When Parents Pray Till Their Knees Get Sore

Have you ever dropped to your knees with tears streaming down your face and whispered a prayer, “God, please help my child!”

I’m not just talking about small children or teenagers I also include adult children. My mother is seventy-two, and she still prays for me. Her mother, my grandmother is ninety-four and still prays for her children.

When my kids were young, I had this idea that when they were grown my prayers would be retired. I have learned this is untrue. For some of my children, my prayers have increased since they were married.

Eythan, my baby, married Jazmin last summer and their lives have been kind of crazy since their wedding. Jazmin has cancer, and her tumours have grown this year. We are praying daily for her and Eythan. Being newlyweds has its challenges for any couple but throw in moving between Arizona, USA and Sudbury, Canada from month to month for cancer treatment, and being separated from each other for long periods, can make for a lonely marriage. They are doing their best, and we are proud of them, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need their loved ones to uplift them daily in prayer.

Eythan and Jazmin

Sometimes I want to tell God what to do. Get out my honey-do list and let God know what his priorities need to be. I have all the answers. Heal my daughter from cancer. Take away all her pain. End her suffering. Neat and tidy. Cindy knows what’s best.

Jazmin’s friend Gayle has been suffering lately with horrible pain due to cancer in her neck and needed a risky surgery to correct it. Gayle is only nineteen years old. Her parents have been on their knees praying for a miracle, they are relentless in their prayers and have clung to hope through this long journey. Gayle’s story and illness have touched many people’s hearts and taught us not to take our health for granted. She has also encouraged people to put their trust in God when life looks bleak. If anyone knows what it would feel like to have their neck in a trap, it’s Gayle! Gayle had her surgery, and it went well and her family is hopeful, but she has a long road to recovery. Please keep her and Jazmin in your prayers.

Gayle and Jazmin have a heart’s desire to obey God and serve him. Their illness is not a punishment, but they are both choosing to love God through their suffering.

In this video Gayle and Jazmin share what it is like to live with cancer and the questions they get asked:

This reminds me of a story:

Becky, who goes to the same gym as I, was telling me a story about her dog. (I have changed her name) She had taken her two dogs for a hike when one of her dogs saw something and went to check it out. Low and behold unbeknownst to her or the dog, it was an animal trap, and her dog’s neck was trapped tightly between two bars meant to snap an animal’s neck.

Becky frantically tried to open the trap and release her dog but no matter how hard she tried that trap was secure and unmoveable. She picked up her dog, with the trap, towed her other dog along and started hiking back to her vehicle. Then, believe it or not, she stepped into a snare and was trapped herself. Becky was able to get out of the snare with two dogs who were now panicking. She got the animals to the vehicle and drove as fast as she could to her friend’s house who was a trapper.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” -Deuteronomy 31:6.

When she arrived, she frantically banged on his door with the dog in her arms. She pleaded with him to help her dog. The trapper had a unique tool to release the clamp from the dog’s neck, and he survived and is going to be okay.

Becky loved her dog and knew exactly who to bring her baby to for help.

Her story reminded me of all the times I knew one of my children needed help, or guidance, or a change of heart, and sometimes I wanted to get out Mom’s bag of tricks, and just fix it right there on the spot. Some days I would pray and tell God what he should do, what Cindy thought was best. If God didn’t do what I wanted, I became ensnared in bitterness, which didn’t help my child at all.

Over the years I have learned to come to God with my children and offer them up to him. “God whatever it takes to change my child’s heart, please do it.” That can be a scary prayer to pray, but God only ever does what he thinks is best for our children. He knows if our child needs to go down a long dark path that leads to nothing before they will find the light, find wisdom, and find God.

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honour. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. -Proverbs 3: 13-18

God will allow our children at times to make their own choices, have their independence, decide what’s best for themselves, and to put their heads in traps.Then we pick them up and bring them to God and ask him to release the trap around their necks: drugs, alcohol, rebellion, pornography, cheating, violence…etc.

Being forced by God to do what’s right doesn’t build character. He allows our children to grow and draw close to him through their failures.  

Very rarely does God release the trap after one prayer. It’s usually prayer upon prayer upon prayer, along with many tears and begging and pleading. Then one day we see a glimmer of hope, a small loosening of the trap that is choking them. A tiny step towards their parents and what they know is right.

Or we see a child begin to heal from sickness.

Eventually, our children may be set free entirely. They can now reach out to others who are in the same trap they were once in, and may actually carry a tool that helps release the clamp on people who are struggling and open their eyes to the truth. Or our child can encourage people who are going through the same physical illness they survived.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” -Matthew 5:16

Are you a parent whose knees are sore? You’ve been praying for decades and have lost hope. Bring your child again to the Father who has the tools to heal your child spiritually or physically. Pound on his door relentlessly till he answers and comes out and releases your child from the trap that is choking them.

Never give up hope. Every child is reachable and precious to God. He has the tools your child needs to be free, to be well, to be wholeđź’—

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).

Believing and hoping,

Cindy Seatonđź’—





Author: cindyseaton69

I am the author of Beauty From Ashes: A Mother's Journey from Bitterness to Hope.