Publishing 2001, p. 63.
2) Dear God, as I head to school, I want to thank you for being with me in the lunchroom, the hallways, my classroom, and on the playground. Thank you for loving me when I am excited about an assignment or a grade on my report card... and when I'm sad or I feel alone or afraid. God, please help me to be a friend to all people, just like you are a friend to everyone. Help me to listen, to be patient and kind. Help me to invite someone to eat lunch with me or to play with me at recess. Help me remember to share your love through my words and actions. In school or out of school, help me to learn about you and grow in my friendship with you. Amen.
A Prayer for College Students
Eternal God, your wisdom is greater than our minds can attain, and your truth enlightens our learning. To those who study, give curiosity, imagination, and patience to wait and work for insight. Fill their learning with joy. Help them to doubt with courage. And hold all their days in the love of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Worship, adapted, Wesminster John Knox Press, 2018, p. 911
A Prayer for Parents
Loving God, We confess some days the worries of parenthood are as abundant as the joys. Guide us through the valleys, so we may be present for our children in their valleys, until we are all brought again to the mountaintop. We ask you to bless our children with hearts of compassion and courage, and keep them safe from harm. Fill them with the knowledge that they are loved and beloved. And may we always remember to pray: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.
Meg Bucher, adapted, www.sunnyand80.org; Reinhold Niebuhr, “The Serenity Prayer”.
A Prayer for Teachers and Educators and Those Who Work in Schools
God of all learning, grant our teachers and educators an abundance of your wisdom. Prepare their hearts to welcome and love. Give them grace in their encounters, courage to face challenges, and strength when they feel weak. When they feel unseen, remind them we are overwhelmed with gratitude for the gifts they share with our children. May they see how their dedication forever impacts generations. Amen
The Rev. Kaitlyn Bouchillon, adapted, www.crosswalk.com
My Back to School Blessing for you and your family:
We give thanks that God has given us the ability to learn many things in many ways.
Help us remember to show our thanks for God’s gifts of learning
by doing our best every day.
Bless our schools, teachers, classmates and friends. Bless those who prepare our lunches, those who drive us to school, and those who keep our schools clean and safe.
We ask God's blessing on this new school year, that it may be a time
when we appreciate and fully use God's gift of learning.