A Mom’s Prayers For a Struggling Child

Not all prayers are answered this side of heaven, but that doesn’t mean we stop praying. 

As a mother dealing with an adult child with mental illness and special needs, emotions of failure, jealousy, worry and loneliness follow me around like a giant vulture hovering, ready to attack. I fight back with the sword of the Spirit, God’s Word, and with strength from my powerful Father. The relentless enemy pounds me and leaves me weary. I run to the One who loves me to get encouragement.

The enemy’s accusatory voice never lets up and I have to continually be on guard. Walking through this mine field alone is not an option, so I clamor for others with whom I can pray; others who might understand. As a Moms in Prayer mother and grandmother, I have learned the beauty of praying with others. Moms in Prayer has built my faith; I’ve learned to praise God and to worship Him for who He is. Where would I be today had I not learned those things? How could I withstand the relentlessness of the enemy’s attacks?

I ache for the moms going through it alone – whose children are seen as different, rebellious, depressed, or deemed “a problem.” We must pray for those children in our Moms in Prayer groups.

We must pray for the teachers who are ministering to the hurting or depressed students. Who else better to pray for these teachers and students than moms who have children similar to the ones described above? Their perspectives should be sought out and welcomed so the needs of every child and teacher are covered in prayer. Every group needs the perspective of a mom whose child struggles and every mom of a struggling child needs a Moms in Prayer group.

Moms in Prayer can be a safe place where women are able to pray their heartfelt concerns and be accepted, loved and not judged. What blessings await them when they, with transparency, open up and pour out their hearts for their child. What blessings these mothers experience when they pray for the special needs teachers, parents and students.

I look forward each month to praying on the phone with other mothers who have children with special needs and/or mental illness. Our thanksgiving times are different.

We thank God for the little things:
  • a ten-year-old child only wetting his/her bed once over Spring Break
  • an adult child with anxiety attending a large family celebration
  • a child being able to perform in the choir program at church

Because we move in circles not frequented by most mothers, we’re able to pray for things in our children’s schools that other moms may not be aware of:

  • We pray for teachers to look over each child’s IEP’s (Individualized Educational Plans) before school begins.
  • We pray for God to guide school counselors as they meet with children who are bipolar, have PTSD or depression.
  • We pray for parents to find activities over the summer months that are appropriate for their special needs children – which can be really difficult!

We may never see the answer to any of these prayers, but we know God is using them and others can benefit from our experiences and our struggles. We also come away refreshed because we are following the command to “bear one another’s burdens.”

I trust God for the eternal outcome of my child and I continue to pray in faith that God might bring healing. After thirty years of praying, I waver in unbelief many days, but I persevere. I wouldn’t have chosen this path, but God chose it for me. His mighty grace has cleansed me.

I want others to know of the hope there is in Jesus Christ, especially when they have a child who suffers from any type of disability. I know God hears my prayers and the prayers of my sisters in Christ.

Prayer makes a difference; we may never see it, but we can believe it!

God of all comfort, I pray moms who have children with special needs would be sought out and accepted as they pray their heartfelt struggles in Moms in Prayer groups. I pray thirty years down the road, many moms of “different” children would know their God better, be able to persevere in prayer and be immensely grateful they joined in praying with others moms in a Moms in Prayer group. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Anonymous Author 

Find more resources:  Special Needs Praying Moms

Comments 3

  1. I’d love to see more posts like this. Every mom and grandmother with long term prayer needs can be encouraged by the vulnerability, yet with hope in Christ, so lovingly expressed.

    She mentions some of her struggles, including loneliness and jealousy. Anyone with a prodigal or seemingly unanswerable prayer request can relate to that loneliness. It’s a feeling of being an outsider, a branch with a split that can’t take weight without being almost torn off, from the Christian women whose families fit better into the tree of supposed Christian norms.

    How careful and gentle we need to become before talking about our happy families without making sure to give all glory to God.
    In our prayer groups and friendships, it is easy to overlook the woman, that we Know is hurting with a mentally ill and/or special needs child, by overlong descriptions of the latest fabulousness of our children or grandchildren.

    Moms in Prayer leaders and group leaders, please remember to pray for the lonely children and mothers before you personally post too many details of childhood success on social media. Yes, most caregiver moms and grandmothers of special needs and mentally ill children are truly pleased for you, especially if prayed up and rested, at their best ‘In Christ’. Even so, visuals of what look like Dream Families, may need time to be processed by talking to the Lord. Likely these moms are tired and deal with never ending problems. A jealous thought may come along like a whisper and not get immediate attention. Can we think about what to post and say what celebrates without provoking hurt and jealousy? An example of this is a post I saw during CoVid 19 quarantine with eight pictures. The mom said her daughter had 50 cars drive with posters while singing Happy Birthday! It is a blessing to have favor with one’s friends! But what is the point of sharing so much? Perhaps yearning for popularity? A special needs child may never experience popularity. I am convicted about celebrating without provoking others to jealously.

    Answered prayer is not a competition about how quickly the Lord solved the prayer need. It is pleasurable to boast in the Lord about these things, such as a bully coming to Christ in three weeks; this happened in a group of mine in TX. Lord help me, help us, to think of others before ourselves in how we pray and live. Help us watch over our hearts.

    1. Post

      Janice, thank you so much for this heartfelt comment and a good reminder of how we live and what we post. God bless you.

  2. Thank you, thank you for this! As a mom of two special needs (now adult) kiddos, every word was encouraging and relatable for me. You’ve put into words the deep anguish so many of us feel, as well as the wonderful opportunity God has given us to experience His grace! So thankful for my MIPI sisters who have lifted up my weary arms for so many years!

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