Back to School Blessing

no comments

Another summer has flown by, and school has started again.  As you settle into your routine, it is a great opportunity to reestablish faith in God as the center of your daily lives.  Despite the busy-ness, we can be grounded if we are purposeful.

In this printable we have a Back to School Blessing that you can speak over your kids, some Back to School Scriptures that may speak life into the challenges and opportunities that come from a new school year, and a Daily School Prayer that your family can use every day as they get ready for school or drive to school.  Prayer is powerful, and it is even more powerful when you model a God-centered life for your kids.


Printable: | PDF_Picture  Back to School Blessing |


Here are a couple more posts about back to school.

School Time Is Here

First Day of School Prayer

Learn more about OPL’s take on parenting by clicking on the Family – Parenting menu.  And don’t forget to follow us by email by putting your email address in the Subscribe box on the right.  One step and you’re finished!

Label Change

no comments

Have you ever done something that earned you a nickname? Maybe something you did that wasn’t so smart?  Or maybe there is a nickname from your High School years that has stuck with you? For Halloween one year my daughters dressed up in their Little House on the Prairie costumes. When a friend saw them at our church’s Trunks of Treat they decided to call Rebekah “Half Pint,” which was the nickname that Laura in the book was called. Now every time he sees her he greets her with, “Hello Half Pint!” Because of that one Halloween, she now has a label.

Do you feel like you have been labeled by one single act? Or maybe it was by two or three incidences but that is not how you want to be remembered. But it seems like the harder you try to shake that label the stickier it gets.  Oftentimes we find ourselves labeled, and whether we earned it or not, we want to shake that label off so that we can wear a new name. Have you been there? I know I have. I want my actions and words to truly display what is in my heart, but sometimes it is so hard to overcome others thoughts and opinions towards you. Continue reading

You Don’t Know How to Pray

no comments

That Is Something We Shall Have to Remedy, Isn’t It?!?

Would you like to learn how to pray from an expert?  In his new book Moving Mountains, John Eldredge unlocks the power of prayer in ways I have never read or experienced.  Infused with Scriptures and personal stories, this book is both grounded in truth and true to life.  It is part “How-To Manual,” part diary, part letter of encouragement, and part a call to action.

He sets the stage by explaining what is available to us.

Powerful, effective, life-changing prayer

Conversational intimacy with God

These are available to you and me!

Let’s stop there for a moment.  Deep down, every Christian longs for these 2 things, but that longing has been unfulfilled. Time, experience, experience, frustration has led us to believe that the descriptions of prayer in the Bible are no longer valid to the Christian experience.   At some point, many of us have given in to complacency or bitterness, savvy cynicism or theological explanations, casual indifference or caustic denial.  We think to ourselves “I tried that and it didn’t work.”  Continue reading

When Tragedy Strikes

no comments

In the life of a child, sometimes tragedy strikes.

It struck our home a few weeks ago when our oldest was unable to find her shoes for the first day of school after Christmas break.

What, is that less tragic than you were expecting?

Before you laugh at her, remember that many of your own ‘tragedies’ are of no greater importance.  I don’t know about you, but I almost lose my mind when I lose something that’s important to me. I can’t think of anything else. Even if the thing I’m looking for is not all that important, just the fact that I’ve lost it drives me crazy! I’m a 35-year-old man, so I have a different way of reacting to this frustration than a 10-year-old girl, but her reaction (tears ) is just as natural as mine is.

But we are called to be supernatural, aren’t we!

Continue reading

First Day of School Prayer

no comments

Summer is almost gone and school is just around the corner. My kids start tomorrow! The start of school brings so many mixed emotions: excitement, anxiety, happiness, relief, and anticipation. My oldest son starts Kindergarten this year. I think he would count down the minutes until school starts if he could. I haven’t seen this kid so excited for anything, well, I think ever!

For most kids, school can be the best thing ever or the biggest headache ever. A bad friend or a difficult subject can derail any year. However, we have something wonderful that we can offer our children. Something that will protect them and keep them on the right path:


Prayer is the most powerful tool you can give your kids.

So why not start this school year off with a prayer that is chock-full of scripture and positive confessions. Start this year off right!

First Day of School Prayer

Dear Father God,

I thank you for creating (child’s name) exactly how you wanted him/her. (Psalm 139:14). I thank you that you have a plan and a purpose just for (child’s name). (Jeremiah 29:11) I know you are going to show him/her exactly what plan you have for him/her this school year.

I thank you that (child’s name) has the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16). He/she will not lack wisdom because he/she serves a God who generously gives His wisdom to everyone who asks! (James 1:5) I pray that (child’s name) continues to grow in his/her wisdom of you (Psalm 34:11) and that he/she will love you with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. (Mark 12:30)

I pray for favor for (child’s name) with his/her teachers, classmates and friends. (Psalm 5:12). I pray that you surround (child’s name) with good, godly friends that will help him/her love you and love others. (Proverbs 27:17). Help him/her to choose his/her close friends carefully. (Proverbs 12:26)

Thank you that you have not given (child’s name) a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind, (2 Timothy 1:7) I thank you that he/she has angels surrounding him/her to keep him/her safe. (Psalm 91:11) Help (child’s name) to always remember that you, God are with him/her wherever he/she goes and you will NEVER leave him/her! (Joshua 1:9, Hebrews 13:5)

Help (child’s name) to be bold and courageous to tackle any task that is set before him/her and to be victorious because you are on his/her side. (Joshua 1:7-8). Remind (child’s name) that she can do anything because you will give him/her the strength to do it. (Philippians 4:13)

I pray that (child’s name) will be a leader that others can follow. I pray that he/she will be a good example in his/her words, behavior, love and faith (1 Timothy 4:12). That he/she will be a light that shines brightly for Jesus. (Matthew 5:16) and that he/she will go out and teach others about Christ. (Matthew 28:19)

We expect great things to happen this year. Thank you God for loving us and being with us always.

