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5 Prayers for a Child Leaving Home

Whether it’s off to college, a new job or home, these words will bring comfort and strength to the whole family.

Prayers for a child leaving home
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When our children started grade school, my wife would gather them in her arms and pray for them before they walked out. She would pray for their safety, wisdom and wise choices. The practice continued through their school years. But when they left home for college, we had to settle for just one prayer together in a dorm room or apartment.

And when it came to their wedding days, we prayed yet again. Now they were leaving home, for good. 

I wish we’d had a way to record those prayers which, of course, changed over the years. But after adjusting for age and maturity, the gist was usually much the same. It followed a pattern like these prayers that can be prayed over a child of any age who is leaving the house—or leaving home—for whatever reason: 

1)  The Aaronic Blessing

The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you
    and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26, NIV)

2)  The Irish Blessing (slightly revised)

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
and rains fall soft upon your efforts* 
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

*Revised. The original is phrased, “upon your fields.”

3)  St. Patrick’s Breastplate (slightly revised)

Christ go with you, Christ before you,
Christ behind you, Christ within you,
Christ beneath you, Christ above you,
Christ at your right, Christ at your left.

4)  The Lorica of St. Fursey (slightly revised)

The arms of God be around your shoulders,
The touch of the Holy Spirit upon your head, 
The sign of Christ’s cross upon your forehead, 
The sound of the Holy Spirit in your ears,
The fragrance of the Holy Spirit in your nostrils, 
The vision of heaven’s company in your eyes, 
The conversation of heaven’s company on your lips, 
The work of God’s church in your hands,
The service of God and the neighbor in your feet, 
A home for God in your heart,
And to God, the Father of all, your entire being. 

5)  David’s Song (based on Psalm 28:7)
May the Lord be your strength and shield; 
let your heart trust in Him, and be helped by Him. 
May your heart leap for joy,
and a song of praise to Him be always in your mouth.

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