top of page
  • Writer's pictureDawn Ward

Bible Verses to Pray Over Your Struggling Son

Updated: Apr 18

I am the mom of a son who is struggling. I pray this message and these verses will give you hope if your son (or daughter) is hurting.

“He has told you, O Man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 ESV

Are you raising a son? Or has your son suddenly become a man with responsibilities of his own? As Christian mothers of boys, we love nothing more than to watch our sons grow to be godly men who love the Lord, are kind to others, and learn to work hard and accept responsibility.

But raising children is not easy these days. The obstacles we are up against are more challenging that ever before. Today, our children face health and safety concerns amid a global pandemic, questions regarding gender identity in a culture that has made it confusing, and fear as they are exposed to intensifying hatred in the world around them.

These are some significant hurdles we face raising sons today, right? But all is not gloom and doom because, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have hope and help in raising our children in these uncertain times. Whether your son is a five, fifteen, or fifty-year-old, you will always have influence in this life.


As we move from being moms of wild and carefree boys to determined, hard-working men, we will continue to play an important role in their lives. And while our roles will change throughout the years from being nurturers and protectors to confidants and encouragers, we will always be their moms. It is our job to guide them through these transitional, sometimes difficult, phases of their lives.


Why Our Sons Struggle

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”


My sons are both adults now. To say they had their fair share of struggles is an understatement. As children, they were naïve to the difficulties that lie ahead for them. They have suffered emotionally and physically. They experienced both broken hearts and empty bank accounts. They felt the sting of rejection in business and in relationships.


Still, the most difficult struggles they faced were those of addiction and mental health issues. As their mom, there was no band-aide big enough to heal those wounds. You know the saying, “Little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems?” For our family, this was definitely the case.


The deeply woven layers of emotions and decisions that led to their use of drugs is too complicated to unravel in this blog. Insecurity, trauma, compromise, bitterness, lust, sin, pride. The list goes on as to the reasons our adult children make poor choices. Teenagers, longing for independence, rebel against their parents’ authority. Young children act out because they cannot express the pain they feel when taunted on the playground. The truth is, it’s difficult being a kid (or a parent) these days. Gratefully, they both are doing well today, and as a result, I have learned much about how to encourage them through the trials we experienced.

people with arms around each other outdoor

When to Encourage Your Struggling Son

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.” Proverbs 1:8-9 ESV

As our sons mature, they will need to learn to handle their own problems. Getting in the middle of their mess and trying to fix it is not the answer. It’s about as helpful as trying to clean up a gallon of spilled milk with a cotton swab. They need to learn to turn to God for help and how to fix their problems themselves.

Your sons may still be young. If that is the case, make their independence your goal. It will benefit both of you in the long run.

I have found the following to be helpful when trying to encourage my struggling sons.

Ten Ways to Encourage Your Son

1.     Encourage him to know Christ.

“if you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 ESV

Pray your son will accept Jesus as his Savior and learn to lean on him, not only during the good times, but in the hard times he will face. Encourage him to seek the Lord and trust him in his trials.


2.     Encourage him in his character.

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments.” Psalms 119:9-10 ESV

Pray your son will develop godly character and that he will be uncompromising in his faith, a man of honorable character. Encourage him to honor God with his attitude and behavior.


3.     Encourage him in his confidence.

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 NIV

Pray that your son will grow in confidence. Encourage him to remember that his confidence should come from knowing he is a child of God, not based on performance or achievement.


4.     Encourage him in his choices.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:12-13 ESV

Pray your son will make wise choices that honor God. Encourage him to be careful to think of the long-term benefits and consequences of the choices he makes. Encourage him to ask for forgiveness when his choices hurt others. Remind him that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes, so freely give and receive grace when necessary.


5.     Encourage him in his community.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34 ESV

Pray your son will surround himself with people who encourage each other in their faith. Encourage him to connect with like-minded believers who will be there to love and support each other.


6.     Encourage him in his calling.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

Pray that your son will embrace the gifts and calling the Lord has for him. Encourage him to seek wise counsel as he moves forward in his calling. Encourage him to do all for the glory of God.


7.     Encourage him in his self and soul care.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV

Pray your son takes care of his body and nourishes his soul. Encourage him to exercise, rest, and eat well. Remind him to take care of his soul by spending time with the Lord in prayer and reading the Bible. Encourage him to praise and worship the Lord, along with cultivating a quiet, peaceful environment to renew his mind and spirit.


8.     Encourage him in his challenges.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

Pray your son will face his challenges without fear of failure. Encourage him to not retreat because of personal weakness, but to rely on Jesus’ strength to empower him to accomplish the challenges set before him.


9.     Encourage him to be courageous.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 ESV

Pray your son will be filled with boldness in the face of adversity. Encourage him to remember he is not alone on this journey. God is with him and will help him when he is feeling overwhelmed.


10.  Encourage him to handle criticism.

“It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise man than to hear the song of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:5 ESV

Pray your son humbly receive constructive criticism. Encourage him to listen carefully to wise counsel that is intended for his benefit and to accept rebuke when it is appropriate.


Reminding our sons of their destiny is one of the best ways we can encourage them. Whether or not they are walking with the Lord does not change our responsibility as their mothers to share these truths with them. Prayerfully consider why your son is struggling before you speak to him. Then, trust the Lord to do the rest. He knows your son inside and out. He will give you wisdom as you seek to encourage your struggling son.

Man’s hands praying with Bible

A Prayer for Our Struggling Sons

Dear Lord.

We pray for our struggling sons. They are hurting, confused, and wrestling with tough decisions. Some have walked away from you, from their faith. We ask you to give us wisdom as we seek to be an encouragement to them.

May they call on you for wisdom and help in their time of need. May they be men of noble character, uncompromising in their faith. We pray they will not feel inferior but will grow in confidence, knowing that their identity is found in you. Lord, we pray their choices honor you and that they will always consider how their actions affect other people.

May they surround themselves with fellow believers who will encourage them in their faith as they build each other up.

May our sons know their callings. May they embrace the gifts and talents you have given each of them. May they use their gifts to help others and bring you glory. Lord, we pray our sons will take care of their physical and emotional health. May they not forget their bodies are gifts to be cherished and cared for. Father, as they face challenges and hardship, may they lean into your strength.

We pray they will not back down when they feel weary but will press on as they trust in you to accomplish your purpose in their lives.

May our sons be brave men. May they not fear when they hear evil reports of the events of this world. May they be firmly established and not waiver in faith as they boldly serve you. We pray our sons will be humble and teachable. May they always desire to honor you.

As their moms, we pray that we also will be humble women who love and honor you as we place our sons at your feet.

In Jesus’ name we pray.


(This revised blog was originally shared on, April 10, 2022.)

Author book

Coming Summer of 2024, From Guilt to Grace: Freedom and Healing for Christian Moms of Addicted Children by Dawn R. Ward.

For moms with children struggling with addiction and in need of support, look up her Facebook group, Christian Moms of Addicted Children.


Image Credits:

Man Praying - Pexels via

Friends - ©Helena Lopez via

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page