In Jesus Name I pray,


Here are printable fill in the blank prayers:

Boy Prayer:  |  PDF_Picture |

Girl Prayer:  | PDF_Picture  |

Pray this prayer over the kids in your Sunday School and your own kids or grandkids.  Prayer makes a difference!

10 Reasons We Don’t Hear From God

no comments

I have been so blessed and encouraged by our children these last couple of weeks! On Wednesday nights we have been discussing listening to God. Each week we practice spending time in prayer and learning how to have a two-way conversation with God. I love how each time the kids just expect God to speak to them, and a lot of the times He does!

But, over the last six weeks each child has experienced a time when they have be unable to hear from the Lord. This can be discouraging and confusing. So we have made it a point to talk with the kids about why this happens and what to do when it does. As parents, it is our job encourage and train our children to speak to God and hear from Him. I know I have grown so much in my understanding of prayer, and I hope you will too as you talk about this with your own children. Continue reading

3 Ways Through Trials

1 comment

As I sat this morning in the quietness of my house and began my prayer time with The Lord, I was at a loss for words. Not because I had nothing to pray about, but because I had EVERYTHING to pray about. There is not one aspect of my life that doesn’t have something on the list.  Where do I even start?!?

Do you ever feel like that? I know that so many people around us are wondering: How in the world am I going to know the right answer to all of life’s questions? Where do I send my child to school? What job should I take? Why isn’t a loved one healed? Where should I move? Why won’t that family member turn back to God and start making the right decisions? How do I reach out to my hurting co-worker? How can God use me when I am a mess like this? How will I ever get over the hurt someone has caused me, let alone love them? What can I do to keep a marriage from falling apart? And so on.

We all have trials that we face or questions that continue to be left unanswered. So what do we do when our prayer request list is getting longer and longer? Continue reading

5 Minutes to Listen


“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.” 

Proverbs 3:5-6

It takes about 5 minutes to read through a normal Our Purposeful Life blog post.  Today, instead of spending 5 minutes listening to us, I would like you to spend 5 minutes listening to God.  Really listening.  Not making a speech at God.  Not making a list of requests.  Listening.

If you need to, set a 5 minute timer to make sure you get in the full time.

Don’t make it harder or more ‘religious’ or ‘spiritual’ than it has to be.  There are just 2 steps:

1)      Start your day today by acknowledging Him.  He is here, and He is interested in you.  Acknowledge that fact.

2)      Ask Him to guide you.  Really – whatever you have going on today, ask Him for advice.  Tough conversations, decisions about the weekend or next year, even the mundane details of life.

This is something that will take practice, just like every other meaningful and enjoyable activity in your life.  Just like every other relationship you have.  Start out with some broad questions and some specific yes/no questions.  And take time to really listen.  Ok, start…….now!


You May Also Like:

Armor of God:  Prayer

Daily Refreshment

Walking With God, John Eldredge




Armor of God: Prayer

no comments

Did you know that there are actually seven pieces of the armor of God? If you did, you are one up on me. So far we have covered the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit. Six pieces.  I never realized that there was one more weapon that was important to the soldier.
In Ephesians 6:18 it says, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” I have never thought of prayer as being a part of the armor. I knew it was definitely a very powerful weapon that we have against Satan, but I never linked it to the armor. In Rick Renner’s book Dressed to Kill, he shares his belief that the Roman soldier’s lance is a perfect example of how prayer can be an effective and essential weapon in our lives. Continue reading

Daily Refreshment

1 comment

Is your relationship with God like drinking eight full glasses of water a day, or more like an occasional cup of coffee? I would say for most of my life I have been more like a morning cup of coffee with a two-pm-pick-me-up kind of gal. I pray, I do, but it was more of an “as-needed” type of relationship. I would drink down a morning prayer as I stumbled out of bed to try and start my day on the right foot. Then right after lunch I would either take a nap or get my second dose of God to get me through the rest of the day. Not very often did I treat my relationship like 64 ounces of refreshing and rehydrating liquid. I didn’t normally grab my water bottle at the start of the day and keep it by my side to make sure that I got it all in by the end of the night. Now there would be weeks were I would go on a God binge and get in some extra shots, especially right before I need to make a major decision or if something was really bothering me. And this worked fairly well, up until this last year.

Wake Up Call

Let’s just say between work, family, friends and my own personal life I have never been shaken to my core more than I have been this last year. I have never been so mentally, physically and emotionally crushed. I began to question who I was as a person and the value I give to this world. My foundation had been shaken and I no longer knew which way was up. I found myself on the ground doing the one thing that I should have been doing all along: Talking with God. I spent time with God. I was with God. I began to realize that God didn’t just want a 7 am or even a 2 pm coffee date with me. He wanted to be my water bottle right by my side to get in those eight glasses each day. He wanted to refresh me. He wanted to supply me with my basic and most important need.  Continue reading