30 Days of Prayer: Desperate Prayers

Day 19: Desperate Prayers

What about those times when you are on your knees, crying before the Lord?  What do you pray then? What scripture can you pray when you are sad, scared, and overwhelmed?

How do you cry out to the Lord when you don’t know the way out of a situation or you are afraid your children don’t know the way out?

I think every parent has times of desperate prayer.

Maybe you are paralyzed with fear.

Maybe you are heartbroken with disappointment.

Maybe you are filled with regret.

Maybe you don’t know what to do or even how to articulate what you want to happen or change.  Try this:

Think of every promise of God you can remember.  Get out your Bible and search the Psalms for words of truth and comfort and promise.  And remember what God says:

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:    It will not return to me empty,but will accomplish what I desireand achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:11

His Word will not return void.  It does have purpose in your life and in the lives of your children.  That is why we pray scripture based prayers.  If we are praying God’s Word back to Him, we know that we are praying prayers which line up with His ways and His will.  We must constantly remember that God truly does love our children more than we do.  If we are constantly surrendering them to His care, we must trust that everything that happens to them, good or bad, is filtered through His love.

To my knowledge and according to my study of the Word of God, I cannot recall a single time that a parent brought their child to Jesus and He didn’t do something.  He heard, He healed, He delivered.  He invited the children to come to Him and told the disciples not to forbid their coming, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

One of my favorite “parent stories” in the Bible is found in Mark 9.  A father brought his deaf and demon-possessed son to Jesus.  He told Jesus of the struggles and pain and desperate situation they endured.  And then the father said:

But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

                                                            Mark 9:22-24

And Jesus immediately delivered the boy and commanded that the evil never return again.

I have prayed many times:  “Lord, I do believe; help me with my unbelief.”  It is hard to believe sometimes, especially when it comes to our children.  And that is when the desperate prayers come in.  Desperate prayers are actually exactly what is needed at times.  In fact, scripture tells us to pray desperately for our children.  Lamentations 2:19 says:

Arise, cry out in the night,as the watches of the night begin;

pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord.

Lift up your hands to himfor the lives of your children….

I have experienced what it means to pour out my heart like water for the lives of my children.  That is how I feel when I have those moments of desperate prayer.  And yet, we pray with belief, all the while asking the Lord to help us with our unbelief.

What might a desperate prayer look like?  Maybe something like this:

God, You are Creator of the Universe, nothing is too hard for You.  I know You love me, Lord.  I know You love my children, even more than I do.  But I need Your help, Lord.  I need Your peace and Your presence.  I need You to come quickly to my aid.  I need You to hide my children in the shelter of the Almighty.  Lord, Your Word says to call upon You and You will answer with great and mighty things which we know not.  With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.  I trust in You with all my heart and I lean not upon my own understanding.  Only You can make our paths straight.  You, Lord, are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  I believe You, Lord.  But help me Lord with any unbelief concerning my children.  I know You are able to do far more than I could ever hope or dream or imagine.  Do this, according to Your Word.  I pray all this in the  great and mighty and powerful name of Jesus.  Amen.  ( Jeremiah 32:17, Psalm 22:19, Psalm 70:5, Jeremiah 33:3, Mark 10:27, Proverbs 3:5-6, John 14:6, Mark 9:24, Ephesians 3:20, Psalm 119:65, John 14:14)

Trust in him at all times, you people;pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

                                                                                                                                   Psalm 62:8



30 Days of Prayer: Strength From Above

Day 18: Strength From Above

Lord, may these children know that they can do all things through Christ who gives them strength. May they learn to ask you for the strength to accomplish the plans you have for their lives.        Philippians 4:13      In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Confidence.  We all want our children to have it.  And yet, one bad day at school or one difficult soccer game can sabotage the confidence of our children.  We do need to encourage our children and build them up.  We do need to help them grow in their confidence of themselves.  However, it is more important that they grow confident in the strength of God.

Often, I pray this prayer aloud over my children.  I also pray that in their weakness God would be strong, and that they would experience the grace of God and know that God’s grace is enough for every need.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

                                                                        2 Corinthians 12:9

In addition, we pray for humility.  We have helped our children memorize Psalm 115:1

“To You alone, O Lord, to You alone and not to us must glory be given because of your constant love and faithfulness.”  

When our kids are strong,

when they are confident,

when they are celebrating a win or a good grade or a grand performance,

we want them to glorify God, the One who gave them strength.

