A back to school prayer for parents

One of the most important things we can do for our children is pray. Yet, sometimes, we neglect to do it as consistently as we should. As our children head back to school this month, now is a great time to commit them to the Lord afresh.

There’s one particular guide for praying that I’ve just learned about recently called the “Five Finger Prayer.” I think this “model” is a great one for adapting to a prayer for our children going back to school.

When you fold your hands, the thumb is closest to you, so you start there. Each finger represents a different part of the prayer. In the traditional guide, the thumb (being closest to you), calls you to pray for those you love the most. The index/pointer finger represents those who teach. The middle finger is the tallest, calling us to pray for our leaders or those in authority. The ring finger is the weakest, so it reminds us to pray for those who are suffering. Lastly, the pinky finger, or the smallest finger, shows us our own smallness in light of God’s greatness. We should pray for ourselves last, and our own needs should be put in proper perspective.

An adapted Back-to-School version of a Five-Finger Prayer may go something like this.

Father, thank you for who you are. Thank you for your unending love for us, and thank you for the blessing of my children. As my child enters another school year, I want to commit [him/her] to your care. 

[Thumb]: Please help [him/her] continue to grow and learn this year. Keep [him/her] safe during this coming school year. My prayer is that [he/she] will also grow closer to you in the process. Help [him/her] to be a shining light among [his/her] classmates. 

[Index]: I pray for [his/her] teacher this school year. Give [him/her] the wisdom to teach the subjects and content not only required, but that each student needs. Give [him/her] endurance and patience to handle such a difficult job. Help [him/her] find much needed rest during the year. 

[Middle]: I pray for the school principal(s), administration, school board and other officials. Give them wisdom as they make difficult decisions that impact many people in our community.  

[Ring]: Please be with those young students who need an extra touch from you – those who are dealing with chronic illnesses, those suffering through difficult home environments (through no fault of their own), those who are subjected to bullying, and those dealing with their own issues that cause them to bully other children.  

[Pinky]: Lastly, I pray for myself. Help me to be a good parent this school year. Give me wisdom, patience and everything I need to guide my child through this stage in [his/her] life. 

Thank you in advance for everything you will accomplish in and through us this school year. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

This year, let’s take more time to pray intentionally for our children. I think we’ll find that God will use it to change them and change us in the process.