A Prayer for Hurting Parents

For the Parent Whose Child Broke Their Heart

Dad or Mom, have you heard these statements from one of your children?

“I hate you! You never let me do anything.”

“You don’t understand me!”

“I can’t wait until I turn eighteen so I can get out of here. You have too many rules.”

“Why won’t you help me (by giving money, etc)? Don’t you care what happens to me?”

“What do you mean you won’t _________? I thought you loved me?”

Have you thought any of the following about your child?

I never dreamed my child would grow up to ____________________________________.

On my worst day I couldn’t have imagined my child would _____________________. I haven’t seen them in a long time. It pains me just to think about it.

How can this child I love so deeply hurt me so badly after all I’ve done for them?

Dads were their son’s first hero, “My daddy’s stronger than yours!” and their daughter’s first love, “Daddy, will you marry me?” Moms were adored and clung to. They quit jobs, stayed home, and focused on their child’s welfare.

No one warned us that being a parent could one day bring us this much pain.

We were uninformed and unaware of the potential dangers. What a shock.

My husband and I have talked with a lot of hurting parents, but we’ve never met any who thought their parenting journey would end up where it did. We didn’t think ours would, either.

We were different, weren’t we? Hadn’t we done it all right?

If you’re disappointed or going through a hard time because of your child’s situation, then this prayer is for you. If Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, Christmas, Easter, and/or your birthday was rough this year, I hope this will help in some small way.


Heavenly Father,

Please heal the heart of the hurting parent (step-parent or grandparent) who’s reading this prayer. Each day is hard. Special days are even more difficult. They remind them of their pain and loss – of what they don’t have anymore. They aren’t days to enjoy. They sting and bite. They’re days to get through. Their children’s choices, behaviors, and issues have changed them. They aren’t who they once were. They’re crushed. Brokenhearted. Devastated.

Pride keeps dads from being honest about their true feelings – with themselves or anyone else. They’ve got to be strong and tough. Hold everything together. Not show how much it hurts. Hide. Put up a front that they’re okay, when they’re dying inside. No one knows. No one but you, Lord.

Moms struggle, too. They thought it was their job to make sure their children grew up right. They overflowed with hopes and dreams. But they’ve been dashed. Lost. Gone. Help them forgive themselves for not being perfect. Remind them no one is – only you, and look what your children did to you. Convince them it’s not all their fault. They feel so responsible. So guilty. So ashamed and angry.

And they hurt. Bad. They can’t go back. Can’t fix it. There’s no re-set button. 

They grieve deeply. They feel like their child died.

God, please comfort their souls for not being able to keep the bad away or make everything better.

They did their best. They gave their all.

But they couldn’t do it.

Would you show them how to let go? To detach with love and release their child to your tender care?

Renew their hope.

Rebuild their lives.

Strengthen their faith to trust you more.

Reveal yourself as wonderful Counselor. Gentle Shepherd. Prince of Peace.

Give them beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning, peace for despair.

Peace. For. Despair.

In the beautiful, healing name of your son, Jesus, I offer this prayer. Amen.


My husband and I find this Scripture comforting:

“When I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me the strength I need” (Psalm 138:3).

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