How to Talk to Your Kids About Prayer, Trusting God, and Letting Go

By Jessica Wolstenholm

This has been a difficult week… and it’s only Wednesday! My husband and I have had appointments with the medical specialists who have evaluated my son these past six weeks, in order for us to get his IEP (individualized education plan) written by next week. Doctors, speech therapists, psychologists, and autism specialists – all with their own take on where my son fits into some unrealistic bell curve. Ugh!

Discussing the educational, social and pragmatic needs of my child – someone who I know so well – with people who have made 90 minutes clinical observations, can be a difficult thing to sit through. It has caused me great anxiety and yet I say I trust that God will lead us in the right path. I pray so often about this one area of life, that I sometimes wonder if God has the patience to keep listening. Of course I know He does, but when does the asking part of prayer need to be channeled into the trusting part of prayer?

I ask this, not because I know the answer, but because it’s an area where I fall drastically short. I sometimes wonder if I prayed correctly, if I used the right words in my prayer, if I remembered to ask for forgiveness before asking for the desires of my heart? Religiosity of the past has definitely had its negative affects on my overall ability to just give whatever it is to God, and then trust that He’s got it…all of it.

Exodus 14:15 “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.”

Like many of you, I know my kids see me praying. We pray and worship together as a family. We pray over each meal. We pray for intentions of our friends and family members. But do my kids see me TRUSTING that God now has this need which I have specifically asked Him to take? Not always…

2 Corinthians 3:5-6 “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

Think back to when you were a kid. Did you ever worry about your dad getting you home safely on a long car ride? More than likely you were able to fall fast asleep in the back seat of the car, fully trusting that your dad would take care of you? And the next morning, you’d wake up in your bed, having been carried in by one of your parents.

As adults, it’s sometimes so difficult to let the worry, fear, and control go. But that’s the child-like trust that God wants us to have in Him. God’s Word is my reminder that the Lord is truly my strength. In Him I can take refuge! His grace is surely sufficient, because I am so weak in every way!!

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

I know that the Lord has wonderful plans for my son. He is much more than a clinical diagnosis or a educational plan. I will continue to advocate for him the rest of my life, if that’s what God has in mind. In my mental weariness, I will seek the refuge of my Father, who I really do trust with all of me heart.

If you struggle with giving the needs of your heart to God, you aren’t alone. Remind your children that it’s okay to wonder if God hears their prayers. It’s okay to come to you with questions or even doubts. In helping guide them, you will help yourself and heal any doubts that you too may be struggling with. It’s so important to get back into Scripture and refresh your mind and spirit about the truth… YES, God has your back! He knows the desires of your heart! And He wants to bless you, His child!

Lisa Strnad is an independent contractor in Christian media as a writer, marketing consultant, and public relations specialist. She speaks to Christian women’s groups on the issues of motherhood, home schooling and raising a child with special needs. Lisa and her family make their home in Nashville.