Years later, I still remember the chatter and laughter as my girls walked up the driveway. A good sign, I thought as I listened for a comment to give me a preview of their day. They started at a new school. Each hour I prayed through their schedules posted on our family bulletin board, that they would adapt well, enjoy their classes, and make friends. As they walked into the kitchen, Susan threw down her backpack and smiling from ear to ear, announced, “I love it there!” Katie was quick to follow, “That is the best school!”
As I prepared their after-school snack, I listened to a breakdown of their day. That was not the only time I have prayed with such fervency for them, but it was a particularly intentional day and one that I remember well. Years have passed and now their children attend school. Though we may not know our grandchildren’s hour by hour schedule, and we may not be there when they return home at the end of their day, we can be part of their life through prayer. We can pray back to school prayers by subjects.
Math: “Heavenly Father, as my grandchildren learn new math facts and solve problems, help them to take their life problems to you. As they encounter challenges and trials, may they learn wisdom because you walk with them. Show them the importance of having a heart and mind filled with your wisdom, not just with knowledge. (James 1:5; Ps. 90:12)
Spelling: Just as spelling words often have rules, may my grandchildren always play by the rules and seek the greatest good. May they know the word “happy” has better replacements: joy and character. If tempted to please people to fit in or break the rules or hurt someone to win a prize, may they go to You, as their ultimate source to guide them to make right choices. (Psalm 119:2)
History: We all make mistakes and have regrets. May today be a fresh start for _______. If there is trouble keeping him from being his best, if he is discouraged because of a poor grade, may today be a fresh start. (1 John 1:5)
Social studies: Friends are so important throughout school. Guide my grandchildren to make healthy relationships. Help them not to succumb to negative peer pressure. Teach them to respect teachers and fellow students. (Luke 2:52)
Science: Scripture says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14) May my grandchildren respect their bodies, exercise, and practice good nutrition. May they not be tempted to abuse their bodies in any way recognizing that their bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Reading: May my grandchildren desire to read the Word of God and memorize scripture. May they retain what they read and apply it when the Holy Spirit brings truth to their remembrance when they need it. May they read only wholesome material and move away from negative influences. (Luke 12:12; John 14:26)
Speech: May their communication be uplifting and encouraging. May they remember that communication is a gift from God. Protect their ears from hearing impure speech and guard their minds and mouth from unkind words. (Ephesians 4:29)
Health: Just as Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man, may my grandchildren continue to develop mentally, physically, spiritually and relationally for your honor and glory. May they remember to thank you daily and live in healthy “God-esteem” rather than self-esteem. (Luke 2:52) Amen.
I wish I could be present to see my grandchildren come home from school and hear about their days, but I’m not. Though I can’t give them hugs, I can touch them through prayer, and when I do, God does too. That makes me smile from ear to ear.