A Christmas Prayer for Parents with Broken Hearts

by | Dec 11, 2016 | what you can do | 11 comments

the-crossI’ve thought a lot about this blog as Christmas draws near. I wondered what I could offer you today – you whose son is an addict; you whose daughter has an eating disorder; you whose child struggles with a mental illness; you whose loved one relentlessly harms themselves; you whose off-spring is living the gay lifestyle or is transgender; whose child is repeatedly suicidal or is currently serving time in jail or prison.

You with the broken heart.

You with pain so deep you can’t find the right words to describe it.

You with heartache that cuts like a knife.

You who’s lost all hope.

“The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish” (Psalm 25: 17 NIV).

What could anyone ever write in a blog, or an email, or a letter that would help in the least or make any difference?

I wasn’t sure. Then I asked God, who knows all things, and He impressed me with one word: “Prayer.”

So, this I wrote a Christmas Prayer just for you.


O God,

Author of the Christmas story, assure these parents You’re still writing theirs – and their son or daughter’s. It’s not over yet.prayer7 Today is just one more chapter. Give them a renewed awareness of Your presence, in all the mess and the mystery with their child. When they encounter emotional triggers that fill their eyes with tears, bless them with divine comfort. Remind them You sent Your Son to wipe wet cheeks because our pain matters.

Father, walk closely with each dad and mom through these rough days and nights this holiday season. Help them not isolate in sadness or numb their pain in unhealthy ways. Lead them to a place of peace and joy, nestled in their Savior’s arms. Lead them to Your Word and to worship. Work powerfully through the Holy Spirit to do the impossible in their hearts. Thank you for understanding. Thank you for daily strength and endurance. Thank you for caring.

In the name of our Messiah, Jesus Christ, the infant King and Son of God. Amen.


May these Bible verses provide still more comfort:

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord (Psalm 27: 14).”

“No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame . . . (Psalm 25: 3).”

“Surely, you granted me eternal blessings and made me glad with the joy of your presence (Psalm 21: 6).”



  1. James k pawlak

    This was so needed for me and many others thank you!

    • Tom and Dena Yohe

      You’re welcome, James. God bless you and encourage you.

  2. Dorcas kibe

    My prayer for all these festive season

  3. Tricia

    Thank you SO MUCH for this prayer!!! This season is so tough – well, every season is tough! Just on ordinary days I find myself trying just to breathe, begging God for my next breath. Our son left almost 6 yrs. ago, changed his last name & wants nothing to do with us. He is 21 now & is doing very well for himself from the world’s perspective. He wants nothing to do with the LORD he once professed & shared with others. We are so shattered, and I fear this pain won’t end till I see my Savior.

    • Tom and Dena Yohe

      Tricia, thank you for your comment! We’re so glad you liked the prayer and are so sorry for how hard this season is. Six years is a long time to carry so much heartache and loss. Breathing deep when we feel extra stressed is so good and the Lord is the one who helps us keep breathing, right? Try not to project too far into the future; keep taking one day at a time like I’m sure you do. Just some days I’m also certain you grow weary. I pray the Lord will give you times when you can weep and release the pent-up hurt and then be ready to move forward again. A good Christian therapist would probably be very helpful. Grief is complicated when the one you’re grieving is still alive. Do you have a counselor you like? If not, go to psychologytoday.com and do a search for your zip code. You can also narrow the search to Christian counsleors. All the ones we know and trust in our area are listed there, so I think you could find someone that way. I’m so sorry God doesn’t give us any promises regarding the spiritual outcome with our children, but he does give us promises in our relationship with him. Maybe focusing on those will uplift your spirit this time of year?

      “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).

  4. Jo

    Ok, now I need a tissue! Thank you for praying for me and my kids. They fit in more than one of those troubled categories and running to anything else but the Source of life that they desperately need. Thank you for understanding. #feelingblessed

    • Tom and Dena Yohe

      Jo, I am so sorry. Be comforted as you remember that the Lord weeps with you. He’s collecting all your tears in his bottle and one day he will wipe them all away. Until that day, he will be your strength and comfort. He will continue to be the source of all you need to keep going. And he understands more than anyone else ever could, but it sure does help to find people who understand, too, doesn’t it? Jesus bless you tonight!

      “My heart is in anguish . . . but I call to God, and the Lord saves me . . . and he hears my voice.” (Ps. 55:4, 16-17)

  5. Vonda

    Thank you for your encouraging words and prayer. Several of our friends have also experienced the struggles and heartache with their prodigal children. Our support of each other and websites like yours are life-savers! Praying for reconciliation and reuniting of parents and their kids all over this country at this special time of year. Keep up the great work! P.S. Loved your book and your broadcast with Family Life Today.

    • Tom and Dena Yohe

      Vonda, Thank you for your comment and for letting us know you find our blog encouraging. And a super big thank you for telling me know you liked my book and our Family Life broadcast! I hope you don’t mind if I ask you to post a review on Amazon click here? The more the better to help others find it.
      We hoped our website would be a great resource and a life-saver. We sure needed that when we were going through our toughest days, but couldn’t find much. Yes, bless you for joining your prayers with others for the reconciliation and reuniting of families, especially this time of year. God bless you for your caring heart for hurting parents.

  6. Debbie

    Thank you for asking the Lord what to share in this blog. I receive these encouraging words and His Word to grow hope in my heart and sight.

    • Tom and Dena Yohe

      We pray that the Word of God – and other messages he gives you through his people – will grow hope in your heart. May he continue to encourage and uplift you in this hard place. He is our Prince of Peace, today and always.