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When You Need the Words to Pray Against Your Child’s Fear

It was in the quiet of the night. Everyone was asleep at last. Now it was my time. The time I used for refueling and recharging after a day of facig my child’s fear.

When You Need the Words to Pray Against Your Child's Fear - A Prayer Against My Child's Fear - When we can't seem to find the words ourselves to reach out to the Father, sometimes we just need something to give us a start. Lori Schumaker #MomentsofHope

When You Are Worried and Weary From the Weight of Your Child’s Fear

It was my “me time.”

My creative time.

But as each evening arrived, I could do no more than collapse into my bed. I craved mindless activities. Researching adoption transitions and medical options was just too much for me. No longer could my mind reach into depth-filled content. Things that once invigorated me now had no appeal. Mental and emotional exhaustion was all I knew.

But underneath the exhaustion, there was a whisper.

“You know where your hope comes from.”

It was time to tiptoe through their rooms, lay a hand upon their sweet heads, and do the only thing I knew to do in those moments.


After leaving the boys’ rooms, I opened the door to my daughter’s room. The nightlight caught her beautiful profile. The round little cheeks. The rosy glow of her skin that not very long ago had been pale and paper thin.

Sleep had finally come and peace rested over her spirit. The anxiety no longer written across her face. I kneeled down alongside her bed, but knew better than to touch her. My touch would cause the screaming to return. So, with hands outstretched, I searched for the words to pray. Instead, I only found my tears.

What do I pray? Where do I even start?

The truth is that God doesn’t need our words. He only needs the cries of our hearts. The Spirit intercedes on our behalf.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. -Romans 8:26-27 (ESV)

But I wanted words. Real words to lay before Him in prayer. Authentic conversation with the only One who could help me in my need right now.

I wanted the right words with the right details. The specifics. Not just strength, comfort, peace, and wisdom. But real words that fit our situation. Words that expressed the desires of my heart for my daughter and for our family. Words as therapy for my aching soul.

When You Need the Words to Pray Against Your Child's Fear - A Prayer Against My Child's Fear - When we can't seem to find the words ourselves to reach out to the Father, sometimes we just need something to give us a start. Lori Schumaker #MomentsofHope

As I sat on the floor at the edge of the bed, the glow of her nightlight caught a little stack of books on the floor. In it lay one I had purchased long before our daughter came home to us. Prayers and Promises for My Little Girl by Stormie Omartian.

As I skimmed through the book nougats of treasured prayers and scripture gave me a start to the words I was missing in that moment. I began whispering those prayers as I sat in the glow of the nightlight and the presence of God settled in.

You see, that’s how God is. He meets us where we are, giving us all that we need for just one more step.  And each new step is a new beginning because that’s what God promises us.

God meets us where we are by giving us all we need for just one more step. "When You Need the Words to Pray Against Your Child's Fear" Click To Tweet

New mercies fresh every morning. Including new hope in the face of fear.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” -Lamentations 3:22-24 (ESV)

So friends, just as I needed help that night long ago, you may need help in your situation tonight with your child. My prayer that night petitioned God to remove a spirit of fear from my daughter. Maybe you are searching for the words and Scripture to pray against the fear rising up in your child as well. May my prayer be the tool God uses to give you the start for which you long.

(Looking for more on defeating fear? This post about fear will help you understand what the Bible tells us about it. And this post about parenting with holy confidence instead of fear may encourage you as well!)

A Prayer Against My Child's Fear - When we can't seem to find the words ourselves to reach out to the Father, sometimes we just need something to give us a start. Lori Schumaker #MomentsofHope
The printable PDF version of this prayer is available in the Library of Hope!

#MomentsofHope Featured Post

Those years ago, when I longed for the words to the prayers of my heart, I struggled because I was very much alone in my journey. Our daughter’s needs went beyond a simple adoption transition. She is a little girl whose start to life was traumatic. Much like most children coming from hard places, the lack of love, attention, and care had taken its toll on her mental health. It had gravely affected how she could love.

Very few understood that. They saw her beautiful brown eyes and smile that could light up the room. Much of the world’s opinion then and even now believes that love conquers all.

What they don’t realize is that love doesn’t always look the way we envision.

