As the kids head back to school, it’s important to cover them in prayer. But not just your own kids—consider these three groups of people who also need your prayers this time of year.

Teachers—God bless the men and women who rise every day to face a classroom filled with tweens who may or may not find math and Roman history as fascinating as the teacher attempts to describe it. Our teachers spend countless hours preparing, delivering, and grading lessons all year long, and they need our prayers for wisdom, patience and joy. Consider blessing your child’s school with a collection of Faithgirlz fiction paperbacks to share in the library or classroom book bins.

Friends—Proverbs 13:20 says, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (ESV). Pray for your daughter’s friends to seek wisdom from God and to effect a positive influence in your child’s life. Pray for protection against peer pressure, gossip, unwholesome talk and mean-girl drama. Encourage your daughter to bring her friends to your home where you can speak God’s love and truth into their lives.

Church Leaders—Many churches follow a school-year calendar, launching youth groups and Bible studies in the fall. Remember to pray for your child’s Sunday school teachers, youth group mentors, pastors and worship leaders who are working hard to lead our kids into a deeper relationship with Christ. Pray that their ministries would be fruitful and always led by the Spirit.

Most importantly, pray that God will guide all of these people, along with your family, toward His greater purposes and plan for the school year. “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16b). So never stop praying for the people in your child’s life!