Prayers for Parents

Day 29: When Things Go Wrong

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” —Psalm 34:18-19

One of the most difficult things you can face as a parent is when a child breaks your heart. And yet, every parent has had or will have his or her heart broken by a child at some point. It may be an isolated incident, such as intense sibling rivalry, hurtful words, lying, or disobedience. Or it may be ongoing disappointment such as rebellion or a strained parent-child relationship. When your child moves away from what you’ve hoped for and begins to make choices that contradict what you’ve built into their life, you can be deeply hurt.

One of the first temptations is to become bogged down with regrets and “if only” thinking: if only I had done this, or if only I had said that, things would be different. Another temptation is to feel that you have failed as a parent. You may think, I’ve covered all the bases, did everything right. How could it have gone so wrong?Remember, making wrong choices and foolish mistakes is not unusual for a child (see Proverbs 22:15). Children will do things from time to time that will break our hearts.

That’s why children need the love, discipline, and spiritual guidance of their parents in order to become wise, mature men and women. And through it all, even through the heartbreak, God promises to be with you and to give you everything you need. What’s more, nothing is lost on God. He redeems everything—even a child’s poor choices and foolish mistakes—to help that child learn and grow and to accomplish His good purposes. Trust His plan for your child’s life. His plan is a good plan.

Prayers for parents
  • Thank God for the promises He has made to the brokenhearted. Pray that in times when your child has broken your heart you will rely on those promises to comfort and strengthen your spirit, and heal your broken heart.
  • Pray that God will help you resist distancing yourself from your child during these challenging times and that He will give you the strength to assure your child that even though they’ve made some mistakes, you still love them.
  • Ask God to draw you and your child closer to Him and to each other through the blessing of forgiveness.
  • Pray that no matter how painful or hopeless the situation may seem, you will trust God, His plan for your child’s life, and His faithfulness and ability to fulfill that plan.