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How to Go Back to School Prayerfully and Intentionally



It's now August, which means that it is time to think about going back to school. Summer has flown by wayyyy to fast, and honestly, part of me is dreading the return to school. I know the chaos and stress that goes along with school, and I'm not exactly eager to jump right back into that.


But, as Piper once reminded me, our school is our mission field.


There are so many people that God has placed in our path to love on and invest in. There's so many open doors and opportunities that He wants us to become involved in so that we may be a light in the hallways of our school. I truly believe that He has a hand in crafting every detail of our schedules, every person we interact with, and every classroom we walk into. There is purpose in this year, and I don't want to miss what the Lord has in store because I'm too busy sulking that it's the start of the school again.


If I'm being completely honest, the vastness of opportunities overwhelms me. I have so many classes, so many activities, so many goals for this year, and trying to figure out what God wants me to do in the midst of that is hard. And when I get overwhelmed, I switch my mindset from thriving to simply surviving, and I don't want my junior year to be defined by me just going through the motions, holding on by a thread. No, I want to be prayerful and intentional.


The truth is, if I tried to go into my junior year in my own strength, convinced that I will thrive simply through willpower, determination, and organization, I would end up sorely disappointed.


I cannot thrive without Jesus.


My course load is heavy, my schedule is full, and my personal battery is only capable of doing so much. But, with Jesus, He empowers me, He leads me, and He gives me the strength and wisdom to glorify Him in every situation.


That, my friends, is thriving.


Thriving isn't getting a 4.0 GPA or having a big friend group. Thriving isn't acing all your tests or being super organized. Thriving isn't going to every football game or even conquering new goals in your sport. Thriving isn't figuring out what to do with your life or getting into your dream college.


All of those things are great, sure, but they don't mean much if you do it apart from Jesus. But when you do it with Him, new meaning and purpose is infused into everywhere you go and everything you do. When you do it with Jesus, there is a new sense of peace and joy and strength, no matter how stressful or overwhelming school might get, because you have the God of the universe on your side.


So, this year, I'm choosing to thrive with Jesus.


And that starts now. It is time to prepare for this school year, friends, and we're doing it with Jesus!

 

The biggest thing that I have started doing every night (or very often) during my Bible study to prepare for this upcoming school year is to pray specifically over each of my classes, teachers, and activities. I wrote down each class on a sheet of paper, with information about who the teacher is, who I know will be in there, and extra space for any other specific prayers that may be related to the class. I've also written down the biggest activities and sports that I'll be a part of, so that I can be praying over those things too.


And when I pray about each of these classes, activities, and people, I make sure to set aside time to quiet my heart and allow God to speak to me. This is when God brings peace to any anxiety I have towards the class (or people), directs my priorities and what He wants me to specifically be intentional about. I don't want to have to figure it out all on my own, so I lay it down in the Father's hands and listen to His thoughts on the situation.


I'm also beginning to plan prayer walks during my Bible study leading up to and continuing through the start of the school year. This simply creates a unique environment to communicate with the Lord, hear His voice, and surrender everything on my heart.


As I continue preparing for the school year, I also want to be thinking and praying about the habits that I need to prioritize in my routine to make sure that I am glorifying the Lord and being filled by Him continuously. I know that I need to make space for my early morning Bible studies again, because that was such a blessing during the school year last year. Other than that, I'm still seeking the Lord on what needs to take precedence as I begin deciding what fits into my schedule and what doesn't.


Because prayer is what changes things. I can do all the planning, all the organizing in the world, but without the Lord and doing things hand-in-hand with Him, true purpose and intentionality isn't possible. I don't usually pray so much and so hard about the school year, but this year is going to be different - I'm going to be doing every aspect of my school year with Jesus.


We also cannot forget the importance of rooting ourselves in Scripture. I'm going to find verses that remind me of who God has declares me to be and how He calls me to live, and then, I'm going to surround myself with those verses. I want to write down Scripture and place it where I'll see it often, like on my mirror, on my binders and notebooks, in my car, and in my cross country locker. Lies, insecurity, and sin are going to be trying to work their way into my heart (and probably yours), especially as we go back to school, and it is so important that we are prepared and ready to fight against those temptations. I want my mind to be filled with the truth and grace of Jesus, and that begins with intentionally meditating on the word of God.

 

So, to close out, here's a quick list of ways that both you and I can begin prayerfully preparing for this upcoming school year!

  • Write down each class and activity you will be apart of this year (at least for the first semester). From there, you can pray specifically over each class and seek what the Lord wants you to do and prioritize in those opportunities. Don't forget to pray over your teachers and classmates!

  • Set aside time to listen to the Lord and let Him guide your schedule and priorities will look like this year. For me, I like to write down whatever I feel Him speak to me - that encourages me later on and reminds me to realign with what the Lord has directed me to do.

  • Plan prayer walks during your Bible study!

  • Consider and pray about what habits you need to especially make time for during this upcoming school year.

  • Dive into Scripture about who God says you are and how He's called you to live, and then surround yourself with those verses by writing them down and placing them where you'll see it. Let's work on filling our minds with the truth found only in Jesus!

The more I pray about this school year, the more excited I am to see how the Lord is going to work and transform, in both my life and yours. Do you have any prayer requests for this upcoming school year, or anything you are particularly excited to see how the Lord moves? Let me know down in the comments below, so that I can pray for and celebrate with you!



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