So, when friends and family, with hearts filled with compassion, saw the outside beauty, they couldn’t wrap their minds around my life behind closed doors. What they saw and what was real were not the same. My daughter knew how to charm others, but she didn’t know how to be loved. Love was dangerous. It was something to fight.

So as friends disappeared and help was scarce, I was lonely. I was grieving the daughter I loved but couldn’t love back and the life I’d had. I was trying desperately to save her life and hold onto our family and marriage. And no one seemed to get it.

But today I’ve come to know I’m not alone in this anymore. Awareness has increased yet still not enough. Mental illness still today is judged more often than it is helped. Those caring for loved ones with mental health issues are often isolated, and even worse, targeted.

This week, Maree Dee of Embracing the Unexpected, opens our eyes to judgment and mental illness. Her words resonated with me and I know they will encourage and challenge you as well. If you have never experienced mental illness, her words will challenge you to examine your thoughts and actions, as well as inspire you to promote awareness. If you are living with mental illness in some way or another, her words will give you hope.

Are You Judging Others In the Midst of Mental Illness?

Are You Judging Others in the Midst of Mental Illness - Maree Dee

Would You Like More Prayers, More Help, and More HOPE/

Join me and thousands of other people as we go from head knowledge to heart knowledge of God’s love. Discover your true identity as a child of God, break free of fear and insecurity, and take the steps to live with all the joy, peace, and HOPE available through Christ.

Don’t forget, when you subscribe you also get full access to the resource-filled Library of Hope!

HOPE! Your hearts are a gift to me.♥

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  1. This is powerful!
    I pinned the prayer up, Lori.
    I also had to be in prayer for my girl too…
    Blessings to you, friend

    1. Ifeoma,
      I’m joining you right now in prayer for your sweet girl … and for your Mama heart that can’t help but ache when her baby is in need. I am so thankful for your encouragement and love.

    1. Thank you for joining me here today, Debbie!

  2. I am much quicker to accept Scriptural promises as a balm for my own heartache, but for my kids . . .? I want to fix everything. Like you, I’m learning the astounding truth that God is big enough to bring comfort and joy to my kids’ hearts even when things don’t go the way they had planned.
    One more leg of this parenting journey!

    1. At least we aren’t in this learning gig alone, right? It encourages me to know one of my favorite blogging Mama is right there with me!

  3. Lori, this blessed post resonated with me today. You looked for a prayer for your daughter, and you experienced friends disappearing.When my triplets were born prematurely(26weeks) and were in the NICU for several days, my heart wept and I didn’t want to touch their feeble skin and hurt them. So I asked the Lord for the same- to have words to pray. I didn’t know how to approach this new stage of motherhood in my life(first time mommy that too of micro preemies),and I found everyone including friends disappearing. God met me and still meets me on my knees.

    Hope against Hope


    1. Diana,
      I am praying with you, my friend. Although I cannot imagine all the stressors and heartaches of what you went through, I have empathy in the overwhelm, the confusion, the exhaustion, and the loneliness. Your are a living testimony to holding onto Him for strength! I know the days even now must be a stretch more often than not! 3 littles – oh my stars! I’m praying for you and wishing I could reach through this screen and give you a great big hug!

      Blessings and smiles,

  4. Hi Lori! Thank you so much for sharing from your heart on this topic. It’s of particular interest to me because my husband and I are in the process of becoming foster parents and looking to adopt. What you wrote really touched me and reminded me to keep praying over my kids while they sleep. I often think about what life will be like for us when we adopt a complete “stranger”, but I’m trusting that the Lord will lead and He knows best. He doesn’t make mistakes. 🙂

    Love you, dear sister!

    1. Tiffiney, I am so thrilled you are pursuing foster parenting. When God calls us to that place, there is no turning back. I often hesitate to share our difficult parts of the story because I do not want to scare anyone away from fostering or adopting. There is no doubt about it. It is not an easy journey. However, I wouldn’t change it. It turned us upside down and when God placed us rightside up again, we were new people. I know He isn’t finished with us nor with our daughter. But I know He writing the chapters. I’m praying all God’s favor on your process and for the children you will welcome and love as they walk into your lives!
      Blessings and smiles,

  5. I love how you brought us right into your moment where God met you in your need. I’m sure so many can relate to having desperate prayers where we cannot find the words. I love Stormie O Martian’s books on prayer too. Thank you for opening eyes to see that love doesn’t always look like we envision it. It makes me sad that so many feel alone in this struggle and I pray to be the kind of friend who understands and supports friends who are suffering in this way. Love you!

