When You Don’t Know What to Pray

Sharon JaynesPrayer, Praying for Your Child 37 Comments

I had a devotion over at Proverbs 31 Ministries last week, and I’m thinking you might enjoy it too. Be blessed!

Before I had my first child, my husband, Steve, and I took a six-week class on child care at the local Red Cross. But when my son was born, the minute the nurse placed that little human on my chest, I knew motherhood was going to be very different from what I experienced with that plastic doll.

My son Steven was not made of durable plastic but delicate skin and breakable bones. He did not lie still when we tried to change his diaper but squirmed right out of those sticky tabs. I could not leave him on the counter for a 15-minute coffee break but had to give him constant attention. And the poop was real. And so was the love.

From the very beginning, I wanted to be a praying mamma, but honestly, I wasn’t sure I could. I’d sit down to pray, and my mind would wander to errands I needed to run, meals I needed to cook … and oh yeah, I should call so-and-so when I finished.

Then I’d rein my thoughts back in, feeling guilty that I couldn’t stay focused. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I pray for 10 minutes without getting distracted? I’m a terrible mother! Has that ever happened to you when you sat down to pray?

Did you know Jesus’ first disciples also had trouble praying? They asked Jesus for help one day: “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). Jesus responded by giving them what we’ve come to call the Lord’s Prayer.

While many of us may be familiar with reciting the Lord’s Prayer from memory, we can also see it as a pattern for prayers of our own: Acknowledge God as Father, holy and sovereign. Ask for His will to be done, for our needs to be met, and for our sins to be forgiven. Ask for deliverance from temptation and protection from evil (Matthew 6:9-13).

Using similar ideas, I created a pattern to keep me focused and faithful when praying for my child from head to toe. I started at the top with his mind (the thoughts he thinks), then his eyes (what he looks at), his ears (what he listens to), and so on all the way down to his feet (the path he takes). Sixteen areas in all.

Then I began searching the Bible and finding scriptures to pray over each of those 16 areas. We can rest assured that when we pray the Word of God, we pray the will of God. What a relief!

Rather than having just one prayer at the end of this devotion, let’s pray four scriptures over the children in our lives right now. If you’re a mom or a grandmother, feel free to pray for your own children — or consider using these verses to pray over a person you love or their children.

The Mind: What They Think About
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart … and with all your mind’” (Matthew 22:37, NIV).

Heavenly Father, I pray my child will love You completely — with heart, soul and mind. I pray intellectual knowledge of You will lead to an emotional affection for You.

The Eyes: What They Look At
“Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word” (Psalm 119:37, NLT).

I pray my child will turn their eyes away from worthless things. I pray they will divert their eyes from anything or anyone that would cause them to stumble, trip or fall into sinful thoughts or actions.

The Ears: Who and What They Listen To
“Then [Jesus] added, ‘Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more’” (Mark 4:24, NLT).

I pray my child will pay close attention to the truth they hear about godly living and godly principles, knowing that the closer they listen, the more understanding they will receive.

The Back: Physical and Spiritual Protection
“… The LORD your God moves around in your camp to protect you and to defeat your enemies” (Deuteronomy 23:14a, NLT).

Almighty God, I ask that You move about in my child’s camp — home, school and everywhere in between. Protect and deliver them from anyone who would seek to do harm physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

No one will be a perfect parent or grandparent, but we can all be praying parents who confidently pray for God’s protection of and provision for our families in the physical and spiritual realms.

Never has there been a more important time in history to pray for our children! If you’re a Mom, Grandma, Aunt, or anyone who has a child near and dear to her heart, then this book is for you. Praying for Your Child from Head to Toe: A 30-Day Guide to Powerful and Effective Scripture-Based Prayer, covers 16 areas of a child’s life. From the mind and the thoughts they think, the back and their spiritual and physical protection, all the way down to their feet and the path they take. Click on the link to learn about bonus material you’ll receive if you pre-order before September 5.

Also, click here to receive a FREE download for praying Scripture over your child’s or grandchild’s teacher this year.


© 2023 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

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Comments 37

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      1. This statement has no active link in your post:
        Also, click here to receive a FREE download for praying Scripture over your child’s or grandchild’s teacher this year.

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          1. I’m stuck. I’d like to buy the material to pray for my adult children and grandchildren esp a grandchild who is no longer following God. My heart is breaking.

  1. Praying for my child who is 41 and my grandchildren is something I do every day. I know how important it is. Thank you for you email I’ve learned so much and still learning. I growing too thank you.

