How to Pray Over Your Kids without Losing Sleep

Today I'm delighted to welcome my friend Sue Schlesman to Hungry for God. Sue and I roomed together one year at the Asheville Christian Writers conference. As is always the case when I share living quarters with someone I've never met before, I felt a little anxious. 

But I shouldn't have feared. The friend who connected us knew us well. Sue and I quickly discovered many points of commonality -- we're both pastor's wives and mothers of young adults. We passionately love God and the Word. We've shared a parallel journey exploring the mysteries and magnificence of prayer. I know you'll enjoy Sue's tips on how to pray for your children. If her words bless you, leave her a sweet comment to encourage her.

How to Pray Over Your Children without Losing Sleep

Ha! Tricked you. 

When you're freaking about kids' heartaches, you will lose sleep. When you're worried about their choices or their self-esteem, you will lose sleep. If you struggle over what to say, how much to say, when to say nothing (that's the hardest)--you will lose sleep. 

But you can still pray. In fact, sometimes it's the only thing you can do. It's one of the few good reasons to be tired.

I've been waiting for the age when I won't lie awake in the middle of the night thinking through all my kids' relationships, schooling, career struggles, spiritual growth, and developing habits without having anxiety. I think the answer is never. 

Yeah, I know all about Ambien and Lunesta and Sleepy-Time tea. (Although I love Melatonin.) They may work for you. Not so much for me. 

I'm talking about more than knocking myself out for a nice 7 hours every night. I'm talking about seeing my kids' lives from 30,000 feet and wishing they could have the same vantage point. 

And I'll be honest--I'd like to sleep, too. But I've found that my best prayers are often at night. I made it a practice years ago that if I couldn't sleep, I would start praying. I'd get in some good convo with God, and then I'd get sleepy and conk out. 

That's a win/win for me, since I need to do both. 

In fact, I lost so much sleep worrying and praying that I wrote a book about how to pray from a place of worship. It’s called Soul Speak, Praying Change into Unexpected Places, and is available on pre-order right now, for release on August 30. You can order it here

If you're having trouble knowing how to pray for your kids, here are a couple of quick suggestions for Scriptural prayers: 

1. Pray something out of the Bible. When praying for your kids, try turning these passages into prayers: Deuteronomy 6:1-9, Joshua 1:5-9, Psalm 1, Psalm 119, Psalm 139, Proverbs 31, Colossians 1:3-14, Matthew 5:3-16, or Romans 12. (Really, all the Psalms are great prayers!) 

2. Write your prayers in a journal. 

3. Write letters or texts to your kids and pray in the letter. 

4. Pray with them, over them, and next to them while they're sleeping. 

5. Let them know you're praying for them, especially whenever they pop into your mind. That's the Holy Spirit telling you to pray for them! 

I have another blog,, which has a lot of prayers for parents. 

Happy praying and happy sleeping! 

Mark Batterson, in Praying Circles Around Your Children said: “You'll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent.” 

And, “One of the greatest responsibilities of parenthood is praying for your kids, but an even greater responsibility is teaching your kids to pray. Don't just pray for them; pray with them.” 

I'd love to hear how and when you pray for your children. 

Sue Schlesman is a Christian author, blogger, teacher, and speaker from Richmond, VA. She writes about life, education, family, and Jesus at Her new book, Soul Speak, Praying Change into Unexpected Places, is on sale for HALF PRICE through August 30 and available for preorder now.

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1 comment:

  1. Appreciated the post and will be sharing it with my wife Ms. Sue, another one of those worry-filled mamas that doesn't always get the rest she needs. I love the mental picture of falling asleep at night while talking with God. My last words are often "I love you Lord... "


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