A prayer for the kids who struggle

Maker of all the children –

I pray for those kids gasping for air under parental pressure, educational expectations and the crush of culture.

I pray for the uncoordinated, the uninvited and the seemingly uncooperative. I pray for those slower at soccer drills and times-tables and getting to the tuckshop. I pray for those fraught with the exhaustion of holding steady through long loud days.

I pray for kids suffering from debilitating over-achievement, and for kids – on the dreaded cusp of each new week – diagnosed with chronic Sunday-nightis. I pray for the ADDs and the HIVs and the SNEs and those with the sense of humour no one gets.

Let them come

Because this is written –

People brought babies to Jesus, hoping He might touch them. When the disciples saw it, they shooed them off. Jesus called them back. ‘Let these children alone. Don’t get between them and Me. These children are the Kingdom’s pride and joy.’ (Luke 18:15-17, MSG)

Jesus, You were never too busy for kids – always calling them close.

Call close the fringe kids battling fear, frustration or the bewilderment of abandonment. Please love on them – in ways that translate tangibly into their vast or stifling realities.

Keep them calm

Give these kids a knowing that surpasses cognition and maturity – a knowing that You’re all about preparing them for adventure – not just easing their angst.

As you put them through the rigours of mind and muscle expansion, settle them with the peace that You’re the everywhere God – inside time and outside time at the same time – and You’re leading them into grace spaces where You already are.

Quiet and compose them where homework or gaping holes have left them agitated. Make up the difference. Fill in the blanks of friends, concentration or capacity.

Assure them that You will work out Your plans for their lives – for Your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. You won’t abandon them, for You made them.

You’re the grace-grip Father who says,

I will never under any circumstances desert you nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless, nor will I forsake you or let you down or relax my hold on you – assuredly not!


Make them strong

David wrote, ‘As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.

Where kids feel glaringly exposed, secure them with the soft-touch truth that they’re hidden beneath Your feathers.

And where kids feel victimized, overlooked or trapped between the rocks and hard places of unchanging circumstances, comfort them: it takes intense heat, pressure and darkness – for the longest time – to make brilliant, unbreakable diamonds.

Set them free

Free these kids from crushing self-consciousness. Make them less and less aware of themselves and their struggles – and more and more aware of others. Even as the iron sets in their spines – allowing them to stand happy and strong – keep them flexible, to bend easily and bless the downcast.

Hard seeds sown now will bear future fruit. But oh God, we each get just one childhood! Fill theirs with joy and an uncomplicated insouciance, multiplied by Your mercy.

For the sake of Your Kingdom, and Your glory,



. . .

Have a wonderful, wonder-filled weekend!

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  1. Dear Dalene,

    I can’t tell you how much this post echoed my heart’s cry. Abigail is really struggling at school with jealous girls who exclude and break her down to make themselves feel bigger. And my heart is breaking for her because I went through exactly the same thing. I hated school until the day I left. And she has such an open, bright little soul that just wants to love and be loved, and I don’t understand why she has to suffer like she is. So thank you for crying out for all the children who are caught in the brokenness of our world. Every part of me shouts, AMEN!

    As always, your writing cuts straight through all the bullshit and makes way for the Living Water to revive. Thank you.

    Love, Emma


    • Dearest Emma – I just love your Abi and I’m going to give her the biggest hug when next I see her! And indeed, here’s to less BS, more Living Water! 🙂 xxx


  2. Hi Dalene,

    Firstly, thank you for your amazing amazing blogs and your book Dragons and dirt. They have been so uplifting and helpful!

    Thank you.

    I’m nearing the end of your book Dragons and dirt, you mentioned your prayer manifesto for kids and that you would email it to those who asked, so I’m asking please!

    My second born has also has eye challenges. I feel like, with the help of the Holy Spirit, you have given me courage to be the best wife and mom I can, thank you.

    Love Lyndi



    • Hi Lyndi – thanks so much for being in touch! So thrilled to hear of God’s work in your life! Email me on dalene(dot)reyburn(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll send you the book 🙂


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