    1. Thanks so much, Valerie! Since then, God has given me some warriors who have come alongside me. There are and probably will always be pieces of the story that are lonely because each of our stories are so very unique. I know you understand this well! You are such a blessing, my friend. Thank you for loving so well ♥

  6. Lori, wonderful post. There was many a night that I went in to my children’s room to pray quietly over them. And many a morning, I prayed for them as I made their beds 🙂 God is so faithful to help us and them to navigate life wisely. Blessings!

    1. Joanne, What a good idea to pray for them as you make their beds! I try to pray for them as I fold their laundry. It helps me get over the grumpies of SO MUCH LAUNDRY, too! 🙂 Thank you so much for joining me here each week to share HOPE! You are a blessing!

  7. Thank you for sharing this prayer, Lori. I used to think that spontaneous prayers were the only way to go. Then I learned about praying scripture, and later on I started writing down my own spontaneous prayers. I found that praying them over again at a later date drew me into the Father’s presence just as much as it had the first time around. And praying someone else’s heartfelt prayer can do the same.
    I’m glad that the Lord helped you and your daughter through that grievous and burdensome time. He is an amazing God, and you are a great mom!

    1. Ruth, I agree. There are times spontaneous is where I go, but then I also love praying specific Scripture based prayers. It’s reassuring to know my requests and praises are well thought out and that they are aligned with the will of God. Thanks so much for your kind words. I always love hearing from you and am so thankful you join me here to share HOPE!
      Blessings and smiles,

  8. Lori- this prayer is fantastic! Thank you for sharing this! I’m going to share on my social media sites too:)

    1. Hi Julie,
      Thanks so much for sharing! I hope it reaches a Mama who needs the words to start her prayer tonight! ♥
      Blessings and smiles,

  9. It is so comforting to know and be reminded that we don’t have to know all the right words to pray. Just come with willing hearts and the spirit will intercede for us when words and thoughts fail us and we don’t even know what to say.

    1. Isn’t it? I remember that season of life was so confusing and there was just so much. I couldn’t wrap my head around where to start. I knew the Spirit would convey my heart, yet I needed the words. It was such a gift to open that book and find a welcome start that opened the floodgate to my words! Thanks so much for joining me here to share HOPE! You are a blessing!

  10. mareedee2016 says:

    Lori – What a beautiful post and prayer. Oh, how I can relate on so many levels. So true no one understands what happens behind closed doors.

    Thank you for featuring my post I hope it helps in spreading awareness for mental illness. I love the way you eloquently weaved it right into your post.

    I do believe we can all make a difference!



    1. Maree,
      Your post is a much needed one! As a matter of fact, your whole message and ministry is! Thank you for joining me here in the spreading of HOPE. I pray your message will reach a few more through #MomentsofHope!
      Blessings and smiles,

  11. Fear is such a strong captor. 🙁 I’ve seen it and known it, too. Whether we categorize the reasons as “real” or not, the fear is definitely real. Glad your children have a praying mother. I’m thankful I did as well.

    This is beautiful, Lori: “But underneath the exhaustion, there was a whisper. You know where your hope comes from. Push through with Me.”

    1. I agree, Lisa. It most definitely is real. Yet something for which I am so thankful we have the power to conquer with Christ! Thanks for visiting ♥ I am thankful for you!

  12. This is inspiring and I’m sure parents could get wisdom from this.
    May you have a meaningful Holy Week!

    1. Thanks, Lux! And may your Holy Week and Easter Sunday be filled with new beginnings!

  13. Beautiful! There is power in a Mama’s prayer.

    I find that the enemy likes to assault our minds right at sleep time to keep us from resting. Lately, I’ve started playing worship music softly in the bedroom before bedtime, and this has really helped.

    1. That’s a good idea, Lyli. I recently found some great reading plans on YouVersion specifically for ending the day right. I’ve loved closing my night off with those!Thanks for visiting, friend! I love seeing you here!
      Blessings and smiles,