Each morning, I wait for my classroom of bustling students to arrive. As they enter the hallway, I listen. And so their stories are told. In their words and by their actions, I am reminded daily of the battles your children face. One where they struggle to accept their differences as beauty. One where their own communities refuse to accept their unique quirks and gifts as valuable. I hear it in the way they speak to each other.

“You can’t play. You’re not good at soccer like we are.”

I hear it in the way we speak to them, “Sit still and listen.”

Worst of all, I hear it in the way they speak to themselves: “I can’t do this. I’m not smart enough.”

God, I weep as I watch your children face the lie that they are not enough. I weep as I watch as it erodes their communities and relationships the same way this lie erodes our own. No generation is immune. So, Father, I cry out as I watch children play at recess wrestling with the lie that they are not enough. I watch children write stories and try math problems as they fight the feeling that they are not enough. Everyday I watch the world in which our children are growing up in and I am worried.

But, Lord, I know you are equipping our children better than we can ourselves. I know you are preparing them for the world they are growing in. The world we are sending them out into. I know you have the power to instill a sense of worth into them that conquers the lie. I know you are fighting with love and that you will teach them to love. I know.

But, I also know that we, the “older” generations face the same lie that we are inadequate. We face struggle and insecurity. And we do not always face it with wisdom or bravery or righteousness. Our children are your children. You have entrusted us, but we are imperfect. We need you as we protect and guide them.

And so Father, I pray that you can do more than we can ask or imagine in the lives of our children. Father, may our children be the guardians of love. Showering their classmates, teammates and family members with words of encouragement. May they whisper your words into the lives around you. May they be strong and courageous. Unafraid and encouraged, for you go where they go. (Joshua 1:9)

May they be the friend who visits the hospital far after the diagnosis sets in. Far after the steady flow of vibrant visitors ceases. May they extend your comfort and peace to those facing hardship.

May our children be those who stand as shields on the playground guarding small hearts from the wrath of sharp tongues. Through you, our children are capable of extraordinary kindness. May they courageously reveal your goodness in hard situations.