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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
128 pages
Jan 2005
Baker Books

31 Days of Prayer for My Child: A Parent's Guide

by Susan Yates & Allison Gaskins

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Day 1

If There’s a “Perfect Parent,” It’s Not Me!

Too often we see ourselves as failures. We have in mind an image of what the “Perfect Parent” looks like, and in raising a particular child we realize how far short we fall. What does God expect of me and why did he choose to give me this child?


God, I do not know how to handle this child. She knows just how to push all those buttons that get me fired up and angry—and she’s still so little! Sometimes she reflects the worst of me and I feel frozen. Couldn’t you have given me an easier child until I knew more about this parenting thing? I feel as if I am really messing up with this one. It’s overwhelming to think that you have entrusted this particular child to me.

My girlfriend is no help. She seems to have it all together. She doesn’t lose her temper. She studies her Bible and prays. She even looks nice. She makes parenting look easy. Is she for real? What’s her secret, Lord, and when are you going to fill me in?

Father, I’m so glad that you don’t really expect me to be a perfect parent.* There aren’t any! Not among my friends, not even in the Bible. We all mess up, but you don’t.

You did not make a mistake in giving me this child.* You created her with our family in mind. I know you are choosing each of my children specifically, sending them to us in the exact birth order you desire and giving each one a distinct personality. I know you are giving them to us not merely to raise but also in order for you to use each one to grow me into the person you have created me to be.*

Make me open to what you might be teaching me through this child. Remind me that in my imperfection you are perfect, and in my weakness you are strong.* Teach me something special through this child. Use her to reveal to me fresh insights about your character.


For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

PSALM 100:5

Scripture references (in order of starred references in prayer): Psalm 103:13–14; James 1:7; Psalm 102:28; 2 Corinthians 12:9


My prayer for my child today:



The character trait of God that I will focus on today:

(Thank you, Lord, that you are . . .)



A promise of Scripture for today:



Keep This Child Safe

Most mothers will tell you that their greatest fears are for their child’s safety. We would gladly give our own lives to protect our children. It is normal to worry about their safety—one glance at the nightly news reinforces all our worst fears. Yet, we do not need to live lives imprisoned by this fear.


Lord, I know it’s unreasonable, but I have this fear that the moment I turn my back or leave my child with a babysitter, something terrible is going to happen! Sometimes my fear for his physical safety is so real that it takes my breath away. I know I can really do nothing to control all the circumstances of his life, but I still try! Isn’t that part of a mother’s job description?

Today, Father, I ask you one simple thing. Please keep my child safe!

You know what this child means to me. You care about both of us even more than I can comprehend. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise!* You have said that the greatest in your kingdom must be like a little child.* You asked little children to come to you and be near you, and you blessed them.* You call each of us the apple of your eye* so I know you care about my child!

You shield the ones you love like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young.* You even fiercely defended children, saying that if anyone brought them harm it would be better to have a stone tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea.* So, Lord, I know that my child’s safety is something that concerns you greatly. Thank you. I do trust your will, Father—but I know it is a reality of life that some harm may come to my child. Sometimes I fear that you may allow pain to be part of your plan for him, and I admit that scares me.

You have told us not to worry, Lord—that it won’t even add a single hour to our lives.* That is far easier said than done, but I will try! I give you my fears today, Lord. I know that you are God and I am not. I know that your angels surround my child and that these angels see your face in heaven.* Thank you, Father.


He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

PSALM 91:1–2

Scripture references (in order of starred references in prayer): Psalm 8:2; Matthew 18:4; Mark 10:14–16;

Psalm 17:8; Deuteronomy 32:11; Matthew 18:6; Matthew 6:27, 31; Matthew 18:10

My prayer for my child today:



The character trait of God that I will focus on today:

(Thank you, Lord, that you are . . .)



A promise of Scripture for today:





Today I Accomplished Nothing

Mothers with small children oftentimes feel that they don’t accomplish very much. Their days seem to blur with repetition of the same tasks and no real feeling of progress. This can even be downright depressing! “Does anyone else feel like I do? Does anyone understand?”


Lord, today I am frustrated!

I feel as if I have accomplished nothing. My house and my life are in worse shape now than they were when I woke up this morning—and it didn’t help when my husband came home this evening and asked innocently, “Hi, honey, what did you get done today?” I didn’t get anything done. I just got through it.

God, you remember when I had a job outside the home and I felt appreciated. I set goals and accomplished them. I felt a sense of progress. I had job reviews and incentives and a salary! But today I haven’t made much progress. The house I cleaned this morning is dirtier than ever. The kids haven’t started quoting Bible verses or even picked up the toys I asked them to. No one has appreciated me. What child would say, “Hey, Mom, you’re doing a great job of raising me!”?

I’m feeling lower than low, and I really need a little encouragement that this is all worthwhile.

Thank you, Jesus, that you understand how I feel.* When your neighbors in Nazareth rejected you and tried to throw you over a cliff, you must have been discouraged and wondered if you were accomplishing anything worthwhile.* You must have been frustrated in the Garden of Gethsemane when you asked three of your disciples to watch and pray with you and they fell asleep instead.*

Father, when my child faces frustration and discouragement in life, remind him that your love for him is never wavering. It is always the same,* always higher than the heavens.*

I am so grateful that you understand how I feel and that your love for me is not based on my accomplishments. You don’t love me because I’m a good wife or a good mother or because I’m successful. Instead you love me simply because I belong to you.


The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you

with singing.


Scripture references (in order of starred references in prayer): Hebrews 2:17–18; Luke 4:28–30; Matthew 26:36–41;

Hebrews 13:8; Psalm 108:4

My prayer for my child today:



The character trait of God that I will focus on today:

(Thank you, Lord, that you are . . .)



A promise of Scripture for today: