How to pray over your kids 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 have 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.

From Soulspeak: Praying Change into Unexpected Places
by Sue Schlesman, Releases Aug. 30, 2019

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

  1. Just 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. Click on any of these below or check out my “Prayers Board” on my Pinterest. Today, I posted a version of Romans 12 as a prayer over your kids on my prayer website. Click here to read.

Happy praying and happy sleeping!

“You’ll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent.” “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.

Mark Batterson, Praying Circles Around Your Children

I’d love to hear how and when you pray for your children. Thanks for sharing.