Pray the Scriptures for Your Adult Children

Jodie Berndt, who has raised four kids who are now adults, understands the power of praying for your children. “Praying God’s will for your children involves several key principles. One of the most powerful principles is ‘Scripture praying.’ When we pray the promises of God for our children, our faith increases because we are praying back the very words of God. Because they come straight out of the Bible itself—they carry the full weight and power of God’s word. Faith in the word of God is the most powerful force there is. Those things we see as impossible mountains in the lives of our children can be removed by praying the promises of God.”

Jodie also knows that all parents who are now empty nesters realize that parenting doesn’t stop when your children become adults. In fact, it becomes even more vital because their choices can have lifelong consequences. In addition, parents don’t have the automatic community of other parents that they used to have. Jodie explains, “Here’s the thing about praying for our adult children. First the issues are harder… As empty nesters… most of us don’t have a parenting community. We can’t sit in the park and ask another mom for advice while our children play on the monkey bars.” That’s why Jodie felt led to write this book which targets empty nesters. She wants them to know that they are not alone. Helping parents pray effectively, each chapter focuses on a different stage of adulthood, with practical insights and encouraging stories from parents who have prayed their children through college choices, career concerns, relationship challenges, health concerns, and more. Jodie shares a personal example of praying for her daughter Virginia when she got a summer internship in New York City. After a few weeks at her new job, Jodie went for a visit. “When the taxi driver pulled up to her door after dark, I was sure he was mistaken. ‘This can’t be it,’ I said, eyeing the neon lights of the strip club that seemed to take up most of the building… Needless to say I was glad it was just for the summer… and that I knew some good prayer verses to use as I asked God to keep my girl safe!” Jodie shares prayers that anyone can use at the end of each chapter addressing topics such as:

  • Part 1: Praying for your Adult Child
  • Part 2: Praying for Your Adult Child’s Relationships
  • Part 3: Praying through the Milestones in Your Adult Child’s Life
  • Part 4: Praying for Your Adult Child’s Health, Safety, and Well-Being
  • Part 5: Praying for Your Adult Child’s Victory Over Temptation

Jodie addresses cultural trends such as couples living together before marriage and young adults leaving the church, as well as the painful realities of loneliness, addiction, and mental health issues. With hope-filled words for the parents of the prodigal, she is particularly sensitive to the long-term prayers we offer, even as we doubt ourselves and grieve over our children’s choices.

When children grow into adults, things don’t always go as planned. Jodie says, “Pain, rejection, and loss—prayers that don’t get answered like we want them to—feel like such negative things. When our suffering invites us to press into God… It becomes an agent of beauty.” It is okay to grieve through sadness and disappointments. Jesus told us that “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NIV). Trusting in God rather than outcomes is vital. The tough issues in life teach all of us how to wait on God. Perpetual prayer teaches perseverance. Embracing God through prayer brings peace. “And finally, you really can have peace, even in life’s messiest moments.” Jodie has also written a free study guide for parents to accompany the book. It can be downloaded from www.JodieBerndt.com.

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


Author of eight books, latest in Praying the Scriptures series: Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children (Zondervan, 2017) with free study guide available on www.JodieBerndt.com

Praying the Scriptures for Your Children (Zondervan, 2001) and Praying the Scriptures for Your Teenagers (Zondervan, 2007)

She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia and is a former television writer and producer for The 700 Club


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