A Prayer for the Sick

A friend of mine recently asked me to pray for her nephew, who is presently fighting a recurrence of a malignant brain cancer known as medulloblastoma.

His name is Gabe — if you’d like to send up a prayer for him, too, I know they’d be grateful — and he graduated from high school the day before this latest tumor was discovered.

I’ve been thinking about Gabe a lot lately. It makes my mother-heart hurt to even imagine what their family is going through.

Sometimes, when problems loom large, it’s hard to know where to even begin in your prayers, but in this instance, God brought the following Scriptures to mind almost immediately. These are the verses I’ve been praying over Gabe:

P is for Peace

Pray that God would calm their heart, quiet their fears, and grant them a peace that passes understanding. Ask Him to carry them through this trial and comfort them with His presence. Pray that they’d find complete rest in Him, casting their burdens at the foot of the cross and leaving them there. (Psalm 56:3, Philippians 4:7, Matthew 11:28, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Exodus 33:14, Psalm 68:19-20)

R is for Relationships

Pray that God would use this illness first and foremost to draw others unto Himself. Pray that relationships to family and friends would also be strengthened, that any past offenses would be freely forgiven, and that sincere words of love and affirmation would be spoken. (John 6:44, Exodus 20:12, 1 John 4:20, Proverbs 17:17, John 15:12, Ephesians 4:15)

A is for Assurance

Ask God to assure them of His great love and faithfulness. Pray that He would remind them that He has a purpose and a plan, that He is in control, that He can work all things together for their good and His glory, and that He is committed to continuing His work in their hearts until it is completed. (Psalm 117:2, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 103:19, Romans 8:28, Philippians 1:6)

Y is for Yielding

Pray that the afflicted would yield themselves completely to God and place their full trust in His son, Jesus Christ. Pray that the would boldly approach the throne of grace to make their requests known unto God, yet would still be able to say with all sincerity, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” (Joshua 24:23, Proverbs 3:5-6, Romans 10:9, Hebrews 4:16, Philippians 4:6, Luke 22:42)

E is for Endurance

Ask God to strengthen and uphold them in the days ahead. Pray for their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual fortitude. Pray that God would give them grace as they walk through this trial and protect them against weariness and despair. Ask Him to bear their burdens and put a song of deep and abiding joy in their heart. (Isaiah 41:10, James 1:2-3, James 4:6, Isaiah 40:31, 2 Corinthians 4:8, Psalm 55:22, Isaiah 49:13)

R is for Restored Health

Pray that the Lord would mercifully and miraculously restore the one who is sick to health. Pray that He would heal them, body and soul, and would receive all the glory for having done so. Ask Him to prolong their life, and pray that they’d live out the remainder of their days in grateful service to Him. ( James 5:15-16, Matthew 8:17, Luke 4:40, 1 Timothy 1:7, Psalm 91:15-16, 1 Samuel 12:24)

Do you have friends or family members who are struggling with poor health? Pray for them! Scripture tells us:

“…the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” – James 5:15-16

To download a free printable copy of this prayer guide, click here. To view copies of our other prayer guides, follow this link.

Praying for Our Country

Pray for America: Here's a free printable prayer guide to get you started!Today is Flag Day, which commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States by the Second Continental Congress in 1777.

Whether you celebrate such occasions by sending up the Stars and Stripes or not, I hope you will make it your practice to send up a prayer for our country — and not just on national holidays.

America needs prayer. She needs it now more than ever.

We all do.

But God has promised,

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”2 Chronicles 7:14

Won’t you join me in praying for our country?

Here’s my prayer. If you’d like to make it yours, as well, just scroll to the bottom of the post for a free printable copy of this guide:

Praying for Our Country

C is for Conviction of Sin

Pray that God would open our eyes to personal and corporate sin and would call us out of darkness into light. Ask Him not to abandon us to wrong thinking, but to forgive us and cleanse us and break the chains that bind us. Pray that He’d give us the strength and willpower to forsake, repent, and turn completely away from the sin that entangles and enslaves us. Pray that He’d enable us to live as servants of righteousness instead. (Acts 26:18, Romans 1:28, 1 Kings 8:50, Psalm 51:2, , Isaiah 58:6, Isaiah 55:7, 2 Corinthians 7:9-10, Hebrews 12:1, Romans 6:18)

