It’s hard to believe that the summer is drawing to a close, but if I had any doubts, the increased traffic on the roads has been enough to convince me this past week! It seems as if there are at least twice as many cars on the road in the morning. School is definitely back in session!
As students and teachers return to school, I think it is important for us to pray for God’s blessings and guidance for all learners, regardless of their age or grade, and all teachers, regardless of the subject they teach. Hopefully, all of us are life-long learners, students of life and of God’s word. And hopefully, all of us are also teachers, sharing our experiences and discoveries with the people around us.
In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus taught that the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind… And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
In the spirit of our love for God and our neighbor, I’d like to share with you the prayer I wrote for our students and teachers, and for us as life-long learners. I shared this prayer last Sunday during the time for children, but as many of you were not able to be there, I wanted to share it with the congregation again.
May my prayer join with your prayers for the coming year, seeking God’s love and blessing for all students and life-long learners and for all of the dedicated teachers, leaders, mentors, and coaches who work so hard to make a difference.
“We pray for all children and all teachers and leaders who are starting out a new school year.
We thank you for our young children —for their playfulness, for their curiosity, and for their joyfulness. We pray as they start this new school year, that they will have opportunities to learn new and exciting things and to find strong and true friendships.
We thank you for our young people, even for the ways that they test boundaries and question authority as they continue to develop into the people you have created them to be. Help them to develop and use the gifts you have given them.
We thank you for our young adult students in their last years of high school and in college and graduate school, as they transition from children into adults. Grant them courage and curiosity as they engage in critical learning and discovery about themselves and your world.
We thank you for all those people who are called to teach and lead, coach and mentor students. Grant them your wisdom, your determination, your creativity, and your patience in the coming year. Give them the energy to continue to bring forth the best from their students, and help us all to appreciate their efforts. Give them community and support and joy in their work.
Help us as a congregation and as individuals find ways to support and encourage our children this year, and to show them the love and grace of Christ. Help us to be patient, help us to listen and really hear, help us share your wisdom and your love in all we say and do.
Help us to always be open to learning new things ourselves, so that we may continue to grow in our wisdom and understanding. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”