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.
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Find more resources: Special Needs Praying Moms