By Amanda Idleman, Crosswalk.com
Anxiety and depression are on the rise in the wake of such an unsettling year! Children have endured a season in which their everyday lives have been turned completely upside down, and they have little power over the twists and turns imposed on their lives by this pandemic. For our youngest kids, they may not even remember a time in which masks and other precautions were not a required part of our daily lives.
While these measures have been our best attempt to protect ourselves and loved ones, returning to normal social interactions after a year of distance can cause anxiety in our kids. Resuming in-person events, school, and activities are a great way to help our kids socialize, but they also may have a hard time coping with being in a crowded school after spending months at home. Our kids may struggle to trust that the world is safe after seeing everything normal turned upside down due to COVID-19. Grace is so necessary for us all as we move forward.
Prayer is a powerful tool that we parents have to help our kids when they face hard things. No parent wants to see their child battle with anxiety, but God can carry your home through even the most difficult of trials. Here are a few verses and prayers for us parents to pray over our kids when they are battling anxiety.
1. A Prayer for Rest for A Racing Mind
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Father, I thank you that your Word reminds us that you have given my child the power to be brave and to control their thoughts. I ask that when their thoughts feel like they are out of control, you will give them a sound mind. Allow them to capture every thought that would want to cause them to have a spirit of fear.
Remind them to think about what is good, true, noble, right, lovely, and admirable (Philippians 4:8). Empower them to cast down any thought that would want to cause me stress, anxiety, or fear. I thank you for all the good gifts you have given my child. Help them remember the good gifts you have placed in their lives rather than fixate on the things that trouble their minds. I thank you that I can trust in you to direct my child's heart and that you promise to lead them on your straight path (Proverbs 3:5-6). Direct each of their steps. Grant me wisdom so I can help my child move forward with peace. Amen.
2. A Prayer for Help When Feeling Overwhelmed
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
God, at this moment, my child feels the weight of the world on their shoulders. Things in their life feel like more than they can handle on their own. I come to you as our place of refuge and ask that you would help my child lay all of their cares at your feet. I thank you that your Word reminds us to come to you when we are feeling weary and that you promise to bring rest to our souls (Matthew 11:28-30). Help my child to walk in your rest; to be able to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13). Remind them of all the ways you have been faithful to them in the past so you can look forward with confidence, knowing you will take care of them!
Help my child trust you with every detail of their life and give all their cares to you. Your word says that you know every hair on their head (Luke 12:7). You care about the big things in their lives. Help them to know that they do not have to be afraid! You are their safe place. Allow them to find the strength they need to move forward with you. Amen.
3. A Prayer for Peace When Feeling Afraid
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
God, would you give your sweet peace to my child at all times in every way. When they feel anxious, scared, overwhelmed, hopeless, unsure, or depressed, be with them as their great comforter. May you be alive and real to them in their daily lives; not a distant irrelevant God but a God that stays as close as a brother.
Would you quiet the enemy's voice in their minds. Help them to steady their mind on you and think on things that are pure, good, lovely, and of a good report! Give them the strength to capture their thoughts. Help them to have the wisdom to see which thoughts are lies and which ones are truth-filled ones from the Lord.
God, I thank you that you love my child so very much. I trust that you will cover them with your mighty wings. Protect their minds, hearts, and lives from the evil one who is on a mission to steal from their lives. Amen.
4. A Prayer for Hope When Feeling Hopeless
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
God, I stand on your promise that my child has a hope and a future! I pray that you would remind them that you have made them for a unique purpose. I ask that you show them how much you love them. Let hope rise up in their hearts! I pray that you would make a way forward for them, even when the path ahead feels difficult. Give them the strength to navigate the obstacles they face in their lives. I pray that they will be blessed with a bright future. I pray that you would give them the eyes to see you working even amid their challenges. That even in the hardest seasons, they could find comfort and hope in you. Remind them that you are at work on their behalf at all times. They never have to face anything alone. We thank you for your hand in my child's life. Amen.
Seeing your child struggle is such a heavy burden for a parent to carry, but we never have to walk through this pain alone or without hope. God loves your child so very much and desires for them to experience his goodness in this life. Our prayers matter to God; he promises to hear us! When you and your child are struggling, lift them up in prayer to the Lord. Mark 11:24 says, "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Stand firm on the promise that God will respond to our prayers. He is able to restore our joy when life does all it can to snatch it away from us.
When walking through mental health struggles, we have to deploy every tool we have to help us find health again. Prayer, self-care, healthy habits, nutrition, counseling, sometimes medication, and a doctor's support are all important to utilize when fighting for mental health. Help your child gain the support they need to get out of the cave that we all can too easily find ourselves trapped in. They need your helping hands, and they need the help of professionals to live joyfully, as they should, again!
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Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.