30 Days of Prayer: Godly Friendships

Day 17: Godly Friendships

Lord, we know that it is good and pleasant to You when we strive to be at peace with those around us. Please help these children to do their part in establishing solid relationships with others.           Psalm 133:1           In Jesus’ Name.  Amen

Friends are an important part of growing up.  We want our children to be well-liked and accepted.  But as Christian parents we want most of all for our children to have Jesus as their Best Friend.  Friends will come and go, but Christ alone remains forever.  Sometimes it takes a rough patch with their peers for them to truly see Jesus as the best friend of all.  When those rough patches come, be prepared to point them to Jesus as the Friend who will never leave them nor forsake them.

I often pray aloud over my children this prayer.  And in addition, my children hear me pray that God would send them friends who would build them up, not tear them down.   And I pray, “Most importantly, may my children be a good friend.”  They need to know that it is more important for them to be a good friend than for them to have good friends.

Friends are very important, and they grow more and more important as our children grow older.  Pray now for the right friendships for your children and that your children would be a leader in what is true, good, and right.  If there are siblings in your family, pray for a divine connection between them.  What a blessing to have close friends among your family!

Lastly, get to know your children’s friends.  Pray for them, too.  If your children’s friends are walking in truth and growing in grace, it will be much easier for your children to do the same.


As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17


30 Days of Prayer: Strength and Courage

Day 16:  Strength and Courage

Lord, may these children be strong and courageous.  Help them to not be terrified or discouraged.  May they know that the Lord their God is with them wherever they go. May they be willing to stand for You.        Joshua 1:9

                                                                                                             In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

This is one of those prayers that we have prayed aloud over our children on a regular basis.  Fear is such a stronghold in our society.  Rates of anxiety have never been higher among our children and teens, so we must pray that fear and anxiety and weakness to peer pressure will not take root in our children, nor should it have its way in our own hearts.

The above verse comes from the book of Joshua in the Old Testament.  Joshua is one of my favorite Biblical characters, I guess because he is a person in whom I can relate.  Joshua outwardly appears so strong and courageous, yet inwardly must have dealt with fear and discouragement.  Repeatedly, God tells Joshua, “Be strong and courageous, do not be terrified, and do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  In the first chapter of the book of Joshua we see that God told Joshua three different times to “Be strong and courageous”, and three different times God reminded Joshua that He would be with him, and that He would never leave him or forsake him.  And that is just in the first chapter.  Now why would God have to tell him so many times?  I think it is because Joshua was an ordinary man, called to an extraordinary job by his extraordinary God.  And because he was ordinary, just like me and you, he waxed and waned between great seasons of faith, courage and confidence, and fear, doubt, and discouragement.

Our children have been called by God to an extraordinary purpose.  The quickest way for the enemy of our souls to sidetrack those purposes is with fear and discouragement.  We must guide our children to the truth that only God will never forsake them.  Only God will be with them wherever they go.   I will let my children down.  I will not be able to be with them all the time.  In fact, it would not be healthy if they never gained independence from me.  But as they grow more independent from us as parents, they should grow more dependent on the only One who can really be there for them in every way they need.

Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, but it is the ability to press on despite the fear.  And true courage comes from the Source of all good things…God.


30 Days of Prayer: Their Hope and Future

Day 15: Their Hope and Future

Lord, may these children know that Your plans are to prosper them and not to harm them, to give them a hope and a future.  May they seek you with all their hearts. Jeremiah 29:11-13         

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  

We have prayed for the future of our children from the time we first held them.  In fact, I began praying for my birth children when they were still being formed in me.  And I began praying for my adopted children from the time I first laid eyes on their photos.  It is never too early to pray for the future of your children.  When I say future, I mean future far away and near future.  Pray for God to bring them the friends that He has selected for them.  Pray for the teachers He chooses for them to have.  Pray for their future spouses when they are still babies.  Pray for their passions in work and hobbies and talents.  Pray that their purposes in life will be revealed without too much floundering or aimless wandering.  Pray most of all that they themselves would trust the Lord to guide them to the good future, full of hope and prosperity, that He has planned for them.  (Just a note:  prosperity means flourishing and thriving.  It can mean wealth, but God’s view of wealth is very different than ours.  If we are blessed with wealth, we are blessed so that we may be a blessing to others.  Sure, I hope my kids are able to make a good living, but more importantly, I want them to flourish and thrive and have the wealth of joy.)

This is a great verse to memorize for yourself, as well as help your children memorize.  They need to know that God has good plans and purposes for them, and they will find these plans and purposes when they seek Him with all their hearts.  May we be certain of this truth in our own hearts and minds.  May we savor this truth and may it lead us to peace and trust.