MATTHEW 19:13-15 (NIV): “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.”
For many of us these Bible verses will bring to our minds a traditional picture of Jesus, surrounded by little children, and praying for them. Many of the parents we are in touch with through Scallywags have asked us to pray for their children as schools open up this week. Some little ones are starting school for the first time. For children and young people of all ages, disruption to education has been one of the most significant results of COVID 19, with huge knock-on effects for whole families. The cancellation of GCSE, A level and BTEC exams, and the problems of how to assess grades, has resulted in huge anxiety and distress – with disruption to possibilities of higher education for many students. And some will have experienced bereavement of those close to them. For all of us, the line in a children’s poem GOD KNOWS AND HE CARES holds true in all circumstances.
PRAYER: Father God, we bring to you all children and young people as schools reopen this term. Protect them from infection; help them to enjoy being back with their friends; and give them the ability to readjust well to classroom learning. For those struggling to cope after the confusion over national exams, and also for those with physical and mental health issues caused or exacerbated by the lockdown, we pray for wise support and recovery. We pray for all teachers and staff in schools and thank you for their dedication and professional expertise, and for their care for their students. We pray for wisdom, strength and resilience as they continue to face new challenges in providing a good environment and effective learning for students. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen

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