O is for an Outpouring of God’s Spirit

Ask God to revive our hearts and draw us unto Himself. Pray that He’d fill us with His Spirit, that we might speak the Word boldly and with such authority that others would recognize we have been with Jesus. Pray that He’d empower us to walk in His presence, according to His calling, dedicating ourselves to the good works He prepared beforehand for us to do. (Psalm 80:18,John 6:44, Acts 4:31, Titus 2:15, Acts 4:13, Psalm 140:13, 2 Timothy 1:9, Ephesians 2:10)

U is for Understanding and Wisdom

Pray that God would grant us an extra measure of wisdom, that He would fill us with knowledge and understanding and discernment. That we would see things as He sees them and would stop calling that which is good “evil” and evil “good.” Pray that we would center our minds on what is true and right and noble and pure and lovely. (James 1:5, Philippians 1:9, Psalm 119:125, 2 Kings 6:17, Isaiah 5:20, Philippians 4:8)

N is for News You can Use

Ask God to raise up an army of journalists, reporters, and newscasters who are more concerned with proclaiming truth than with pushing politically-correct propaganda or propping up ratings. Pray that He’d break our country’s addiction to celebrity gossip and sensationalized accounts of current events and that we’d instead learn to use the news, not as entertainment, but as motiviation to pray and to make a difference in our world for good. (1 Corinthians 13:6, Proverbs 22:21, Galatians 1:10, Exodus 23:1-2, Proverbs 16:28, 2 Thessalonians 3:11, Colossians 4:2-3, Matthew 25:35-36)

T is for the Truth to Prevail

Pray that truth would be spoken in love, that it would be proclaimed, not only over our newswires, but in our homes, in our churches, in our schools, and in our courtrooms, as well. Pray that parents would guide their children in the truth, that pastors and teachers would rightly handle the Word of Truth, that judges and juries would uphold the truth, that the Holy Spirit would help us discern truth from error. (Ephesians 4:15, 3 John 1:4, Deuteronomy 11:19, 2 Timothy 2:15, Zechariah 8:16, John 16:13, John 8:32)

R is for Righteous Leaders

Pray for those in authority over us, that they might fulfill the purpose for which God placed them in their current position. Pray that those elected/appointed to office would be trustworthy and God-fearing, and that they would issue decrees that are just. Ask God to grant wisdom and discernment, both to the elected and to those doing the electing. (1 Timothy 2:2, Romans 13:1, Exodus 18:21, Proverbs 8:15, Daniel 2:21, Acts 1:24)

Y is for Yourself — Where Real Change Starts

Humble yourself before God and plead for mercy. Pray that whatever work He wants to do in your country would begin in your own home, in your own heart. Ask Him to enable you to recognize and address the log in your own eye, rather than focusing your attention on the speck in your brother’s. Pray that He would deliver you from evil and help you live an exemplary life in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. (James 4:6, 2 Chronicles 34:27, Luke 6:42, Matthew 6:13, Matthew 6:6, 1 Timothy 4:2)

Praying for Your Country Prayer Guide

[Click on image to print B&W version or here for full-color version]

I know many of my readers are not from the US. I would encourage you to pray for your country and its leaders as well. Other than the clip art, this guide is not specific to America. :-)

Don’t Waste the Crust

I’ve never been one of those mothers who carefully pared the crust off the PBJ’s I served my children for lunch.

For well over 20 years now, I’ve been coaxing my kids to eat the crusts of their sandwiches using the following rationale:

  1. It’s wasteful to leave them.


  2. That’s where most of the vitamins are.

And for well over 20 years, my children have accepted my mother-wisdom at face value and at least feigned an attempt to cooperate with this imperative.

But not too long ago, a couple of my (young adult) children decided to question the validity of this claim.

The crust is where the vitamins are? they repeated skeptically. “Seriously, Mom, that may be true of apple skins, but bread is bread. The entire loaf comes from a single batch of dough. The nutritional value is no different in the crust than it is in the middle.”

They’re smart kids. They’re also very articulate.

If you’d been sitting at our table that day, you might even have been inclined to agree with them….

But if you did, you would’ve been wrong, as they were. Fortunately, Siri was on my side for the ensuing debate.

I knew I’d read some relevant statistics on bread crust before, so I whipped out my trusty iPhone and within seconds had located this article which summarily proved my point: Cancer-fighting anti-oxidants are eight times more plentiful in the crust than in any other part of the bread.

Don't Waste the Crusts - lovinglifeathome.comSo what if bread crust is tough and chewy or hard to swallow? It’s good for you. It’s rich in dietary fiber and in nutrients that help your body grow healthy and strong.

That’s the reason I keep serving it to my children, and it’s the reason they (mostly) keep eating it.

