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)

2. Love for God

May he fall more in love with Jesus every day. May he love God above all else. May that love not grow cold or even lukewarm, but remain fire-hot! And may Your love in him flow through him to everyone in his life. (Mark 12:30; Revelation 2:4; John 15:12-13)

3. Forgiveness

May she know that in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation. That her sins are forgiven, buried in the deepest sea, removed as far as the east if from the west, remembered no more. That the price for her sins was paid on the cross. (Romans 8:1; Psalm 103; Romans 6)

4. Light

May he know that he has been rescued from darkness and brought into the light of the Son. Protect him from the attacks of the evil one as he wears the full armor of God. May he choose to walk in the light, and to let that shine brightly to all around. (1 Peter 2:9; Ephesians 6:10-18; Ephesians 5:8)

5. Work of Art

May she know that You were there forming her in her mother’s womb. May she believe that she is fearfully and wonderfully made—a beautiful work of art. May she discover and choose the wonderful plans and good works for which You created her. (Psalm 139:13-16; Ephesians 2:10.)

6. Image of God

May his life reflect You, Lord, as he is made in Your image. May he be increasingly transformed into the likeness of Christ so that his thoughts, words and actions are those of Jesus. May love, mercy and grace be his trademarks and flow from him each day to everyone he encounters. (Genesis 1:27; 1 John 4:17; Isaiah 60:21)

7. Holy Spirit

May she consistently walk in the Holy Spirit, drawing on His wisdom and power to live in truth and justice. May she hunger and thirst for You and Your righteousness. May she be satisfied by You alone as You fill her with your Spirit. May she never settle for less than Your best. (Ephesians 5:18; Romans 8)

Of course, there is so much more to pray. Paul’s prayers in his letters cover many of these requests and others also. These prayers represent many of the truths of Scripture concerning what Christ has accomplished for us and what He continues to work in and through us. For me, these ensure that I am bringing each person before the Lord, for the most important answers I could desire.

You will see that these prayers are written in blessing form, and that’s how I like to pray. I love for my words and prayers to always be blessing those I love.

What about you? What are some of your favorite prayers?

C2017 Judy Douglass

Judy is founder of Prayer for Prodigals and Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals, author of Letters to My Children: Secrets of Success. Follow her blog Kindling on her website.

3 books we at Hope for Hurting parents recommend to help you pray are:

The Power of a Praying Parent, The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children, and The Power of a Praying Grandparent  by Stormie Omartian.


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4 thoughts on “7 Prayers for A Troubled Child

  1. I have just found this blog through listening to Family Talk. Thank you for being here! I am a pastor’s wife and so thankful for these truths that can encourage all parents but especially those who have prodigals.

    • Laura, we’re so glad you found us, but we’re so sorry you need us. We pray that our blog and website will be a source of comfort, encouragement and support on a hard and painful journey that can be so terribly isolating. Please also check out the Prayer for Prodigals website (prayerforproidigals.com) for a confidential prayer community and even more wonderful resources. Our annual Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodiglas is June 2nd and many will pray for your loved one! I also hope you will sign up for my free email subscription. It’s one more way we can offer ongoing encouragement and support for your aching heart. Remember, you are NOT alone! (Isaiah 43: 1-5)

  2. I’m so glad I found this website. My daughter is 20 years old. She was brought up in church. She has always loved God. She is now with a guy who controls her, cheats on her, drinks and does marijuana. She moved out of our house and won’t listen to us at all. We don’t know what to do anymore. We are praying a lot but she just discourages us. Thank you for letting us know there are other parents going through the same thing. We feel so alone.

    • Yes, there are many in your shoes. I’m so sorry. Never give up praying. God is always at work, though it may take years. Release her back into His hands and focus on staying closely connected to Him and pray for wisdom to be able to keep a loving connection with her, too. God is able to reach her and open her eyes, but she may have to experience a lot of heartache before she’s ready to listen. I hope and pray my book will comfort and encourage you while you wait for that day. And please sign up for my free email subscription. Many parents tell me that it helps a lot.