As kids head back to school in the fall (or mid- to late-summer, as the case may be), churches often gear up with new programming, resuming Wednesday night activities, offering tutoring or after-school care, and collecting school supplies and weekend meals for low-income children. But what about the spiritual needs of children and their families as they head back to school?
A "Blessing of the Backpacks" or other Back-to-School prayer in worship at the start of the school year can offer encouragement to the excited and comfort to the anxious. Here are a few variations you can mix and match in your own service.
Lord, bless these backpacks and the children and youth who carry them as they begin yet another year of school. Give them peace when they feel nervous, focus when they feel distracted, energy when they feel tired. Open their minds to the lessons they will learn both in and outside the classroom. Help them to make friends that build one another up, and be friends to those who need them. Guide them in making good choices as they grow in wisdom and maturity. Be ever-present with them in the classroom, on the school bus, on the playground, and at home, and may they feel your loving care in all they do. Amen.
Lord, bless those in the ministry of teaching future generations. As they embark on a new school year, grant them energy, passion, discipline, and endurance for their daily tasks. Infuse their classrooms with an atmosphere of care and mutual respect, that all interactions there will be bathed in patience and understanding. Help their lessons to grow pupils in both knowledge and character, and help us all to support the work these teachers do building up our community and our future. Amen.
For Donated Backpacks and Supplies
Lord, bless these backpacks and school supplies and the children who will use them. Let these physical gifts be symbols of the love and support we give to the children of our community throughout the year. Help us to look upon every child in our community as one of our own, helping them to grow in character and knowledge. Amen.