“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

“The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:39)

“Dear Lord, my little boy starts school today. He’s such a little fellow, and he’s been sheltered up to now. And it’s going to be difficult for me to take him to the door of the school and say, ‘Good bye.’ But what scares me, Lord, is he doesn’t know what a jungle is out there compared to when I went to school for the first day. He’s going to learn quickly that the world he has lived in for the first six years of his life is vastly different from the one that exists outside our door.

“Father, I pray that You will keep Your strong hand on his little life, and help him understand that it’s OK to be different, to refuse to use the language other kids use, that it’s OK to tell the truth, and OK to stand for what we have tried to teach him at home.

“The great adventure of life is going to get down to the raw a lot quicker than it did for us, Lord. It’s a more cruel world out there, with drugs available from older kids, brutality and violence spelled out in graphic terms on the news, and played out in a drama that seems never to end in our world.

“One thing that concerns me a great deal, Lord, is that he’s going to be confronted with values and concepts that are different from what we believe. He’s going to be in that classroom 30 hours a week, and that’s far more than the time we’ll be together, so honor the foundation that we’ve tried to lay in his young life and grant that even at a young age he will learn to choose right from wrong, truth from the lie, and stand for justice, though he may stand alone.

“And, yes, that crowd also bothers me, Lord. So, please help him to choose his friends carefully, and help me as a parent to know when to say, ‘Yes,’ and when to say, ‘No.’ We’ve tried to teach him that the most important two words in the English language are “Do right!” but he’ll quickly learn that this is not always done in life, so Father, take him by his little hand and gently guide him.

“Help him to learn that not all people are to be trusted, yet without trust we cannot form friendships that last and learn to love each other. Lord, may he remember what we’ve tried to teach him–that for every crook there is a hero, for every enemy there is a friend, and for every corrupt individual there is a man or woman of integrity, that for every temptation to do wrong, there is a way of escape.

“We want him to understand that to do less than his best falls short of what we want and what you want from us, and when he does his best–whether he wins or loses–we will be proud of him. God, grant that he will learn there is no glory in failure, but in winning through dishonesty or cheating, there is only shame and dishonor.

“God, there’s one more thing. The cry of my heart is that my little son will grow to be a strong man who knows You and loves You, and becomes a leader who will be a light in a dark world, one who stands against the evils of our day and makes a difference.

“I tremble when I think of what faces him, but I rejoice in knowing Your promises are to me and to my children and to a thousand generations of men and women who will trust you. Thank you, Lord, for that assurance. It helps make it easier when I have to say, ‘Good bye, son,’ at the door of the school.

 

Resource reading: Ephesians 6:1-4

Source: Guidelines by Dr. Harold Sala