The Parent’s Prayer


It’s late, God, but like any good Parent, I know you are up for a chat. I need you to hear my prayer tonight not for any role I play in life, not for pastor, friend, or my personal health or community, but for the role I play as a parent.

Remember when they were little? Remember when I worried about stairs and grapes and gross motor skills? Remember when they snuggled up in my lap and we would stare at their dimpled hands and smell their Johnson @Johnson washed hair? Remember when we would dance in the kitchen with bare feet and dish towel streamers?

Do you think we could go back and do that part again?

God, tonight I pray for the child who hates keyboarding and math and her sister and did I mention math? I pray for her tender self-esteem and for the patience of the earth.

I pray for the child who has lost a friend and doesn’t know why. Who feels “like a dork” and weird and wants to be homeschooled.

I pray for the child who can’t figure out short vowel sounds and whose name for extra help is all over the classroom.

I pray for the child who is getting inappropriate text messages from “friends” and has no idea what a “booty call” is, let alone how to make one.

I pray for the child who is so overwhelmed with homework, he sits for hours just staring at it, paralyzed unable to begin.

I pray for the child who committed suicide this week, for reasons unknown, but rumors suggest bullying and homophobia.

I pray for the child who can’t keep up, fit in, follow through, make it, be it, or seize the day.

I pray for every child who has been given a label. For those who are attention deficit, hyper, have special needs, are talented and gifted, slower, bullied or bully, help us to rip off the labels and see only your creation.

I pray for the child in the shelter, the institution, the refugee camp.

I pray for the child without a parent.

God, the parents of the world need you. Help us to know we never parent alone.

God, do you remember when we were little?

Did you worry about us, the way we worry for them? Did you hold our parent’s hand when they were holding ours?

Thank you.

God, be our parent so we can parent. Whisper in our ear words of wisdom. Provide us with the stamina, endurance and character to be present as you are. Be the Breath, when we take a breath and count to ten. Smile on us when we love our children the way you do.

Lastly, do you think you could make it any easier?



  1. “And God, help me to honor the child you created. To parent this child in a way that helps them realize the plans you have for them. You are the creator and you authored their life before they were born, help me to trust you. Help me to seek your will for me as their earthly parent. Lastly Lord, thank you for forgiving me for all the times I make mistakes as a parent and in life. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for Jesus.” Amen.

  2. Shelly, what you have written is beautiful. It made me cry. I have known so many children who “did not fit in.” (including me!.) If they have strong, loving parents they will, in most cases, walk through this dark valley and come into the light, but when there is no one to turn to they are so alone. My classes at East and West Highs averaged about 30. Multiply this times 5. 150 kids a day – each with their own special needs even if they were not labeled “special needs.” And people dare to say teachers are over paid. Like pastors they are way under paid, but again like pastors they are not in the profession for money. Love, Norma

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