Caravan Sonnet: 12 Things to Pray for the Parents of a Young Child with a Chronic Health Condition

9/18/14

12 Things to Pray for the Parents of a Young Child with a Chronic Health Condition

I am so excited to continue this seven part series on Thursdays dealing with topics related to "What to Pray for Someone who is  Struggling with a Chronic Health Condition or who loves someone struggling with a Chronic Health Condition! In this series (when dealing with the word chronic) I am addressing anyone who has had an illness or pain for more than six months that has affected their life. 

This is a series that I have been praying about and asking the Lord to give great wisdom as I hope it will be helpful for someone! I am often told by very dear and well-meaning people, "I am praying for you" but am also told "I don't really know how to pray for you" or am asked just as often "How can I really pray for you?". While this series won't address every idea of what to pray and is not a "formula" I do hope and pray that it is a good "jumping off point" for you to be praying for those that you love who struggle with chronic health issues and their loved ones. 

12 Things to Pray for Someone Struggling with a Chronic Health Condition
 12 things to Pray for Yourself as you Struggle with a Chronic Health Condition
 12 things to Pray for the Parents of a young child with a Chronic Health Condition
12 things to Pray for the Parents of an adult child with a Chronic Health Condition
 12 things to Pray for Caretakers of someone with a Chronic Health Condition
 12 things to Pray for the Spouse of someone with a Chronic Health Condition
 12 things to Pray for the Children of Parents with a Chronic Health Condition

** I am so grateful for several moms and dads who are in this situation and who graciously shared their hearts, hopes, fears, tears, and love about this subject with me.**

1. Pray for their Courage 
I don’t know anything that takes more courage than fighting a serious illness then being the parents of someone who is seriously ill. It takes a courage under fire that is impossible to explain unless you have walked this difficult road. One person who contributed some of these ideas shared, “I was a soldier in Afghanistan for three tours and led men into battle several times. I received a medal of honor for bravery under fire. Honestly, facing the fact that my baby girl had cystic fibrosis and Leukemia was worse than any battle I encountered in war. This was a different kind of war- a war on the child I loved so much and it was a war that frightened me more than any bullet had before.” - “P” - Pray for their courage and their bravery in this fight. It is a fight like no other.

“Have I not commanded you? Be Strong and Courageous. Do not be discouraged for the Lord God is with you wherever you go.”
-Joshua 1:9-
  
2.Pray against Fear 
Is there anything that causes fear more than entrusting your “baby” to a team of medical doctors? I don’t think so. These parents deal with trusting their most precious thing in their lives to the wisdom of others and still fears abound. Fear for the correct treatment plan, fears over food allergies, fears over a million details that could never all be listed. Pray against fear for these parents. Pray that the Lord would take away all of their fears.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you."
-Psalm 56:3-

3.  Pray for their Hope
Dealing with the grief of a child who is not well is heart-wrenching. Pray that they will not lose hope for themselves, their child, or their situation. 

"I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
-Psalm 27:13-

4. Pray for them at night 
Nighttime is difficult for anyone going through a struggle as the mind wanders and can be more restless then ever. For parents of young children this is sometimes the only "break" away that they take and many times this is not a break as they watch their children sleep in a hospital room or in their own room. Many times this is when the most tears are shed so their child does not see. Pray for them at night that they would be comforted and the they would be able to rest.

“I am worn out from groaning Lord. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow.” 
-Psalm 6:6-7-
  
5. Pray for their Relationships

Pray for those that are single parents
The heartbreak of having a child who is ill doesn't discriminate over whether a person is single or married and the single parent has double the responsibility. Pray for their strength, their hearts, and their wisdom as they have to be “all”- caregiver, provider, parent, friend, “nurse/doctor” for their child. Pray that they will have help from those that love them and that the Lord would provide in miraculous ways. Pray that they will see the truth that while they may “feel alone” scripture promises that the Lord is a husband to those that love Him.

Pray for those who are married
Did you know that having a child seriously ill increases the divorce statistics by 50%? These odds are staggering but completely understandable as the stress, frustration, anger, and fear are often placed on the spouse instead of the sick child. This can cause friction and tension in even the best of marriages. Pray for this relationship and that they would be strengthened together in the Lord.

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
-Ecclesiastes 4:12-

6. Pray that they will know that God has not abandoned them
After watching your child ("baby" as many parents refer to them as) dealing with pain or illness day in and day out it can be difficult to remember that God has not abandoned you. Pray that they will see God's mighty love and power despite their circumstances. 

"For He has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from them, but has listened to their cry for help."
-Psalm 22:24-

7. Pray for their Strength to meet Each Day
Dealing with a child who is seriously ill each day is beyond exhausting. There are a million details that have to be attended to and emotionally parents have to be “on”. Pray for their strength each day.

"And as your days are, so shall thy strength be."
-Deuteronomy 33:25-

8. Pray for their broken heart
We live in a world that allows us to present that everything is perfect, especially through social media venues which is a way that many people keep in touch. Seeing pictures of healthy children doing “normal” child things (starting school, first haircuts, lavish birthday parties, sleepovers, family trips, sports games, etc.) can be heart-wrenching for parents who are watching their children suffer. Pray for these parents hearts that they will be comforted during these times and that they would sense that the Lord is near.

 "Hear my prayer Lord, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping."
- Psalm 39:12-

9. Pray for them as Parents 
Pray for these parents as parents. Pray that they would have wisdom on how to handle the situations that arise not only in health issues but in molding the character and development of their children as individuals separate from illness. This can be an extremely fine line to balance. As one person who contributed said, “How am I supposed to punish her about disobeying me when she has a chemo treatment the next day and will be extremely sick for the next three weeks?”- “A”  Pray that they will know how to handle these difficult situations with grace and love and have wisdom to navigate these tricky waters. 

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
-Proverbs 22:6-

10. Pray for them as they deal with other responsibilities
Life revolves around someone who is seriously ill because each day can hold a million different situations that need “immediate” attention. The other reality though is that these parents have lots of other responsibilities on their plates (additional children, work, deadlines, bills, etc.) and life can seem overwhelming. Pray that they will have the strength to deal with each situation and need as it arises and that they will have the focus needed for each situation. Pray for them as they are balancing a hundred different things at once.

"May the Lord answer you when you are in distress, May the God of Jacob save you."
-Psalm 20:1-

11. Pray for others to support them and help them for the duration of this battle
These parents that are dealing with a young child with a chronic health condition need people to come along side of them, walk the long road with them, and extravagently love them in the midnight hours. They need people that can support them as parents, but also be looking out for their families and their marriages. This could be friends offering to take siblings of the sick child to the park or to a baseball game to give the parents some much needed rest. This could be people bringing food or coming to help with laundry. This could mean a million different things, but pray that they will have support and people that would walk this road with them. Illness is incredibly lonely but these parents need that support at this critical time.

"...but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
-Proverbs 18:24-

12. Pray for the return of their joy
Illness can steal so many different things from people including joy. Pray that these parents will find joy in the Lord despite the pain of this time. Pray that they will not be robbed by sorrow only but that the Lord would return their joy and restore the years the locust have stolen.

"I will restore to you the years the locust have stolen..."
-Joel 2:25-

I hope these ideas have been helpful y'all! Sometimes when you are praying for someone with a chronic health condition you may feel that you are not "seeing" any results or doing anything, but the truth is you are!! God promises that He hears our prayers and He does hear yours! Keep praying for your friends and loved ones!! You are a blessing!!

1 comment:

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