Preserved by Purpose: Back to School and Back to Prayer

Shewanda Riley

 As students and educators prepare to return to school in the coming weeks, I’d like to offer a prayer of encouragement considering the confusion regarding mask mandates, social distancing guidelines and vaccination statuses.  

Heavenly Father, we come to you thanking you for your many blessings. You are so worthy of honor, praise and glory. First, God, we know that nothing surprises you and that this pandemic did not catch you off-guard. During this time of uncertainty, remind us of Isaiah 46:10 which says that you know the end from the beginning. We rest on the assurance that you know how and when this deadly pandemic will end.  

1 Corinthians 14:33 reminds us that you are not the author of confusion but that you are the God of peace. We pray that the truth of this scripture will influence the decisions of the administrators and government officials regarding the safety of students, staff and faculty at all levels of education from daycare, pre-K, K-12 and higher education. Let Godly wisdom and truth prevail.  We come to you now praying for our children and students who will be attending school face to face and virtually this academic year. Let there be peace in the hearts of students, faculty, administrators and staff as they return to classrooms, administrative offices and school buildings. We ask for an extra measure of your grace, mercy and protection.     

We also ask God that despite what goes on around them you would grant students an extra measure of grace and ability to focus on the academic subjects they have to learn.   Give instructors innovative ideas and methods to creatively motivate students to learn even the most difficult topics. Give them peace and protect educators as they fulfill their commitment to teach. We pray that the learning environment is a place of safety, connection and inspiration. We declare that frustration and discouragement will not distract students and educators from their purpose.   We bind up anything that comes to disrupt the educational environment.   Classrooms will be secure places of love and encouragement regardless of what may be taking place in the world outside. 

We pray that you would give parents and guardians of students confidence that their students will remain safe.   For any anxieties that may arise, remind them to cast their cares on you as it says in I Peter 5:7.   Allow them to rest in the confidence that your Godly presence will be there to cover and protect their children whether they are in the classroom, participating in extracurricular activities, in the cafeteria or on the playground.  

God, you are sovereign, and we thank you for the promise in 3 John 1:2 says that you would have us to be in good health.  Let this school year be one where good health, joy and hope prevail!  

In Jesus’ name we pray…Amen!

(Pictured: Shewanda Riley)

Shewanda Riley is a Fort Worth-based author of “Love Hangover: Moving From Pain to Purpose After a Relationship Ends” and “Writing to the Beat of God’s Heart: A Book of Prayers for Writers.” Email her at or follow her on Twitter @shewanda.

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