Back to School Blessing 2016

This past week, during our worship services, Platt Park Church prayed together in the name of the divine Trinity. In case you missed it, please see the transcript below, and feel welcome to add your own prayers.
God, your love called us into being and joined us together as a faith community. We thank you for our students, parents, teachers, and others connected with education who are beginning a new school year. Shine your light on these people. Grant them strength to carry your blessing from this place of worship to their schools.
For students: We pray for strength for students to take risks. We ask for your Spirit-empowerment for them to explore curiosities and embrace new challenges. We pray that you would give them empathy for other students. Anchor them in your love so that they may have confidence to take risks to connect with others. Help this generation to learn well, think deeply, respect authority, embrace hard problems, and honor the dignity of all people. Bless these students in the year ahead.
For parents: God we lift up the parents of students to you today. Allow them to recognize that all human life is but a breath, and every breath is a gift from your spirt. Grant these parents a deeper level of trust in you this year. Help them to entrust their children more fully into your good and sovereign care. Please give each parent in this room courage and patience. Help them lead when they need to lead. Give them grace to follow the lead of their children as appropriate, too. Give them insight into their children’s curiosity and discernment to follow that curiosity with wisdom and understanding. Help these parents to allow their children’s natural talents and God-given gifts to flourish in full measure, even when our society might not celebrate them. Our God, carry these parents in your love, grace, wisdom and truth this new school year.
For teachers: God, we honor and celebrate teachers. We ask you to give them patience, hope, and courage to do what is right, especially when what is right is hard or unpopular. In the midst of many external pressures, give them insight strength and courage to follow you in being the teacher you have created them to be. Give them an unwavering confidence in you. Give them unconditional positive regard for their students, especially the ones they may not understand or enjoy. Help them to forgive the hurts and to have empathy for every student, parent and colleague in this new year. May these teachers experience your love, grace, courage and strength flowing through them to those they teach. Please lead and guide our teachers in this new year.
For others involved with education: God, may every person connected to a school community play their part in strengthening these future members of society. Please protect them from discouragement and surround them with your songs of love.
In conclusion: Our God, please open all of our eyes to ways we might participate in supporting the next generation. We lament that our schools are not always equitable or safe environments for learning. We pray for your protection and justice to permeate our school communities this new year. Help us to extend your shalom in schools. We pray all this in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. AMEN.

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