Unfortunately, we sometimes approach life the way kids approach sandwiches. We prefer the soft and cushy parts. If we could leave those tough parts untouched on our plate — or if we could talk our Heavenly Father into trimming off anything that seems difficult to swallow — we’d do it.

I’m as guilty of this mindset as anyone. I’ve always prayed that God would teach me the lessons I need to learn in the easiest, most gentle way possible.

I’ve secretly hoped that if I stay attuned to His still small voice, God won’t have to shout through the megaphone of pain to get my attention.

"Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world." - C.S. Lewis

But guess what? The tough trials, the hard challenges, the parts of life that make us lose our appetite — often those are the very things God uses to mature us, to strengthen our faith, and to nourish our relationship with Him.

And trials come no matter how intently we listen for His voice or read our Bibles or follow His promptings. We can avoid suffering unnecessarily by walking close with Him, but we can’t avoid suffering altogether.

Jesus told his followers, “In the world you will have trouble” (John 16:33) — it’s not a question of if, but when, and how will we react when it comes?

Scripture tells us plainly how God expects us to respond. We are to:

  • “Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18)


  • Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

Perfect. Complete. Lacking in nothing.

That’s God’s goal for us.

So next time you find yourself in a tough season of life, don’t let it go to waste. Trust that your Heavenly Father has a purpose in putting that difficulty on your plate and accept it with gratitude, knowing there are things you can get out of the hard parts of life that cannot be found in any other way.

Just dip it in the pure milk of the Word to make it easier to swallow. (1 Peter 2:2)

"Consider it joy..."

Praying for Your Unborn Child

A friend of mine once told me that, all through one of her pregnancies, she prayed God would give her a beautiful little girl with blue eyes and dark hair.

God granted that request, but the little girl was also quite stubborn. She was so headstrong, in fact, that by the time she was two years old, my friend was wishing she’d spent more of her pregnancy praying for her daughter’s character than for her physical features!

Of course, I don’t think praying for a baby is like ordering off a menu, but I do know that God delights in giving us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4-5) — especially when those desires are in line with His own.

While it never occurred to me or my husband to pray for a child’s hair or eye color, or even for a particular sex, we certainly sent up many other heartfelt petitions for our children, beginning from the first moment we learned we were expecting, if not before.

Here are the things for which we most fervently prayed:

Prayer for an Unborn Child

C is for Conscience

Pray that God would give your child a tender conscience and would draw her to faith at an early age. Pray that she would be anointed by the Holy Spirit even in the womb and would know and love the Holy Scriptures from infancy. (1 Timothy 1:5; Luke 18:16-17; Luke 1:14-15; 2 Timothy 3:15)

H is for Health

Pray that, if would please Him, God would give your child good health and a strong body. Recognize that is is He who knits your baby together in her mother’s womb, and ask Him to watch carefully over every stage of her development. (3 John 1:2; Isaiah 40:29; Psalm 139:13-16)

I is for Intellect

Ask God to give your child understanding, so she might learn His commands. Pray that He’d bless her with a sound mind and would grant her wisdom and discernment. Pray that she would love the truth and not be swayed by false teaching. (Psalm 119:73; James 1:5; Proverbs 2:2-11; Ephesians 4:14)

L is for Love

Pray that your child would feel secure both in God’s love and in her parents’ love. Pray that she would learn to put others first. Pray that she would love the LORD with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength, and would love others as herself. (Romans 8:38-39; 1 John 4:19; Mark 12:30-31; Philippians 2:2-4)

D is for Disposition

Ask God to give your child a happy, cheerful disposition. Pray that He would fill her heart with joy and gratitude. Pray that she would bring hope and encouragement to everyone she meets. (Proverbs 15:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 6:7; Romans 15:13; Proverbs 12:25; Hebrews 10:23-25)

“For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of Him.” (1 Samuel 1:27)

Do you (did you) pray for your babies before they were born? On what things were you most likely to focus your requests?

Parents should never underestimate the power of prayer. Even if you’ve not prayed consistently in the past, you can start now. Here are a couple of our other free printable guides to help you do that:

Praying for Your Children from Head to Toe
Praying for Your Teenager

We invite you to check out our printables page for even more!

Pray for Your Teen!

I received a request from a reader this week for a printable prayer guide for teens. Here’s what she wrote:

Thank you so much for your head-to-toe prayers! I’ve been using your husband one to pray for my husband for a few months and it’s been powerful! I like the one for children, also, which I just found today. I’d love it if you made one specifically geared toward teenaged children. I currently have five in that age range and never has there been a time in their lives when they need more prayer.

