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

10/2/14

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

Happy Thursday y'all!! I am so excited to continue this 7- 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" (including those with chronic pain)! 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. 

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. 

*Today I am sharing 12 things to Pray for the Parents of an adult child with a chronic health condition. You will notice that this post replicates many of the things mentioned in the  12 things to Pray for the Parents of a young child with a Chronic Health Condition post I did feel it was necessary for two separate posts as there are so many similar needs and yet some that are unique. I did feel it was necessary to address some of the differences that could also be prayed for. I hope and pray that both posts are an encouragement and offer some practical ideas of what to pray for parents in these situations.*

** Thank you again to  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 resilience.  
Webster's Dictionary defines resilience as: "the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens... the ability of something to return to its original shape after it has been pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc." I don't think there is anything that could define the characteristic of the life of a parent of an adult child better than the word "resilience". A diagnosis at a later age is never expected, never welcomed, and is never convenient for anyone. These parents are stretched, pulled, pressed, bent, etc. and desperately need prayers for their resilience. 
"....Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning."
-Psalm 30: five
2. Pray for their Courage. 
The same courage that is needed for parents of a young child is just as needed for the parents of an adult child. 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” -  In many ways the courage that is needed for parents of an adult child is unique because they are no longer "babies" but honestly- what child is not some one's baby? Children always are! 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:nine-


3. Pray for their Strength to meet Each Day. 
Dealing with a child who is seriously ill each day is beyond exhausting - no matter the age. As a parent of a child who is an adult who is dealing with a health issue tiredness and weakness are prevalent "friends". Pray that these parents will have the strength to face each day. Often times when a child is sick and is young it can be hard for a parent to know how to best comfort or where something hurts. On the flip side, a parent with an adult child is dealing with often times knowing too much information as adults can express exactly what hurts and exactly how they are feeling. There are a million details that have to be attended to and emotionally parents have to be “on” in a whole new way. Sometimes these parents of an adult child are wearing a thousand different "hats" all of a sudden (grandparent, parent, cook, maid, car pool driver, etc.) and their lives have changed drastically. Pray for their strength to meet each new challenge and each day.

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

4.Pray for wisdom. 
Having an adult child who is struggling with a chronic health condition creates a change in the "normal relationship status quo" that often times the child is longing for. This delicate balance of how to help, how to support an adult child, and how to handle the shifting roles can be "tricky" to say the least. Pray for the wisdom that these parents need and desperately want.

"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
-Proverbs 3: five & six-


5. Pray for their communication skills with their adult child. 
Along with number four above, pray that these parents will have the grace and the knowledge of what to say and when to say it. It is not just the diagnosis that will be talked about but a million different details that include tests, doctors appointments, health jargon, etc. Sometimes it is hard to settle into these new "roles" that a health condition has brought to the table and there needs to be an incredible amount of patience, love, grace, and good communication on every one's part. Pray that these parents will be able to do this well.

"The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly."
-Proverbs 15:two-


6. Pray for them as Parents. 
Pray for these parents as parents and for their families in general. Anyone who has experienced illness in a family knows exactly what I am talking about. Families have one type of relationship when people are all healthy and a completely different one when a member of the family is extremely and seriously ill. Illness changes everything and can change them as parents (even as parents to other adult children). Pray for them as they navigate these tricky waters.


"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
-Proverbs 12: eighteen-

7.  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:thirteen-


8. 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:twenty-four-


9. Pray that they will not worry. 
It is so easy for a parent to neglect taking care of themselves when a loved one is sick and this is especially true with the aspect of worry. These parents are consumed with worry and fear for their children and this is not healthy for them nor does it change the situation. As Corrie Ten Boom once said, "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." Pray that they will be released from worry as they find peace in the Lord. 

"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you."
- 2 Thessalonians 3:sixteen-

10. Pray for their broken heart. 
Pray for these parents hearts that they will be comforted during times where grief threatens to over take them 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: twelve-

11. Pray for others to come around them and help them for the duration of this battle.  
These parents that are dealing with a child with a chronic health condition need people to come along side of them, walk the long road with them, and extravagantly 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 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: twenty-four-

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:twenty-five-

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I hope these ideas have been helpful y'all! Listed below are all of the posts from the entire series if you are interested in checking them out! 


 12 things to Pray for the Children of Parents with a Chronic Health Condition

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!!

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