The first day of school always feels more to me like a new year than when we ring it in on January 1. Nothing really changes for me in the middle of winter other than getting use to writing the new year on things. But September brings all of the new things. It brings new weather and along with it new things to wear. We change from flip flops to boots and trade in our bathing suits for scarves and toques. (that’s beanies for you folks across the border!)
It’s new schedules and new teachers and new pick up spots and new meal plans because new crops are in season.
Last night we sat around in the coffee shop and made some goals. We talked about what each boy wanted to accomplish this year be it in terms of grades or relationships or favour with teachers or sports. We talked about weak points last year, temptations we fell into, and how we wanted to change those this year with specifics about what we could do to bring that about. We talked about rising to challenges and befriending those who are new. We talked about praying for those we didn’t get along with last year and not playing the victim role because something might be hard. We prayed for all of these things and we woke this morning ready to go!
Because you might feel like September is your new year too, and because you might think it’s a good time to make a few changes to routines, I wanted to throw a challenge out to all of you parents with kids heading out of your arms for many hours a day.
Wake early and pray for them.
This school year, this very first day, start a new routine. It could be setting that alarm for just 5 minutes earlier, maybe you want 10 or 15. And may it be the very first thing you do? Because should you touch your phones screen we know that 5 minutes will get sucked away. Should you stumble into the kitchen we know that there will be counters to wipe and dishwashers to empty. Don’t let your time be whisked away from you? Would you?
Pray that your children would develop a thirst for the things of God. Pray that they would be drawn to the truth. Pray that they would live, away from your grasp, as ones who honour their King. Pray that they would be kept from harm, from temptation, from fear, from any ungodly strongholds, from sexual immorality and from any types of addiction. Pray that they would grow in kindness and goodness and peace. Pray that they would be peacemakers and walk with gentleness towards others. Pray that their words would always be gracious, seasoned with salt. Pray that they would have courage and integrity, that they would be respected in their schools. Pray that they would honour you and your words even in your time apart. Pray that they would feel safe and loved and accepted in the place they spend many hours each day. Pray that their identity would not be found in the things of this world or through the pleasing of others or by being a part of a certain group or wearing a certain style of clothes but that they would be firmly rooted in whom they are in Christ Jesus. Pray for their health. Pray that they would have a desire for wisdom and knowledge. Pray that they would grow in faith and in love. Pray that they would be a voice of justice and mercy as they walk the halls. Pray that they would have joy, freedom and feel the warmth of grace.
Would you give your kids lives 5 minutes before God? Would you cover them with prayer and blessing for 10 minutes first thing in the morning?
I know it doesn’t have to be first thing and I don’t want to be all legalistic about it, I just know for me – and so maybe for you too – that time is a beast and once our days set in motion it becomes a whirlwind of to-do’s and the moments get away from me.
So, this morning I set my alarm for an hour that meant it was still pitch dark outside and I laid my boys lives before the only one I trust with them. The one who can do a far better job with them than I can.
Do you want to join me? Set that alarm and know that we’re awake together? I’d love to know there’s an army of praying mama’s up at the crack of dawn with me!