She’s right, of course.

Our children need prayer at every age and stage of life. They need Mom and Dad to faithfully and fervently bring them to the throne of Grace and intercede on their behalf. This is especially true during their teen years, as they navigate the sometimes tortuous path from carefree childhood to responsible adulthood.

And as we are praying for our teens, we must also remember to pray for ourselves — that God would grant us wisdom to face what challenges lie ahead, that He would give us patience to meet those challenges with understanding and grace, and that He would comfort us with the knowledge that He loves our children even more than we do and will be faithful to complete the good work He’s begun in them. (Philippians 1:6)

– A Prayer Guide for Your Teens –

T is for Trust

Ask God not only to bring your children to saving faith, but also to mature them in that faith. Pray that they would trust the LORD with all their hearts and not lean on their own understanding. Pray that you, as a parent, would maintain their trust, so that they will always feel comfortable confiding in you or coming to you for counsel. Pray that your teens would prove themselves worthy of the trust others place in them. (Ephesians 2:8; James 1:4; Proverbs 3:5; Proverbs 5:1; Proverbs 25:13)

E is for Education

Pray that the LORD would place within your children’s hearts a lifelong thirst for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Pray that your teens would learn to number their days and use their time wisely. Ask God to give them an eternal focus, so they will prioritize those things that He says are important. And ask that He’d provide clear direction as they make decisions regarding college and career paths. (Prov. 23:23; Psalm 90:12; Micah 6:8; James 1:5; Proverbs 2:3-11)

E is for Emotions

Ask God for an extra measure of sympathy and discernment as you parent your child through puberty and beyond. Pray that He would keep the lines of communication open as you discuss with them the fact that hormones not only affect the way their bodies grow, but the way they think, as well. Ask Him to help your teens navigate those changes wisely, while nurturing the fruit of the Spirit, including love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and (especially) self-control. Pray that they would not be ruled by their feelings, but would take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (1 Peter 3:8; Ephesians 4:29; Psalm 19:14; Proverbs 4:20-27; Galatians 5:22-23; Jeremiah 17:9-10; 2 Corinthians 10:5)

N is for Name

Pray that your teens would live and walk with integrity and that God would reward them with a good name. Pray that they’d do nothing to tarnish their reputation, but would serve as salt and light in their community, that the love of Christ would shine through them to a lost and dying world. Ask God to help them choose their friends and confidants wisely. Pray that no one should look down on their youthfulness, but that in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, they would show themselves an example of those who believe. (Proverbs 11:3; Proverbs 20:7; Proverbs 3:3-4; Matthew 5:13-14; Proverbs 13:20; Proverbs 27:17; 1 Timothy 4:12)

S is for Spouse

Pray that God would give your teens a clear vision of all that marriage is meant to be. Ask Him to grant them patience as they wait on His choice and timing, temperance to meanwhile maintain their purity (both in thought and deed), and a spirit of discernment as they evaluate potential mates. Pray that God would help them become the kind of person they want to marry, that they might be equally yoked in every way. (Mark 10:6-9; Psalm 33:22; 1 John 3:3; Romans 6:12-14; Proverbs 18:22; Proverbs 31:10-31; 2 Corinthians 6:14)

These are the things my husband and I pray for our teens. Can you think of anything we’ve left off the list? Maybe “S for Safety” — especially as they start to drive? You may just have to flip the page over and continue the list of specifics on the back!

You can download all our other prayer guides here: Free Printables.

“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.” (Psalm 145:18-19)

Parents Need Prayer, Too

Your Parents Need Prayer | another free printable prayer guide from Loving Life at Home

[Click image to print a black & white version of this guide]

One of my readers recently wrote me to say that she allows her daughter to read many of my posts, including the Praying for Your Children from Head to Toe guide I published last week.

The daughter wanted to know whether there was a similar guide that kids could use to pray for their parents.

Doesn’t that just melt your heart?

And so, I set about compiling this short list of verses that children can pray over their parents. Your Parents Need Prayer — at all ages and stages of life!

Please feel free to print out a copy and use it during in your own personal prayer time.

The guide is divided into seven broad topics; you can pray through the whole thing at once, or pray for a different area each day of the week.

