A Prayer for Back to School

Master and Teacher,

Bless our bus drivers and crossing guards.

Bless our Google classrooms and those who still must be on Zoom.

Bless those who are vaccinated and those who struggle to decide.

Bless those children who struggle to keep the mask on, trying so hard to stay even three feet apart from friends they have missed so much.

Bless our teachers who have worked so hard for so long, those who yearn to embrace their students and those who will face the challenge of keeping their charges safe and healthy.

Bless our school nurses, who guide those who are not well away from others, trying to discern the difference between a common cold and a deadly virus.

Bless our little ones entering school for the first time in this reality that changes every day. Give them the wisdom to comprehend the need to stay angel wings apart from their friends.

Bless those who are new in our schools – students and teachers alike – trying to find the right classroom, the right locker, the right books, and the right attitude.

Bless those extroverts among us who long to sing and talk and have for so long been stuck indoors.

And bless those introverts who wish they were still inside.

Bless us all with compassion, that we may root for the underdog, celebrate those who accomplish much, and pray fervently for each other.

Bless us with an environment free from bullying, needless competition, and petty jealousy.

Help us, Lord, to fall in love with learning, be it online, in person, or a little bit of both.

And we beg you, Lord, to bring these children and teachers safely home at the end of the day, the week, or the semester. Keep them free from violence and viruses – at home and at school – on the bus and on the streets – and guide them home to the waiting arms of those who loved them first.

Finally, Lord, we beg for an end to the pandemic that has cost so many so much.

We make this prayer through Christ our Lord: teacher, servant, and source of all hope.