Prayers for the Worried Parent

I used to envy my next-door neighbor, whose kids were ten years older than mine. “You’re so lucky,” I’d say, “you don’t have to worry about…” and I would fill in the blank with something like ear infections or carpool drama or math tests.

She would shake her head and say, “Being a mom does not get easier. Just wait…”

God help us all, she was right.

If someone somewhere gave out PhDs in worry, let me just say I have earned mine. I have been a mom for twenty-four years now, and my most consistent struggle over all that time has been fear. But all that anxiety has served me well in one respect: I have learned to dig into the Bible to find truth that helps me fight my fear for my children.

Fear corrodes relationship, but prayer is a demonstration of that perfect love which casts out fear. Praying Scripture arms us with truth to fight off doubt and worry, and has the double effect of blessing our child and of renewing our trust in our heavenly Father. He is the only one who can really make an eternal change in your child’s life anyway.

Insert your child’s name wherever it fits. Note that I alternated between male and female pronouns, so you will want to make these your own. The following prayers are just a starting point. You’ll find faith-building relief in searching out your own Scripture passages to pray. More than that, you’ll find God, who loves your child even more than you do.

Asking for help with anxiety:

Father, I will be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, I am making my requests known to you. I will rely on your peace, which passes all understanding, to keep guard over my heart and mind through Christ Jesus. Father, keep me in your perfect peace because my mind is firmly fixed on you. Help me trust you forever, for in you is everlasting strength. (Philippians 4:6-7, Isaiah 26: 3-4)

Remember Who God is, and how He feels about Your child:

You are love, Father, and so you suffer long with my child. You are kind to him, and you will never fail him. You are merciful and gracious, patient, and abounding in goodness and truth. You showed your great love for my child by sending Christ to die for him while he was yet a sinner. Nothing can separate him from Your love which is in Christ Jesus. (1 John 4:8, 1 Corinthians 13:4, 8, Exodus 34:6, Romans 5:8, 8: 39)

God has a good plan for your child, and nothing can stand in his way:

Lord, you know the thoughts that you think toward my child, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give her a future and a hope. I pray she will call upon you, Father, that she will go and pray to you, because I know you will listen to her. I pray my child will seek you and find you, and search for you with her whole heart, because then she will surely find you. For you are God, and there is no other. You promise that your purpose for my child will stand, and you will do your good pleasure. (Jeremiah 29: 11-13, Isaiah 46:10 NLT)

The Maker of heaven and earth is on your child’s side:

Father, if you are for my child, then who can be against him? You did not even spare your own Son but delivered Jesus up for us all. Along with Jesus, you will freely give my child all things that pertain to life and godliness. Thank You Lord! (Romans 8:31-32, 1 Peter 1:3)

It is God’s job to make your child into a godly man or woman (not yours):

Lord, I am confident of this very thing, that you, who have begun a good work in my child, will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 1:6)

If you worry that your child is resisting God:

Father, I pray you will give my child a new heart and put a new spirit in her. Please, Father, take out her stubborn, stony heart and give her a tender, responsive heart. I pray you will give my child your Spirit so she will follow your decrees and be careful to obey you. (Ezekiel 36:26-27 NLT)

Concerns about your child’s choices:

Lord, I ask your blessing upon my child.

I ask that you will lead him away from the counsel of the ungodly,

Away from the path of sinners,

Away from the seat of the scornful.

Instead, Father, I pray that he will delight in your law,

And that he will meditate on it day and night.

Then he shall be like a tree,

Planted by rivers of water,

That brings forth fruit in its season,

Whose leaf does not wither;

And whatever he does shall prosper.  (Psalm 1:1-3)

When your child has been hurt:

Lord, help me remember that if someone meant evil against my child, you meant it for good. In fact, you work all things together for good for those who love you and are called according to your purpose. You came to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty for the captives, to comfort all who mourn. You give beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. I pray that my child will be called a tree of righteousness, a planting of yours, that you may be glorified. (Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28, Isaiah 61:1-3)

Thank Him for never leaving your child, for going with your child when you cannot:

Lord God, I will not fear, for you are with my child.

I will not be dismayed, for you are her God.

You will strengthen her,

Yes, you will help her.

You will uphold her with your righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Safety, both physical and spiritual:

Help my child to be able to say of you, Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;

My God, in Him will I trust…”

Surely you, Father, will deliver my child from the enemy’s traps,

And from the perilous pestilence.

Please cover my child with your feathers;

Under your wings he may take refuge,

Your truth, O God, will be his shield.

He shall not be afraid of the terror by night,

Nor of the arrow that flies by day,

Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,

Nor of the destruction that walks at noonday.

I pray that my child will make you, O Lord, his refuge and dwelling place,

So no evil shall befall him, nor sickness come near his home.

Father, please give your angels charge over my child, to keep him in all your ways,

Because he has set his love upon you, therefore you will deliver him.

You will set him on high because he has known your name.

My child shall call on you, and you will answer him;

You will be with him in trouble;

You will deliver and honor him.

With long life you will satisfy my child,

And show him your salvation. (From Psalm 91)

When I don’t know how to pray, or maybe don’t even know what is wrong:

Incline your ear to my child, O Lord,

Hear her cry.

Bring her out of a horrible pit,

Out of the miry clay,

Set her feet upon the Rock, Christ!

Establish her steps.

Put a new song in her mouth,

A song of praise to you,

So many hear it and see it

And trust in you.

Help my child to make you her trust, Lord,

And not turn aside to lies.

Your thoughts toward our family

Cannot be recounted to you…

They are more than can be numbered.

Help my child to delight to do your will, O my God,

Write your law within her heart.

Do not withhold your tender mercies from my child, O Lord,

Let your lovingkindness and your truth continually preserve her,

For innumerable evils have surrounded her,

Her iniquities have overtaken her so that she is not able to look up;

They are more than the hairs on her head,

Therefore my child’s heart fails her.

Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver my child.

O Lord, make haste to help her!

Let her learn to seek you, rejoice in you, and be glad in you.

May she love your salvation and say continually,

“The Lord be magnified.”

My child is poor and needy,

Yet I know you think on her.

You are my child’s help and deliverer (not me),

Do not delay, O my God. (from Psalm 40)

Join Anna for her workshop at the 2021 Rooted Conference: “This Anxious Age: Finding Rest for Your Family in the Promises of God.” Register here and come see us in Birmingham this October 7-9!

Anna is a single mom of three young adult sons. She is the Senior Director of Content at Rooted, co-host of the Rooted Parent podcast, a member of Church of the Cross in Birmingham, AL, and the author of God's Grace for Every Family: Biblical Encouragement for Single Parent Families and the Churches That Seek to Love Them Well (Zondervan, 2024). She also wrote Fresh Faith: Topical Devotions and Scripture-Based Prayers for College Students. In her free time, Anna enjoys gardening, great books, running, hiking, hammocks, and ice cream. She wants to live by a mountain stream in Idaho someday.

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