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8 Prayers for the Child Who Is Lost

8 Prayers for the Child Who Is Lost

I remember a conversation with two friends of mine, both of whom had sons fighting for their lives. One had an incurable disease; the other was addicted to drugs and suicidal. What struck me was the difference in attitude between these two women.

The woman whose son had the incurable disease was, understandably, stricken with grief from knowing that her son would not live much longer. Yet she grieved with hope because her son knew the Lord. The woman whose son struggled with addiction and suicidal ideations was stricken with grief over what seemed like an inevitable fate. Her grief was noticeably different because her son did not know the Lord. The depth of her grief was directly related to the state of her son's soul.

The grief that comes from having a child who doesn't know the Lord is deep and heart-wrenching. The cry of a parent's heart on behalf of their lost child can be so desperate that words are often hard to come by. If you have a child who is lost, may these Scriptures redirect your heart towards God, and may these prayers help direct your words as you cry out to Him. May you find comfort in knowing God not only hears you but cares deeply and grieves with you.

1. A Prayer of Adoration

Psalm 150:1-6, "Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!"

Father God, I humbly come before you with a broken heart. While I am overcome with sadness for my child who doesn't follow you, I am still joyful when I think of you and who you are. You are the I Am. The Great Physician. The Comforter. The Healer. The author and perfecter of my faith.

Even amid my sadness, please help me keep my eyes focused on you and your goodness. May your praise and worship always be on my lips. May I always trust you and your will for my child. Please keep me from disappointment or anger towards you. Help me to trust and rest in your love.

2. A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Psalm 106:1, "Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!"

Lord God, even as I worry over my daughter and her soul's condition, I thank you for allowing me to be her parent. You knit her together, and you knew the road she would walk before she was even born. Even though she isn't walking the road I would have her walk; I am thankful for her life.

Thank you for allowing me to watch my daughter grow up. Thank you for allowing me to feel such deep love and compassion for her. Please protect our relationship as the year's pass. Give me opportunities to love her in a way that points to you. Give me a love for you and a peace in you that surpasses my understanding.

3. A Prayer for Heart Change

Ezekiel 36:26, "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

Father God, I thank you for the son you have given me. I thank you for all the years you've given me as a mother. I pray now that you would be with him. Capture his heart and make him your own. Give him eyes to see and ears to hear to the truth of your gospel.

Please, Lord, soften his heart. Make him aware of your presence in his life. Give him hunger for you and your Word. Bring him to a place, not of worldly sorrow, but godly sorrow. Break his heart over his rebellion towards you. Save him. Turn his heart of stone to a heart of flesh.

4. A Prayer for Protection From the Enemy

Psalm 9:9, "The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble."

God, you know how devious and deceptive the enemy is. He is crouching at the door, ready to devour his prey. He entices with the things of this world and with hollow promises of happiness. Please protect my daughter from such attacks. Save her from the distractions of this world.

Allow your Holy Spirit to stir her heart. Show her that the pleasures of this world are temporary. Show her that what the enemy has to offer will only lead to destruction. Allow her to see that true, lasting joy is found in you and only in you. Show her the motivation of the enemy, show her that he wants only to kill, steal and destroy - but that you are a God of love.

5. A Prayer for Godly Influence

Proverbs 27:9, "Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel."

Father God, you know the people my son spends time with. You know their influence on him and how they fan the flame of distaste for you and your Word. I beg of you to orchestrate a change in his friend's circle. To bring about change in this area of his life.

Surround him with people who will love him where he is and who will be longsuffering as he questions you and continues to make poor choices. Give him friends who can be there for him in ways we, as parents, can't. Give him friends that will lovingly challenge his thinking. Give him friends that will point him to you.

6. A Prayer for Fruitful Conversation

Colossians 4:6, "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person."

Lord, you know how closed off my daughter is to talking about you. It seems like every conversation about you turns into a fight. I hate feeling like I'm walking on eggshells around my daughter, but I also hate not talking about you and what you're doing in my life.

Father, give me wisdom when I'm talking with my daughter. Allow your Spirit to speak through me. Allow my words not to be received as an attack or condemnation but rather as love and encouragement. Give me wisdom with my words and give her ears to hear.

7. A Prayer for Wisdom As Parents

James 1:5, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."

Father God, I feel like everything I say and do is wrong. My son reacts with disdain when I try to encourage better choices and point him to you. I want to help lead him to you, not away from you. Please give me wisdom as a parent. Help me to know when to speak and when to simply listen.

Please remind my son that I love him. My desire is not to control him or restrict his life with rules but to guide him in your ways because your ways bring life. Guide me as I parent him. Give me wisdom, energy, and perseverance. Guide me in all my ways so that I might represent you well.

8. A Prayer for Complete Trust in God

Isaiah 43:2, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."

Lord God, what I've learned in my life is that trusting you isn't always easy. You have promised us trials in this life. Trusting you doesn't equal a life void of heartache. Don't let me get discouraged in this season of sadness. Don't let me see my son's rejection of you as a punishment or a lack of love. Help me, Lord, to lean on you, especially in my sadness. Give me complete trust in you so that I never question your love or faithfulness. Give me peace that passes understanding and unwavering trust. Remind me, through your Word, of your faithfulness to your people. Remind me, through the work of your Holy Spirit, that you have not forsaken me.

It can be difficult to understand why those we love, particularly our children, aren't given the gift of faith. You must lean into 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance."

As long as there is breath, there is hope. Continue to pray for your child. Continue to plead for their salvation. Continue to live a life that honors God in response to the love he has shown you in the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ.

Photo credit: © Unsplash/Daniel Jensen

Beth Ann Baus is a wife and mother of two adult sons. She is a freelance writer and author of Sister Sunday, My So Much More, and His Power, Our Weakness: Encouragement for the Biblical Counselor. In her writing, Beth often pulls from her own experiences of abuse, anxiety, depression and OCD. Beth has a heart for homeschooling, women’s ministry, and is an ACBC-certified Biblical Counselor. She loves serving alongside her husband and pointing couples to the Word for strengthening their marriages and home life. You can find more from her at