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Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur reviews a guidebook designed to aid parents of young adults in refining the ways they pray for their children.

When our children become adults, our relationship with them changes. Even if they continue to live in our homes, in most cases, our role becomes one of advisor and observer rather than one of hands-on mothering. When they move away, we might not even be aware of what is going on in their lives.  

Adult children may make decisions that break our hearts or face difficulties that we cannot fix, no matter how much we might want to make the situation go away. We may be filled with worry. It can be hard to know what to say or do. One thing we can always do, however, is pray. 

Praying for Our Adult Sons and Daughters: Placing Them in the Heart of God by John and Therese Boucher discusses different ways to pray for our children. The Bouchers advise us to “turn away from worry, depression, and fear” and trust in God’s love.




Turn toward God and take the time to describe your grown child or children’s needs as part of your daily prayers. (21)


We should also remember to thank God for every good thing about our children. 

Another thing we can do is pray for wisdom before we speak to our adult children, especially when it comes to touchy subjects. We can pray to the Holy Spirit for the right words to say. 

Sometimes, regret for things we have done or failed to do can weigh heavy on our hearts. We can acknowledge areas where we need to ask for forgiveness for our human failings from both God and our children. We can give “Jesus all of our broken relationships, our inner struggles, our guilt, our sins, and our harmful actions” (61). As we move forward in our relationships with our children, we can “ask for the gifts of compassion, forgiveness, and understanding” (67).  

Sometimes, despite our many prayers, it can seem like nothing is happening. What do we do when it seems like God is ignoring our prayers? We need to trust that God is working “even if the results of our prayers are invisible ... The act of praying for a loved one over a long period of time is in itself an act of faith” (75-76). God sees our children in the light of eternity. We must do what we can and leave the rest to God.  

In addition to praying for our children, we can also pray for other young adults. Groups of moms can band together to pray for each other’s children, helping to support each other and all our children in this important way.  

Like every parenting stage, parenting adult children has its joys and challenges. Ultimately, our adult children are responsible for their own choices, but we can always express our concern for them to God in prayer and ask Him to guide their steps. Praying for Our Adult Sons and Daughters is filled with practical suggestions on how to navigate this life stage and turn to God at all times.  

Ask for Praying for Our Adult Sons and Daughters at your local Catholic bookseller, or order online from Amazon.com or the publisher, Word Among Us Press.


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Copyright 2024 Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur
Images: Canva
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