  2. So needful – thank you! My newest grandchild is 2 weeks old and my oldest is turning 16 (in 2 months). I intend to quote the scriptures/prayers over her at her sweet 16 celebration as well as over my 2 week old granddaughter NOW.

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  3. Please pray for the healing and strengthening of my children’s relationship with God. For my son, he has lost his way. Please Lord open his eyes, ears and soul to you and you love. He needs you desperately. For my daughter, continue to strengthen her love and trust in you. Help her to find the forgiveness she needs to truly live a blessed life. Amen

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    2. God is a God of Hope – a God of the impossible! Never forget that He can turn lives around! He can change circumstances and bring those who wander far from Him, back to the right path.
      I just prayed for your children.

  4. These verses are wonderful. I pray for my family each morning and write their names in my prayer journal as I pray over them!

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  5. I just love your posts- but I especially love this one!! I’ve got 13 grandchildren who desperately need our prayers as they go back to school and are no barged with peer pressures at every side. Thank you for posting and I love your books! I’ve prayed over my husband for years using your Praying over you Husband Head to Toe! May the Holy Spirit of The Living God abide with you and rest upon you as you serve Him!
    — Debbie

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  6. I have always prayed for my children and there future wife or husband long before I know them. It is very important to pray for a partner that has a relationship with Jesus.

  7. Thank you for your perseverance in bringing the word & heart of God to all in this needful time. God’s grace & peace be yours❤️ Our children are our future.

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  8. I just ordered the book Your Child from Head to Toe but have not been able to order the free downloads. Please send info how to get the download. Thank you!

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  9. Thank you very kindly for this devotional today. So timely as I have 2 granddaughters at UNC-CH. One was in bed sick yesterday but the FRESHMAN was outside near the lab building when the sirens went off. Thankfully she was able to get into a building, I believe, the undergrad library until the “all clear” was called. Can’t imagine the trauma plus, she is not feeling good, that will be with her and each and every other student and faculty and staff there.

  10. Thank you Sharon! As a mother, grandmother and great grandmother ( 1st one, only 3 mos old). I pray over them every day and many times through out the day. Claiming God’s promises over each one. Thank you for your ministry and gift of encouragement to others.
    God Bless you and your family and all who read your posts. ❤️

  11. Thank you Sharon! As a mother, grandmother and great grandmother ( 1st one, only 3 mos old). I pray over them every day and many times through out the day. Claiming God’s promises over each one. Thank you for your ministry and gift of encouragement to others.
    God Bless you and your family and all who read your posts. ❤️

  12. Thank you, Sharon! Never has there been a more important time in modern history to pray for our children and grandchildren. God is the calm for my anxious heart. Thank you for bravely and tenderly speaking the truth we all need to hear! God’s blessings for you and your ministry.

  13. Good morning. Is the 30 day guide for praying scripture over your children available to purchase in digital format? I am visually impaired and have to be able to enlarge accordingly.
    I appreciate you.

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  14. I praise GOD for giving you the ability and insight to pray for our children. May the good Lord continue to bless you in your writings. Much Love

  15. Thank you! Sharon,

    I really enjoyed reading this beautiful message. A cover prayer over our children in this generation is much needed, and we can all be a prayer warrior for our next generation. We are so blessed!!

  16. I needed to read this today. Just this week I have been trying to figure out how to pray, what to ask, what to say about my kids to God. Years ago, probably 9 years ago, I was worrying about my kids and the sons of my best friend. God whispered in my ear, “Your love for them does not match mine.” I know this is true. I look at my youngest, just 18, as I drive him to college (he attends where I work) and he is so quiet, doesn’t talk to others, not even me. I feel heartbroken that he doesn’t seem to understand how much we love him and his older sisters. They don’t seem to understand either. I just need to pray and keep trying.

  17. Thank you so much for these scriptures and prayers. I’m not a mom but an Aunty to my 3 nephews and 1 niece. They are both my sisters kids. My younger Sister Sandylynn has 2 boys and 1 girl. My youngest sister Sally has 1 son. Technically 2 but the first one was a miscarriage. Her only son Sammy is now a 6th grader. I prayed these prayers over my nephews and niece. I would pray that they would accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and they be part of the rapture. Sammy has already accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior which I’m grateful for. I hope and Pray that Sandylynn’s kids will accept Jesus Christ into their hearts. They live in Portland, Oregon. Sally and Sammy and I live here in Pohnpei, Federated Stares of Micronesia with our Parents. I will also use your scriptures and prayers to pray over them my niece and nephews. Thank you again.

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