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Halloween isn’t scary. Prayer is scary.

I love a good “controlled” scare. Would you believe there’s evidence that it might actually be beneficial? (ABC News, Spooky Health Effects of a Good Scare)

A good jump scene in a movie. Someone sneaking up behind me. And I have a special fondness for scary roller coasters.

My son—grown, out of college, and on his own—still delights in making his mama shriek. But Mama has a few scary tricks up her own sleeve.

Now that my kids are grown and my nest is empty, I’m always looking for creative ways to stay in touch with them. One of the things I do is text them first thing in the morning. It’s nothing long and, since it’s delivered before 6AM, it doesn’t usually elicit a response.

Most days the text is something along the lines of:

Good morning! I love you and am praying for your day. A good verse to hide in your heart: insert familiar scripture. 

But one day I sent something a little different.

I sent a scary prayer.

“I love you and hope you have a great day! My prayer for you today:
Lord, if there’s anything unhealthy, unwholesome or unholy in Scott or Sarah’s lives, please bring it to a quick end. In Jesus’ name.”

“MOM,” shot back child #1, “what the HECK?”

“Really, Mom?” fired child #2.

Yes, really. I didn’t have any reason to believe there was anything going on, but I can’t possibly know everything that’s happening in their lives. I love them too much NOT to pray a scary prayer and ask God to redirect an errant path.

I remember when they were younger and at home. I longed for the day when they were grown and I’d no longer need to worry about them.


Adult children need just as much prayer as teenagers and elementary kids!

I cringe when I remember some of the detours I took as a young adult. I try not to let my mind wander down the paths of what-might-have-been. It’s not hard to break into joyful songs of praise as I thank the Lord for sparing me. And I ask Him to continue sparing me from my questionable decisions.

Then I ask Him to do the same for my children.

And, if you’ve read this far, for YOU.

O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me…
Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
~Ps 139:1,24 (nlt)

A scary prayer of #faith: Point out anything in me that offends You (Ps 139:24a) Click To Tweet

Scary Prayer

Have you ever prayed a scary prayer?
Please share in the comments

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  1. Jamie Britt

    Hey Susan, I loved this post-as I do with all of your writing! Yes, I’ve prayed scary prayers. My parents aren’t saved, so I’ve prayed on many scary prayers. “Lord whatever it may take, do it.” That’s a scary prayer, for sure. Love you, my sweet friend!

    • Susan

      You’re right, sweet Jamie — that’s very scary! You’re such a good example for your parents. I know the Lord will honor that witness 🙂 Love you, too!

  2. Bonnie Wallace

    Susan, I’ve often prayed for my children to get “caught”. I ask God to reveal their offenses so they can have consequences and instruction that shape them for His glory. Honestly, there are times when ignorance would be bliss and life would be so much easier with the turn of the head. It’s here, that God reminds me of how He suffers long over me and loves me enough to mold me to my potential. It’s a harder road, but well worth it!Thank you for wise words, my friend.

    • Susan

      You’re so right about ignorance being bliss, Bonnie. But I’d rather be molded earlier than after there are so many consequences to wade through. And my kids knew I prayed for them to get caught, too! Remind me to tell you the prayer for God to “gently derail” them. It’s fabulous!

  3. Hester Christensen

    So good to read your work Susan. Thanks for keeping it real. Miss you dear, 😉 love, Hester

    • Susan

      Hester! Gracious, I did a happy dance when I saw your name in the comments. I miss you too and will shoot you an email to catch up. I’ll bet those handsome sons of yours are taller than you!
      Warm hugs from VA

  4. Diane W. Bailey

    I love this Susan. I have prayed for my children to get caught and stopped when they do anything that will separate them from God. They have heard this prayer…they really don’t like this prayer! Happy Halloween, Susta!

    • Susan

      Yeah, Di — mine still hate it, but it makes them think! And hopefully make a better choice 🙂
      Thank you for stopping by. I’m still basking in the fun from our Allume weekend. Love you!

  5. Cathy Baker

    Susan, it’s a blessing seeing your name in my inbox again!

    I prayed a similar prayer for our boys throughout their childhood. Now our boys are grown with families of their own…but they just might receive a text from their mom tomorrow morning. Love the idea!

    Love you more.

    • Susan

      And you know I love seeing your name in the comment list, Cathy! I know you continue to cover your sons in prayer. I’ll bet they enjoy getting a text from Mom 🙂
      Love you, friend!

  6. Marcia Moston

    Well, that is one way to get a response! Love how the holy Spirit helps us keep track of the kids. And so good to see you in all places–the dressing room of Anthropologie!

    • Susan

      I know, Marcia — how funny was THAT? I can still see that shocked look on your face. Two “seasoned” ladies at Anthropologie, who would guess! So glad we could catch up. I hope you got some good info for your article.

  7. Julia Tomiak

    Susan, what a great idea! I’ll have to try this on my kids sometime. I’m sure I’ll get a similar response. Sometimes it’s so hard to know just the right thing to pray – yours covers a multitude of worries.
    In light of everything that has gone on with Hannah Graham, who graduated from my high school, I’ve been thinking a lot about the close calls I had as a teen and thanking God for watching over me. I now pray He will give the same guidance and protection to my children. The scary prayer is to let go and trust in Him.

    • Susan

      Oh Julia, I can’t imagine the pain Hannah’s parents are experiencing, but I’m thankful for every day the Lord gives me with my kids. And you’re right — letting go and trusting Him isn’t easy, but He’s way better equipped to deal with them than I am.
      Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope we can get together before too much longer.

  8. Dolly@Soulstops

    I love this..and your kids are super blessed to have a praying, fun loving mom like you…Yes…continuing to pray for you as the holidays approach…((hugs))

    • Susan

      Thanks so much, Dolly. You’re a dear and we appreciate the prayers. It was good chatting with you.

  9. Debbie

    Such a good prayer to pray for your children and yourself. When I think back over some of the paths I took, I too cringe. How thankful I am for His mercy and grace. I also pray that the Holy Spirit would look into every crevice of my life and reveal anything that is not in line with His Word. As I surrender, it’s amazing how something I never thought of as an issue is revealed. I think the closer we desire to draw to Him, He grows us. Love that.

    Blessings and love,

    • Susan

      That prayer to reveal the dark places really is a hard one. He’s already searched us and known us, and He delights in shining His light into our darkness. He is GOOD.
      It’s good to see you here. Thank you for stopping by!

  10. Ginger Harrington

    Love this! You are so funny and so true. Ha-I’m texting my kids right now. Chuckle chuckle! Yes some prayers are scary, like “Lord, give me patience…”

  11. Glenda Mills

    Yes, to my own son years ago when he was far away from the Lord. I prayed “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you-Matt. 6:33. You can imagine my joy when some months later he tells me, “Mom I found the neatest scripture”…This was after 7 years of prayer and lots of tears. Praise God, that verse pierced his heart…at one time it would have been scary to him…but the Lord used it at just the right time as his heart was opening again to the things of the Lord. How Great is our God!!
    Thanks for sharing. It was a springboard of special remembrance. Love you sweet Susan!

  12. Anita Taylor

    Hahahaha… we didn’t have text back then…but I talked to Mark about Jenny and she was listening in….. and not accusing her and she confessed of what she did and she was sorry! while she was in college I always say to her that I don’t know what she is doing but that God Does!! Great post!!

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