Every fall there a sense of urgency that demands our attention. From students rushing to reconnect out of fear of going back to school without friends to sit with at lunch to students obsessing over what kind of binder & backpack will be making the first impression on all those they encounter in the crowded hallway, back to school time can just be plain old intense.
Instead of partnering with that anxiety by adding to an already chaotic time, what if we took that time as a teaching moment to take everything to the Lord in prayer?
Here are a few ways to set the pace for the fall, as well as, teach our students to keep a posture of prayer everywhere they go:
Prayer Warriors- Set up for a guy and girl from each school to champion a prayer team each week of the school year. They could meet once a week or once a month in the mornings, and pray over the school with friends. Every month or two get the prayer warrior leaders from each school together to have coffee and pray with them. This reminds them about the fact that they may be scattered over the area, but they are united in Christ.
Bless it- Have students bring their backpacks or their notebooks from the class they struggle in to church the Sunday before school starts back. Let students come up front during the service (make sure and get the worship planning team and Pastor on board with this) with their backpacks & notebooks. Let the congregation and pastors say a prayer over our students. We pray over our seniors in high school as they go away, that they would be ambassadors for Christ, & we should do the same as our students go back into the schools! As a reminder, you could even get tags or stickers made to go on the backpacks and notebooks saying they’ve been blessed.
Go to the schools- On the Sunday before school starts back, develop a rotation for students to pray over each campus. Either have everyone carpool together to each campus or have a schedule of when you will be praying at each school so that students can meet you. Meet at each school (get it cleared by campus security), and spend time praying over the parking lot, fields, gym, front doors, classrooms and faculty offices. If you can’t get in the school, it is totally ok to just lay hands on the building from the outside and pray. This can be extremely meaningful, and serve as a reminder to students that Christ is everywhere they go! Also, you might be surprised by what teachers and coaches show up to pray.
Ultimately, we want our students to remember that they are scattered in order to be lights wherever they go, but they are covered by God and supported by their community of faith. Students can enter their homes, school, and community in a position of prayer, and we can help them grasp what that looks like by modeling it and provided opportunities to practice it!