Dear God, we humbly come before your throne of glory and grace
with prayers of petition and praise
for the families of our two churches
and for the local schools our children attend.
But first, Lord, we pray for families and students across our nation
and for those from some schools nearby,
who are suffering the lingering effects of terrorism, or bullying, or lascivious acts.
We pray that special measures of your grace and peace may be granted to them.
And now, God, we’re here to thank you for the teachers, support staff, school boards, committee members, and all loyal supporters of the schools in our town.
We pray for blessings on them all as they prepare lessons, cook, clean, maintain properties,
and make decisions affecting the daily lives of the precious children being raised in Hull
and the surrounding countryside.
We pray for the curriculum and for the extracurricular activities available to all our children in
sports, music and the arts.
Please help us to choose carefully from the opportunities offered
and focus on those that will bind our family members together,
not scatter them in different directions down separate paths.
Lord, prod us to make wise decisions about our use of family time.
Please help us remember the importance of family devotions, of Bible reading, and of prayer;
and prompt us to realize the importance of taking time to share the events of each person’s day.
Remind us to use the limited time we have together, such as when riding in the car,
for conversation or maybe even singing, not only for cell phones and electronic devices.
Help us remember that time is a special gift from you to us.
Lord, you’ve blessed us through more than a century with Hull Christian Grammar School
and soon we’ll celebrate 100 years of Western Christian High.
We thank you for the promises you made
to the third and fourth generations of those who love you and keep your commandments.
We thank you for the dedication of the parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents
who are here tonight because they love you, and loved the children you gave them,
and persevered and sacrificed to provide education
that glorifies and honors you in every respect.
We are so blessed that they believe the promises
you made in your word, promises to bless those
who talk about them as they walk along the way
and bind them on their foreheads for all to see.
Oh, God, we pray for those couples in our congregations
whose families once filled the station wagons of the past,
but now are back down to just the two of them.
For those with area grandchildren, life becomes busy in new ways.
Lord, help them again evaluate priorities.
We pray for those who are now living alone or always have been.
Help us be mindful of the lonely in our churches so they may recognize that they are important
in the family of God.
So God, our Loving Father who created us in your own image,
God, our Faithful Savior who died to rescue us from our own sins,
God, our ever-present Comforter who dwells in our hearts,
we ask your continued blessing on each of us here tonight
and on those members of our congregations that are not here.
It is with gratitude that we offer our petitions and praises
and thank you for making us joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, because we’re part of the family, the family of God.
In Jesus name we pray, Amen.