One of the most helpless feelings in the world is seeing your child hurting and not being able to do anything about it. That’s true whether they’re dealing with physical pain or suffering emotionally.
I remember taking our daughters to the doctor for their vaccination shots when they were babies. My heart almost broke as they cried, even though I knew it was what we believed was best for their long-term health!
While we certainly pray for our children’s physical needs, we’ll also have times of praying for their emotional needs. Most of us will deal with a child who’s upset over a broken friendship or feels left out in a social situation. They’ll also likely face disappointment and failure. And from experience, I can say that it doesn’t get any easier as they get older. In fact, the stakes and the feelings just get bigger!
So here are five prayers we can pray for our children when they go through difficult times emotionally. And honestly, we could pray these for ourselves in similar situations!
1. Give her beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, and exchange her heaviness for praise.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives…to comfort all that mourn…to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…” ~Isaiah 61:-13
When disappointment comes and it seems that her dreams have been crushed, God still has a plan. In the moment, just sit with her. Hold her, listen to her, grieve with her. Then pray for God to work it all for His glory and her good.
Dear God, take the ashes of this situation and turn it into something beautiful. While all she can do right now is grieve over what is lost, in time, please let her joy return. Her heart is heavy, but you are greater than her disappointment. As only You can, put a spirit of praise within her.
2. Remind her that you are always with her and will never fail her.
“And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” ~Deuteronomy 31:8
Sometimes our child may feel alone, that she’s by herself in a hard place. Dad and mom can’t always be there, but God is always available. He has promised that He will never leave or forsake His own. When she’s bewildered and discouraged, she needs this truth prayed over her.
God, she knows this truth in her head, that You’ll never leave her. Now embed it in her heart. Help her to rely on the truth of your Word and your faithfulness. Overcome the fear that wants to entrap her and give her courage to take the next step.
3. Restore her hope.
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” ~Romans 15:13
None of us can make it for long without hope. When our child has lost their hope, they can feel directionless and make poor decisions. But this verse says that our God is the God of hope. He can renew her mind through His Holy Spirit and even cause her to abound in hope.
Heavenly Father, you are the God of hope. Circumstances have caused my daughter to lose her hope, so I’m asking you to restore it. May she allow your Holy Spirit to infuse her with an abundance of hope. Help her to focus on your love and power so that she might continue on with hope for the future.
4. Lead her to find her refuge in You.
“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” ~Psalm 9:9
Sometimes she’s not going to know where to turn. She’s going to feel burdened and helpless. That’s the time when she most needs the Lord.
Lord, let her turn to you in her trouble. There are many things in this world that say they can comfort her, but none gives true comfort but you. Help her to see her need of you clearly in this difficulty. May she know you can be her true hiding place when she’s overwhelmed. You are faithful to your Word and you will be her shelter and secure retreat.
5. Give her an eternal perspective.
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” ~2 Corinthians 4:17-18
When times are hard, it’s easy for all of us to focus on what’s right in front of us. Yet putting it in perspective is so helpful. Our adversity can seem all-consuming at first, so it may take a minute to get there! But realizing that the situation will likely look different in hindsight – and certainly in light of eternity – can bring us back to where we need to be.
Dear Lord, in the midst of her struggle, lead her to a right perspective. What she’s facing is so formidable right now. Help her to be able to see past the present moment to what things can look like on the other side of this. Beyond that, give her an eternal perspective. Let her realize that what she’s going through – though hard – is temporary and that one day this will all be behind her. A home in heaven awaits. Give her a mindset that focuses on what will be important then, not just today.
How thankful I am that we have a God to whom we can take all of our burdens, a Heavenly Father who loves and cares for our children!
Check out my digital printable How to Pray the Bible for Yourself and Your Family.