Ways Parents and Grandparents Can Pray for Children as They Head Back to School

Note from Randy: These are some thoughtful back-to-school prayers from Melissa Kruger with The Gospel Coalition. May they serve as reminders to pray for the children in our lives. Sometimes it's the only thing we can do for them. But it’s always the best thing, since God is on the throne, and our power is so limited.

Melissa writes, “Amid all the hustle and bustle of a new school year, one of the best ways we can prepare our kids is by praying for them. A few years ago, I ended the summer by reading through the Psalms and Proverbs. As I drank in the wisdom of these two books, I put together a list of Scriptures to help me pray for my children as they headed back to school.”

I pray that my children would understand their need for Jesus and rejoice in the good news of the gospel. “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Our God is a God of salvation, and to GOD, the Lord, belong deliverances from death” (Ps. 68:19–20).

I pray that my children will love learning, that their hearts would seek to understand the world you’ve created. “The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly” (Prov. 15:14).

I pray that as they learn about your world, they would behold the majesty of your glory. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge” (Ps. 19:1–2).

I pray that you would surround them with friends who make wise choices and encourage their faith. “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Prov. 13:20).

I pray that their teachers would be wise and gentle. “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. . . . A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit” (Prov. 15:2, 4).

I pray that they would work with diligence and put forth their best efforts. “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied” (Prov. 13:4).

I pray that they would be thoughtful with their words and respectful in their replies. “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things” (Prov. 15:28). 

I pray that you would free them from the pressure of trying to be like everyone else, instead instilling in them the confidence to know they’re uniquely made by you. “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Ps. 139:14).

I pray that they would receive correction well. “The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence” (Prov. 15:31–32).

I pray that they would share their faith with others. “They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom” (Ps. 145:11–12).

I pray that when they do what’s wrong, they would bear consequences that lead them to repentance. I pray that when they do what’s right, you would bless their obedience that they may learn to love your ways. “The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways” (Prov. 14:14).

I pray that your Word would be on their hearts and in their minds as they learn. “Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD” (Prov. 16:20).

I pray that they would be kind to others. “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor” (Prov. 21:21).

I pray that you would give them the grace of self-control. “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls” (Prov. 25:28).

I pray that your grace would rest upon them. “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (Ps. 90:17).

I pray that you would protect them from all evil. “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?  My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life” (Ps. 121:1–2, 7).

More than anything else, may their lives glorify you. “I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever” (Ps. 86:12).

O Lord, hear our prayers! Amen.

Download the PDF of these prayers. The Gospel Coalition is also offering a back-to-school sale on resources for parents and churches.

Photo: Unsplash

Melissa Kruger serves as vice president of discipleship programming at The Gospel Coalition. She is the author of The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous WorldWalking with God in the Season of MotherhoodIn All Things: A Nine-Week Devotional Bible Study on Unshakeable JoyGrowing Together: Taking Mentoring Beyond Small Talk and Prayer RequestsWherever You Go, I Want You to Know, and His Grace Is Enough