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Faith: Pray for students, parents and educators as we head back to school

Pastor John Rister encourages people to pray for all those who are busy during the back to school season.

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Prayer has and still continues to be a wonderful way in which we communicate to our heavenly Father. It is the way in which we speak to him about our needs; but also, we are reminded God not only hears our prayers, he answers our prayers.

During this time of the year with school getting back into session, our church family likes to put focus on all the children within the church and cover them with prayer as they venture out into a new school year. We started this tradition a few years ago, and what a joy it has been to see this ministry flourish.

The way we approach it, we take all the children's names and birth dates and place them on a piece of paper and then set them up in the front of the church where we then encourage our congregants to come up and pull one of the names of the children. For the next school year they will bathe that child in prayer.

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We also encourage the people to not only take some time and get to know the child and their families but also let them know how much you care by celebrating their birthday.

And what a joy this has brought into our congregation. We have seen some amazing friendships develop and seen where the walls of age have been broken. Some of our children will even sit with those who are praying for them as the children know they are loved and cared for.

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Now we also donโ€™t want to forget those who have a part in the education of our children, so we like to include them within our prayers as well. From those who homeschool to those who send their children off on a bus in the morning, we recognize moms and dads who may have to overcome some challenges with getting their children back into a routine each morning.

We also acknowledge our teachers and administrators for the important role they play within the lives of the children.

And then there are the supporting roles that many of us may not always think about. From the school bus drivers to the paraprofessionals to the lunch staff and those who maintain our school facilities, we owe a lot of gratitude to each of them as well for the amazing job they put forth each day during the school year.

So as the school year has now officially begun, I want to encourage all of us to consider adding into our daily prayer life some of these folks that may need an extra voice going up for them. From the parents at ground zero, to the administrators who make the decisions that impact the school year, consider praying for our teachers who are busy helping their students to one day become productive people in society to all the support staff that it takes to make a great school year possible.

But also, I want to encourage each of us to consider taking the name of a child and praying for them this next school year. They may be a child you know such as a grandchild. They may be a child who is a friend of your child. They may even be a child you see running around in your own church.

Whatever the case, find a child that matters to you and bathe them in prayer this next school year. Pray that they may have a successful and rewarding time during this next school year.

John Rister is the pastor at Backus Nazarene Church.

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