Mornings can be hectic, but there is one thing even more important than a healthy breakfast—prayers before school. In order to maximize prayer impact while respecting the likelihood that there will only be a few precious minutes in the morning, I have worked out a formula that was pretty effective at our house.
Of course homeschoolers, not having the need to commute, can use that time for prayer, without dividing the prayer time over several days.
The purpose of these morning prayers is to model for your children the worship of God through prayer, that we can rely on God for and in all things, big and small, and to instill these comforting verses in our hearts and those of our children so that throughout life these verses will emerge to help support them when they need it.
The system involves praying for the week ahead on Sundays for a longer time, using favorite verses of your choice and Ephesians 6:11 et al. Just as you would lay out clothes for the week, you should pray for the protection of God over each child’s week. During the year, you can add activities to this –draw the armor, begin to learn the passage, talk about what they mean.
Although you can do more preparation for the following day at family devotions, to best address the needs of each little heart in the family, wait for the moment when it is just the two of you at bedtime.
Then, add prayers and a verse for each child’s special needs for the following day—a test (maybe a verse on wisdom) meeting new people, how they can be salt and light in the classroom.
Pick a verse that meets that child’s needs. For instance, for my daughter, as for myself, Philippians 4:6-7 would be the verse.
Then a quick morning prayer to go with the quick kiss goodbye from you to remind them that no matter what happens, she need not be anxious about anything.
Of course, then we need to remind them that we will be in prayer for them all day. To keep that promise, I often write down the time of a special event.
When the day ends, be sure to follow up—in the after school talk and at the dinner table, unless it was a confidential request that your child wants to share only at bedtime.
Once they leave the house, it’s time for prayer from Mom to God on their behalf. Here are some of the things I prayed most often and that I still pray for our daughter even though she is long past school, and is out in the working world:
- Joy in learning (working), in the day and in the Lord—after all, each day is the day the Lord has made
- That she would be protected during the day from physical harm and spiritual aggression from evil—in any form, thought, word or deed. That she will put on the full armor of God.
- Prayer that the teacher (supervisor) will speak only the truth and if there is something contrary to God’s word taught, the children in the class will be protected from it.
- Prayer for her to be encouraged according to his or her abilities and needs.
- Prayer that she would be a blessing to others.
- Pray that the verses the child is learning will stay in your child’s heart all day, and …that he or she will be able to call up in moments of distress.
- Pray that you can encourage the teacher in some way.
After school time will be much richer if your child knows you have been participating via prayer in his or her day—it gives you more of an opening.
Morning prayer — a must, that can be easily inserted into a busy morning even without waking the child an extra twenty minutes early.
Joan Leotta has been playing with words since childhood. She is a poet, essayist, journalist, playwright, and author of several books both fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. She is also a performer and gives one-woman shows on historic figures and spoken word folklore shows as well as teaching writing and storytelling.
Joan lives in Calabash, NC where she walks the beach with husband, Joe. www.joanleotta.wordpress.com and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joan-Leotta-Author-and-Story-Performer/188479350973