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A Prayer for the Beginning of School

A Prayer for the Beginning of School

Dear Lord,


We place such trust in you as we send our children to school.

Our hearts are full.

Full of excitement. Full of worry. Full of anticipation. Full of hope.

Give us calm hearts.

Give us peace.

Guide us as we prepare our children for school.

May their backpacks be organized and their lunch boxes full.

May their questions be answered.

May their anxious hearts be calmed by loving hands and warm smiles.

May their loneliness be met with a kind friend inviting them to lunch.

May their differences be celebrated.

May they be loved and known.

We place such trust in you as we send our children to school.


Let us as parents savor this moment of beginning.

Beginning a new year, beginning a new grade, or perhaps beginning school for the first time.

Be with us as we entrust our children to others.

May our worries be given to you.

May our children know that our love goes with them.


Open the hearts of our children to love learning.

May their eyes sparkle in wonder.

May their hands create beauty.

May their minds be open to possibility.

May their curiosity be piqued.

May they see your hands guiding them.


Lord, we place such trust in you as we teach your children.

As teachers, staff, aides, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, secretaries, and custodians, give us peace.

Guide us as we prepare to welcome and love the children who come to us.

May our hearts be open to their joy and laughter.

May our minds be full of stories and learning to share.

May our hands reach out to those who are afraid.

May our words affirm and build up the students.

May our smiles show the love we have for everyone.

We place such trust in you as we teach your children.


This school year may lives be transformed – those of parents, children, teachers and staff.

Let your light shine, your love transcend boundaries and barriers, and your mercy fill our hearts.


Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website: or follow her work on Facebook:


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Carolyn Brown

Last weekend we buried our 84 year old aunt who had been an elementary school cafeteria worker for 37 years. Her casket was surrounded by crazy hats she and her coworkers wore as they sang happy birthday to every single child in that school on their day. A letter was read from a student who said her family was poor and she knew she was looked down on by everyone in town. The Happy Birthday she got from the cafeteria ladies was the only birthday greeting she got and she loved it and felt loved by it. Our aunt would have loved and did live by your back to school prayer.

James Johnson

Where is the credit for the painting?

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