7 Prayers for A Troubled Child

For Parents Who Don't Know How to Pray Anymore

This is a re-post of a blog written by my dear friend who loves prodigals and their brokenhearted parents, Judy Douglass. Her 7 prayers are perfect for our troubled children. Our sons and daughters who are caught in the clutches of alcohol, drugs or any other addiction, self-injury, mental illness, same sex identity issues, in jail or prison, need us to pray fervently and with power. Praying the Scriptures is the best way I know. These prayers are exactly what you need.

Praying for the people I love—my family, my friends, my co-workers, my church, my neighbors—is a joy and a privilege. When I know specifics to pray, I pray those. Often, though, I find my prayers are more general, using Scripture and the principles from the Word that the Father desires to be increasingly true in our lives.

Here are seven of the kinds of prayers I bring to Abba.

1. Love of God

May she know that You are so in love with her—that You delight in her. May she comprehend that she is loved and treasured by You, the God who has pursued her and rescued her and forgiven her. May she remember that nothing can ever separate her from Your love. (Jeremiah 31:3; Zephaniah 3:17; Romans 8:38-39)

Comfort for Brokenhearted Parents in the Easter Story

Nine Solid Truths to Hold Onto

Where can a parent find comfort when their heart’s been broken? When I was in deep, emotional pain I felt fragile and unsteady. I needed real comfort and something solid to hold on to. Actually, I needed it this past Saturday, the day before Easter, when my husband Tom almost died. That’s why this blog didn’t get posted when I had planned.

His heart stopped during a 5K race. He needed both CPR and a defibrillator to be revived. I thought he was gone, BUT God . . . we’re in awe of His goodness.

My heart was also broken by my daughter’s struggle with addiction, self-harm, suicidal thoughts and mental illness. I know what emotional pain is all about. Both of these experiences have brought me my toughest days and darkest nights. Maybe you understand.

During an especially difficult spring several years ago, I decided to read the Easter story again in all four gospels. What I found renewed my hope—for my daughter and for me.

These are the truths that encouraged and comforted me. Today, after nearly losing my husband, they mean more than ever. I experienced them in a whole new way.

  1. God is all-powerful.

If He could raise Jesus from the dead, then He can do the impossible in your child’s life!  And in yours!

When Parents Feel Hopeless at Easter

Four Suggestions to Try

Yesterday was Palm Sunday. Easter is less than a week away. It’s a day of hope and new beginnings. But before the resurrection came the crucifixion—a lot of pain and suffering and betrayal and questions and mystery. Does that describe your life today?

Are you a parent who doesn’t feel very hopeful? Your child is struggling—a lot. Your story is complicated and way too long to tell in one sitting. You can’t help it—you feel hopeless.

Your son may be incarcerated or have a drug/alcohol problem. Your daughter may have done much damage to herself, continuously inflicting wounds on her body. Mental illness and suicide attempts plague them. In and out of rehabs, their struggle never ends.

They’ve made countless terrible mistakes including marriages and same-sex relationships; now there may be grandchildren in the picture. Their struggles have brought you more brokenness and heartache than you ever thought possible.

Much more.

Their troubles are breaking your heart. What is there to hope for now?

An Honest Interview with the Mother of an Addict, Part 2

More Encouragement and Hope

Photo cred. Farkul J

Today’s post is Part 2 of our interview with the mother of an addict. It’s a continuation from Monday’s blog on March 27th. I believe there are many things she shared that will be of great value to you.


  1. How did the experience of your son’s heroin addiction affect your marriage? What did you do? My husband and I initially approached our son’s addiction and self-destructive life-style on the same page. But over time, we realized that I was a bigger push-over and my husband was a bigger “tough love” proponent. This led to many disagreements and hurt our sense of oneness. In order to deal with this, we spent time (and still do) with other couples who have survived situations like this to receive their input. We also attended a support group for families who had children in outpatient therapy. This helped us realign our focus, prioritize our marriage and family life, and once again become a united front in the battle that threatened to destroy us. Since early in the journey Hope for Hurting Parents was a tremendous resource.
  2. How did this impact your other children? All of them are in therapy, working through the effects this has had on them. Each one responded differently. Some struggled with anger and feelings of betrayal (lying and stealing from them). Initially, our youngest felt she let her brother down and struggled with feelings of not having been able to help him. But, they were all willing to forgive him when he asked (during rehab) and they’ve been willing to work on rebuilding their relationship.