In just a few days, children and youth in our nation will head back to school. While this is an exciting time and offers a fresh start for many students, the school environment can be filled with stress, peer pressure, feelings of insecurity, and all too often, violence.
One of our greatest callings as the Church is to stand in the gap for our children. God looks for people who will step up in this way: “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land . . .” (Ezek. 22:30).
As godly parents and leaders—and members of Christ’s Kingdom—we can stand in the gap for our children to defeat hopelessness, addictions, discouragement, and perversion. We can pray a hedge of protection around our children and ask the Lord to prosper them (spiritually, mentally, relationally, and academically).
It has never been more apparent that we are in a spiritual fight for the hearts and minds of our children. The new school year is an opportune time to commit to standing with this generation in their life’s battles, holding up their arms, and interceding for their God-given destinies.
Here are three ways your church can link hearts to pray for your children—our church’s most precious resource.
1. Set aside a weekend service. Pastors can set aside time in a weekend service to pray for schools in your area. Pray for your children and young people, educators, and the school year. This could also be a churchwide prayer meeting with every age participating. Ask God’s blessing over students and pray for empowerment to succeed and prosper throughout the school year.
2. Mobilize prayerwalking teams. On a Saturday before school starts, organize multiple churchwide prayerwalks near different school locations. Prayerwalking or driving near and around a school helps engage hearts to pray with more fervency and focus for the needs of the teachers and students. You may be surprised at how many people will want to participate. Your group can comprise as many—or as few—intercessors as you like.
3. Get everyone involved. Students love praying for their schools and friends. Include prayer times in their youth gatherings. Pastors can ask congregations to pray together as families for their children’s or grandchildren’s schools throughout the school year. Encourage them to select one or more schools and pray specifically for that school, its issues, students, teachers, administrators, and district leaders.
You can pray in unity for the most pressing needs our students and teachers face by using Reclaim a Generation, a 21-day prayer guide.
Thank you for standing in the gap for this generation!
CHERYL SACKS is the bestselling author of The Prayer Saturated book series and the new Reclaim a Generation. You can learn more about Cheryl and her husband Hal’s work at prayersaturated.life and bridgebuilders.net.