How to Pray When Your Child Has Special Needs: Part 1


When you don't know how to pray for your child with special needs, fall back on these 6 ways to lift your child to the throne of God.

If you’re the parent of a child with special needs, you may have questions about how to pray for your child. This three part series will suggest ways to pray for a child whose future may look quite different from that of a typical kids.

Different Prayers

How to pray depends, in some measure, upon your child’s condition or prognosis. Your petitions on behalf of your child will vary in different situations, such as:

  • delayed cognitive development
  • a chronic physical condition with no cure
  • a highly curable physical condition
  • a mental or behavioral disorder
  • a learning disability
  • a terminal condition


In A Different Dream for My Child: Meditations for Parents of Critically or Chronically Ill Children, parents of children with a wide range of special needs explain how they prayed or pray for their kids. Their advice can provide both guidance and comfort as you begin to pray for your child.

Similar Prayers

But no matter what your child’s condition may be, some of your prayers will be the same as other parents’ prayers. This is doubly true if you are a Christian and pray God’s promises to his children on behalf of your  children. So you can pray:

  • asking God to grow your child’s knowledge and love of  Jesus at whatever level they can achieve.
  • to give a child’s life, no matter how short or difficult, purpose and meaning.
  • giving thanks for the gift of your child’s life.
  • for your child’s provision and protection when you are not with him or her.
  • for the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, kindness and self-control to dwell within your child. (Galatians 5: 20-25)
  • to use your child’s struggle to build perseverance, develop character, and bring hope. (Romans 5:1 – 5)

Examples, Please

If these ideas seem more like theory than practice, more abstract when you need concrete examples, don’t despair. The second post in this series will provide specific examples of how to pray for your child with special needs. But until then, leave a comment about how you pray for your child.

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When you don't know how to pray for your child with special needs, fall back on these 6 ways to lift your child to the throne of God.


  1. Toni Snips Toni Snips
    June 27, 2014    

    My son has been dx. with a specific learning disability and my prayer is simply for healing. But I also recognize my need to know how to respond with love, patience and understanding.
    I think the suggestions listed above are a great guide to follow when offering prayer for our children. I like it and will use it. I usually pray for my child the following way:
    I begin with thanksgiving for children are a gift from the Lord. I pray for God’s favor, blessings and protection over my child. I ask God to give my child wisdom and understanding as knowledge is presented to him in school during the day. I pray for God to give my child wisdom as he interacts with his peers so that he will make good choices.

  2. Toni Snipes Toni Snipes
    June 27, 2014    

    I look forward to Part 2.

  3. June 30, 2014    


    That is a wonderful template. Your child is blessed to have a parent who is a prayer warrior, too.


  4. June 30, 2014    

    Toni, in case you didn’t find it on your own, here’s the link to Part 2:

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Meet Jolene

Jolene Philo is a published author, speaker, wife, and mother of a son with special needs.



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