A Prayer of Parents for Their Children

Seeking Guidance and Grace for Parents

High angle view of a girl lying on a hospital bed with her mother holding her hand beside her
A mother prays for her daughter. rubberball / Getty Images

Parenthood is a great responsibility; for Christian parents, that responsibility extends beyond physical care for their children to the salvation of their souls. We need to turn to God, as in this prayer, for guidance and for the grace necessary to fulfill this greatest of duties.

A Prayer of Parents for Their Children

O Lord, omnipotent Father, we give you thanks for having given us children. They are our joy, and we accept with serenity the worries, fears, and labors which bring us pain. Help us to love them sincerely. Through us you gave life to them; from eternity you knew them and loved them. Give us the wisdom to guide them, patience to teach them, vigilance to accustom them to the good through our example. Support our love so that we may receive them back when they have strayed and make them good. It is often so difficult to understand them, to be as they would want us to be, to help them go on their way. Grant that they may always see our home as a haven in their time of need. Teach us and help us, O good Father, through the merits of Jesus, your Son and our Lord. Amen.

An Explanation of the Prayer of Parents for Their Children

Children are a blessing from the Lord (see Psalm 127:3), but they are also a responsibility. Our love for them comes with emotional strings attached which we cannot cut without doing damage to them or us. We have been blessed to be co-creators with God in bringing life into this world; now we must also raise up those children in the way of the Lord, playing our part in bringing them to eternal life. And for that, we need God's help and His grace, and the ability to see beyond justice and our own wounded pride, to be able, like the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son, to accept our children back with joy and with love and with mercy when they make the wrong decisions in their lives.

Definitions of Words Used in the Prayer of Parents for Their Children

Omnipotent: all-powerful; able to do anything

Serenity: peacefulness, calm

Labors: work, especially requiring physical effort

Sincerely: genuinely, honestly

Eternity: a state of timelessness; in this case, from before time began (see Jeremiah 1:5)

Wisdom: good judgment and the ability to apply knowledge and experience in the right way; in this case, a natural virtue rather than the first of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit

Vigilance: the ability to watch closely in order to avoid danger; in this case, the dangers that may befall your children through your own bad example

Accustom: make someone come to see something as normal and desirable

Strayed: wandered off, been unfaithful; in this case, acting in ways contrary to what is best for them

Haven: a safe place, a refuge

Merits: good deeds or virtuous actions that are pleasing in God's sight