I Prayed the Wrong Prayer for My Kids’ First Day of School

It’s the first day of school for our kids, and to be honest, it brings around a mixture of emotions. Part of me is rejoicing in the return to routine, work and adult conversations. The other half of me is already mourning their absence.

Before we went to bed last night, we prayed for a year of peace and without all the drama that the middle school years bring. “Lord, give us a year of laughter, learning and love.”

Back-to-School-8.31.11I thought I was a good prayer until this morning at breakfast.

We were going through Sarah Young’s daily devotional Jesus Calling for Kids and read these words:

“Expect troubles – they are just a part of living in this world. Stop trying to figure out a way to avoid every problem…An easy life tricks you into forgetting about Me. When you come to Me for help – when you depend on me – I give you the power to live above your problems.”

A year without problems sounds wonderful to me. I’m tired and middle school drama makes me weary. However, if I teach my kids to pray for a carefree life, what am I teaching them?

Yes, I want them to have peaceful lives full of joy. But at the same time, I want them to be able to find true peace in the midst of chaos. The type of peace and joy that only comes through love and trust found in Jesus.

Life is crazy and at the moment the world seems to be spinning out of control. Unfortunately, this is not going to change.

But…if I can give my kids tools to rise above the worry, fear and anxiety that problems bring, then they can be a source of God’s life in their daily lives.

Maybe they can be a friend to the lonely girl in the lunchroom.

Maybe they can be the peacemaker in the midst of bickering friends.

Maybe they can be the source of encouragement to the friend dealing with an issue at home.

Maybe they can be the one to help a friend struggling with depression.

And when my child is the one struggling with any of these issues and there is no one at school to help them, my prayer is they will know where to turn, knowing that Jesus is there with them in the midst of their problem.

I will continue to pray for peace for my kids. But I will also pray they don’t waste a good problem by avoiding it – for it is here they will develop an intimate relationship with our true source of Peace.

Lord grant our children peace in the chaos, wisdom to always seek you, strength to never give up and love and compassion to share it freely to their friends. Amen!




  1. Outstanding! Well written and words of truth! Thanks 🙂

  2. Missy Russell says:

    So, so true & well said. After a good first day, your prayer will be our prayer tonight!

    • Laurie Russell says:

      Yay! Glad to hear he had a great first day. 🙂

      I read in Perry Noble’s book, Overwhelmed, the other day that in the midst of a crisis we shouldn’t pray for God to remove us from a situation but instead ask for God to help us see Him in the situation. I loved that and thought it was great insight.

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