As I closed the door behind my new 3rd grader, the last one to leave the house today, I breathed a simple prayer, “God be near.” The worry was thick last night as I tucked her and her siblings into bed. Some were familiar like not being able to open the lock on their locker, being the only sibling on the bus this year, and juggling school and sports schedules. But there were other worries, too. Questions about masks, vaccines, and how long this whole thing was going to last.
This morning I find myself vacillating between “They are going to be OK. It’s all going to be OK,” and “What if it’s not OK. Then what?” Unfortunately, we know better. Sometimes it’s not OK and the whole world changes in an instant. And I’m not alone in my worry. When I googled “back to school worries” there was 150 million results. Some anxious parent, caregiver, teacher, or student is asking Google for ways to calm their worry every .53 seconds.
Oh man. What’s a mom to do with all this back-to-school worry?
Especially a mom who knows that worry is mental torture (Here’s an article I wrote about worry!) and that she must get on top of her anxious thoughts asap before they turn into an ugly spiral. That’s when I remembered that the simple prayer I prayed as I closed the door was the key. For me, the opposite of worry is faith. What I know for certain is their Creator loves them even more than I do, and I can trust Him with my worries and their school year.
A few years ago, I wrote a little eBook called, 30 Back to School Prayers for Your Children. It was a way for me to help other parents struggling with back-to-school worries. As I sat down at my laptop today to start work, I pulled that old PDF document out and read through the prayers I created years ago. They blessed my soul and calmed my worry as I read. And I want to bless you the same way. I hand picked a few of my favorites for you to have in your back pocket. Pray over your child in the morning when they leave, or throughout the day when worry comes up.
Prayer #1 to Calm Back to School Worry: Based on 3 John 1:2
Thank you for my child’s health. I pray you continue to bless them with a healthy body and a strong spirit. When they get sick, I pray for quick healing. Give me wisdom to make the right choices for our family to have a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Help them to not be afraid but continue to make good choices to protect their health this school year.
Prayer #2 to Calm Back to School Worry: Based on 1 Thessalonians 5:11
I pray my child would be an encourager today. I pray they would build others up instead of being mean or unkind. Give them a heart for others. Help them to stand up for the kids who are being picked on and ignored. And loving to another child who is afraid or unsure. Develop a gift of encouragement in my child and open their eyes to see others as you see them.
Prayer #3 to Calm Back to School Worry: Based on Philippians 4:13
I pray for my child today. I pray that as they leave home today, they would be filled with bravery. When they are scared, I pray they would remember that they can do all things through You, God! I pray against all worry, fear, and anxiety that might be tormenting my child today. Help them accept failure as part of the learning process- instead of giving up. May they walk boldly in the confidence that you are the source of their strength. In your name I pray.
Whether it’s today, next Tuesday, or six months from now, my hope is these prayers bolster your faith when back to school worry happens. We know it can be a scary world out there and much is unknown this school year. But trusting the God who loves them more than we do is our anchor in the storm. We made it through last year. We will make it through last year. One day at a time.
With grace & grit,
Raychel Perman is a Certified Life & Business Coach, Speaker, Author, and Co-Founder of RAYMA Team, LLC. She is the Co-host of the She Who Overcomes™ Podcast and is funny, wise, and tells it like it is. Raychel shares her story of overcoming trauma and living with mental health challenges to inspire others to believe that the broken pieces of their past can lead to beauty, strength, and new beginnings. She is the author of UNBROKEN and co-author of She Cultivates Resilience.