  • P is for Perspective

    Pray that they would keep an eternal focus and would prioritize those things that God says are important. Ask God to give them wisdom and discernment in their dealings with you and with one another. (Psalm 90:12; Micah 6:8; James 1:5)

  • A is for Attitude

    Ask God to give your parents a positive, cheerful outlook. Pray that the fruit of His Spirit would be evident in their lives, and that they would “do nothing from selfish ambition or vain conceit,” but would instead model the “attitude that was also in Christ Jesus.” (Proverbs 17:22; Galatians 5:22-23;Philippians 2:3-5)

  • R is for Relationships

    Pray that God would bless and strengthen your parents’ relationship to Him, to one another, and to their children and grandchildren. Pray that their marriage would be characterized by an abiding, self-sacrificing love and a deep, heartfelt respect for one another. (Isaiah 41:10; Ephesians 5:33; Ephesians 6:1-4)

  • E is for Energy

    Parenting is hard work! Pray that God would refresh and rejuvenate your mom and dad. Ask him to renew their strength and replenish their energy. Pray that they would not grow weary in well-doing, but would persevere to the end and finish strong. (Isaiah 40:28-31; Galatians 6:9-10; 2 Thessalonians 3:13)

  • N is for Needs

    Ask God to provide for all your parents’ needs “according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” Pray that He would bless them abundantly, beyond all they ask or think, and that they would serve as an open channel of blessings to others. (Philippians 4:19; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Ephesians 3:20-21; Luke 6:38)

  • T is for Testimony

    Pray that your parents would live their lives with integrity and that God would reward them with a good name among those who know them. Pray that they would be salt and light in their community, and that the love of Christ would shine through them to a lost and dying world. (Proverbs 20:7; Proverbs 3:3-4; Matthew 5:13-14)

  • S is for Security

    Pray that your parents would recognize God as the source of their security. Ask Him to do a work in their hearts, conforming them to the image of Christ and making sure their salvation. Pray that they would earnestly seek after wisdom and would walk in their way securely. (Psalm 121; Romans 12:2; Proverbs 3:23)

Admittedly, this guide is better suited to older children who’ve already learned to read. But kids who are too little to use this list are NOT too little to pray!

If you want to encourage very young children to pray for others, I would suggest you make a little photo album, with a picture of the individual person being prayed for (parents, grandparents, siblings, friends) on each page. Your child can then use this as a reminder of whom to pray for each day.

We did this with our older children when they were little, and they loved it. If you like, you can include a short list of simple, specific requests under each picture. If you laminate the pages, you can even use a wet erase marker to change up the requests as each prayer is answered.

Pray for Your Children from Head to Toe

After I published my popular “Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe” printable, several readers requested a similar prayer guide for wives. I made one, and my husband published it on his blog last year. Recently a reader suggested I do a “Praying for Your Children from Head to Toe” guide, which I agreed was an excellent idea. So here it is. May you and your children both be blessed!

Pray for Your Children from Head to Toe | free printable from Loving Life at Home

[Click image to print a black & white copy of this guide.]

Pray for Their Mind:

Pray that your children would earnestly seek wisdom and understanding; that they would value knowledge and discernment; and that their thoughts would stay centered on the truth of God’s Word. (Proverbs 2:1-6; Proverbs 3:21; James 1:5; Psalm 119:97)

Pray for Their Eyes:

Ask God to guard your children’s eyes and protect their innocence. Pray that they would focus their attention on doing what is right. (Romans 16:19; Proverbs 4:25)

Pray for Their Ears:

Pray that your children would be quick to hear and that they would incline their ears to listen to instruction. (James 1:19; Isaiah 55:3; Proverbs 8:32-34)

Pray for Their Mouth:

Ask God to keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking lies. Pray that all their words would be pleasing to Him and edifying to others. (Psalm 34:13; Psalm 19:14)

Pray for Their Heart:

Ask God to give your children a happy, cheerful heart. Pray that they’d come to faith early and would trust easily and completely in Him. (Proverbs 15:13; Psalm 28:7)

Pray for Their Hands:

Pray that they would be diligent in their work and that their hands would not be idle, but that God would bless, confirm, and establish the work of their hands. (Ecclesiastes 9:10; Ecclesiastes 11:6; Proverbs 10:4-5)

Pray for Their Legs:

Pray that your children would not walk in step with the wicked nor stand in the way of sinners, but that they’d find wise and godly companions along life’s journey. (Psalm 1:1; Proverbs 13:20)

Pray for Their Feet:

Ask God to direct their steps, to help them stand fast, and to protect them from stumbling. (Psalm 17:5; Psalm 37:23-24; Psalm 121:3; Psalm 119:133)

Check Out My Book