Thank you for your guidance, wisdom, and perfect timing. Thank you for the teachers, parents, and children who will walk through our doors tomorrow and throughout the week. Thank you for the gift of community and the opportunity to serve. Thank you for the leaders who have prepared me to do this job - and I mean every single one of them over the past 37 years - because there have been many!
Please bless the teachers. Give them a beautiful voice so that the children will want to listen. Grant them empathy so that they may feel each and every moment of hurt and moment of joy so that they may make each child feel special. Grant them wisdom and creativity and enthusiasm so that the children will love to learn! Grant them patience, because, well, you know why...
Please bless the parents, Lord. Let them feel comfort in leaving their most precious gifts from You in our care. Grant them rest so that they may be refreshed during their time away from their children. Grant them relationships, Lord, as children's friends so often turn families into friends.
Most of all, please bless the children. Give them a sense of self so that they may develop their own amazing, unique personalities! Grant them the development of language so that they may understand and communicate with their new friends. Grant them healthy, strong bodies so they may grow and play and learn! Grant them self control so that they may learn and not keep others from learning. Grant them peace so that they may not be afraid, Lord. That's a tough one, but You did not design our hearts or minds to be fearful. Above all else, Lord, let them feel LOVE. Let them feel Your arms wrapped around them through hugs and kind words and fun! Let them feel LOVE everywhere and in everything we do!
Thank you for this privilege, Lord. I have answered Your call and know that these are high stakes, but I am up to the challenge. We have spent a lot of time together this summer, Lord - probably more than we ever have - and You have prepared me well. Thank you for trusting me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.