The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse began this week. When we lived just a few miles from the Fairgrounds we knew that the beginning of the Fair marked the end of summer, the beginning of fall and the start of school was just around the corner.
School supplies have been bought and packed into backpacks by congregations all over our presbytery. Several parents are remarked sadly that their son or daughter will be taken to college this week. Young people are checking their school list and going shopping with parents for those last items.
Let us pray this week for those who are sad to see the summer season come to an end but are anxious for the new adventure of the school year.
Gracious and Loving God,
We pray for all children—for their playfulness, for their curiosity and for their joyfulness. We pray, as they go beyond the boundaries of home, that they will find strong and true friendships. We pray especially for those called to lead and to care for them. Grant O God that our children and the adults who minister with them might grow in your love.
We pray for all young people, for the ways they test boundaries and question authority. We pray, O God that they will continue to develop and to use the gifts you have given them. We pray for those called to teach, to lead, to coach, and to mentor our young people. Grant your wisdom and generous spirit to these youth and adults as they commit to grow righteously in this complex world.
We pray for those called to lead and to care for them—for professors, counselors, administrators, and advisors. Nurture all students and leaders, O God, in communities of fellowship and protect them from isolation and loneliness. Grant your courage to these young adults and adults as they engage in critical learning and discovery for the stewardship of our world.
We pray for all adults as they endeavor to live faithful lives in their homes and in their workplaces. We pray for all who are parents, stepparents, guardians, caregivers, and grandparents of children, youth, and young adults. Help them to find the time to sit and to listen to their young people. Give them hearts and minds filled with patience, understanding and wisdom. Enable them to share your wisdom and love, O God, in word and by example.
We pray for all those who learn—children, youth, young adults and adults. Keep them from being discouraged when facing the trials of the day. Instill in them a desire to grow in wisdom and understanding. Grant them the discipline of study and the ability to concentrate. We pray for all of us as learners, O God. We know that we never stop learning about your love and faithfulness. We thank you, O God our creator, for teaching us through your word and through your son, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray.
Prayer adapted from Back to School Prayer and Worship Service from pcusa.org