I’ve found turning to scripture and being reminded of God’s character (and that even our favorite Bible heroes had their own struggles in their lives) to be very encouraging in all the challenges that come with special needs parenting.
The special needs parenting journey can be lonely. It can be overwhelming. It can lead to a deep grief, depression, and/or an overwhelming anxiety you’ve never experienced before. You may be struggling in your faith and believing that God is good and cares for you and your child(ren). I know the struggles well, because both of my precious sons have multiple diagnoses.
Below are 20 of my favorite scriptures that have encouraged me on my special needs parenting journey, and I pray it does for you too. Feel free to print this list out and go through each verse one at a time. Consider praying one a day, or journaling your thoughts about it, or printing them out on cards and putting them around your house. Make them personal to your situation, your struggles, your journey.
There is power in God’s word, and there’s also power in our prayers. When you combine those two powers together, wow, get ready to see God move in mighty ways in your life, your heart, and your faith, as you continue along this special need parenting journey.
20 scriptures for special needs parents to pray
- Pray that you would remember how tenderly God loves you and your child(ren). “He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and holds them close to his heart; he gently leads those who have young.” Isaiah 40:11
- Pray that you would experience the rest and restoration and the peace and provision your soul needs from God. “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:1-4
- Pray that God would give you strength to persevere in your special needs parenting journey. “He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall: but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31
- Thank God that though this special needs parenting journey is hard, it allows you to experience God’s power in new ways. “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
- Pray that you would be able to release your burdens to God and embrace His peace for you. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
- Pray that you would be able to persevere in all you do to care for your children and remember that everything you do is all for His glory. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
- Pray that you would always remember that you and your child(ren) were crafted for a purpose and are precious to God. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14
- Thank God that He is with you every step of the way in your special needs parenting journey. “Be strong and courageous, do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
- Pray that you would trust God’s plan and purpose for your life and the life of your child(ren). “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
- Pray that you would surrender your life and your child’s life to God, with humility. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
- Pray that you would be open to what God is teaching you in your struggles and in your special needs parenting journey. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:2-3
- Praise God that He provides the comfort we need in our journey so that we can then comfort other special needs parents who are journeying alongside or behind us. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
- Thank God that He is near when you find yourself struggling with the grief, anxiety or depression that is common in the special needs parenting journey. “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:17-18
- Pray that you would see God’s purpose and God’s glory in your special needs parenting journey and in your special needs child(ren). “As he went along, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:1-3
- Pray that you would grow in all the fruit of the spirit along this special needs parenting journey. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23
- Pray that you would not be so focused on your child’s weaknesses and struggles that you miss what matters most: their heart. “The LORD does not look at the things that people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
- Pray that God would give you the strength and contentment to help you enjoy life despite its challenging circumstances. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13
- Pray that God would provide you with a good Christian friend or Christian community (or allow you to have opportunities to meet with your godly friends and community), who can share in your special needs parenting journey. “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
- Thank the Lord that He knows what it is like to be overwhelmed and wanting things to change. Pray that despite your feelings you would surrender to God’s will as Jesus did. “My soul is overwhelmed to the point of death.” Going a little farther, [Jesus] fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the awful hour awaiting him would pass him by. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:34-36
- Pray that you would be filled with hope as you continue in your special needs parenting journey. “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.” Romans 15:13
You can get a printable copy of this list of scriptures as well as some other encouraging faith-based resources for your special needs parenting journey by subscribing here.
Here’s to embracing this special life together!
Jenn Soehnlin is a mother to two boys who are precious blessings and who both have special needs. She is the author of Embracing This Special Life: Learning to Flourish as a Mother of a Child with Special Needs.