It started out as a mother-son tiff about screen time. My kids had just meandered downstairs from their bedrooms, in full Spring Break relaxation mode. My son reached for the iPad, and my eyebrows shot up. “You’re not planning to start with screens already, are you?” I asked.
We were several days into spring vacation at this point, and Mother Nature had not been kind. While hailstones, snow, and icy rain took turns falling from the sky, we were cooped up inside, lamenting the fact that we had not fled South this year.
I’d waged a battle for days, trying to keep the kids’ screen hours limited, challenging them to do some chores or find their own fun when they complained about being bored. “You guys need to enjoy real life” became my mantra for the week. So when my son picked up the iPad that morning, our conversation was just a continuation of this screen time struggle.
Now, you need to know the my son and I are a lot alike. Maybe too alike. And this doesn’t always work out well for us when it comes to anxiety and conflict. I couldn’t retrace the conversation if I wanted to, but somehow that one question of mine turned into a scene that could rival Shakespeare for its drama.
I’m talking full existential crisis here, with tears, fears, and questions about human purpose and worth.
So there we sat, both of us with our emotions completely unraveled, anxious feelings scattered all over our hearts. And we hadn’t even eaten breakfast yet. . . Isn’t Spring Break just awesome?
Turning Stressful Situations Around
So how in the world do you come back from a fiasco like that? Only God’s grace can save us from ourselves in these out-of-hand situations. At least, I know that’s what happened for my family that morning.
Because as I sat there, my nerves just one word shy of a breakdown, God reminded me of something: The stack of prayer cards sitting in the drawer beside me.
I made these cards during a Bible study last year, and they contain Bible verses that I hand-picked to fight against some of my biggest fears and failures. The truths on those cards—and the prayers I wrote based on them—have become little lifelines for me during times when I’m struggling with doubt or emotional overload.
So I pulled the cards from the drawer and explained to my son what they were all about, sharing that I too, can be full of doubts and fears at times. I read a couple of the verses to him, and then my personal prayers too.
And friends, I can’t even explain how powerful that experience was. God’s truths diffused all the stress and anxiety that had stormed into our lives that morning. As we picked out a couple verses for our situation and prayed them together, I saw my son completely transformed. His shoulders relaxed. His smile and lighthearted humor returned.
Being reminded of God’s love and forgiveness lifted the weight off both our hearts.
Whatever trouble Satan had been trying to stir up in our house that morning, he was sorely disappointed. Because in the end, God’s truth pulled our hearts back to plumb, and drew us closer together in the process.
Sharing Scripture With Your Kids
After that experience with my son, I decided he should have his own set of prayer cards to turn to when he’s feeling overwhelmed. We actually worked together to pick out a few verses with truths that can help with some of the “big” emotions that plague kids. And I taught him how he can “pray them back” to God by turning each verse into a petition for God’s help.
I’m hoping this will be just the start for him—of a lifelong pattern of praying Scripture in the face of fear. And now, we want to share these verses with you, so you can put the power of God’s Word to work in your own stressful moments.
I wanted to make it super-easy for you to implement this idea with your family, so I’ve created a set of free printable Scripture cards you can use. Each card includes a Bible verse, as well as a short prayer to help kids pray that Scripture back to God.
As you read through the verses and prayers I share below, let me offer just one last word of advice: Before you share these scriptures with your kids, make these verses your own. Something powerful happens when we open ourselves up and let our kids see that we struggle with worry and fear too. Our very example shows them the truth: It’s only human to experience these emotions at times. But we also have a Source of love and strength to help us through them.
So I hope these Scriptures and prayers will be a blessing to your home. May you hear God’s reassuring truth and experience his calming peace in the midst of your next emotional storm!
When You Feel Scared
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deut. 31:8
Dear God, I feel so worried right now. Will you please give me courage? Help me to trust you take the next step forward, even though I’m feeling scared. Help me to remember that you will be with me wherever I go. Amen
When You Feel Nervous
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” Prov. 3:5-6
Dear God, I’m so nervous right now! I can’t stop thinking about how it will all turn out, and I’m afraid it might not go the way I want it to. Please give me trust right now—help me to really believe that you will make my path straight, no matter how this turns out. And help me to rely on you, not just on my own thinking or skill. Amen
When You Feel Rejected
“I pray that you . . . may have the power to understand how broad and long, how high and deep, is Christ’s love. Yes, may you come to know his love—although it can never be fully known—and so be completely filled with the very nature of God.” Eph. 3:17-19
Dear God, I feel left out. It really hurts when others don’t include me or treat me poorly. Please help me to remember that I am always loved by you. In fact, you love me so much, I can’t even understand how big that love is! Thank you. And please fill me up with your love so that I can help others who might be hurting too. Amen
When You Feel Guilty
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9-10:
Dear God, I feel bad about myself because I don’t always do the right things. Sometimes I mess up and do things that hurt people. Sometimes I don’t do good things that I know I should. I confess this to you and am truly sorry about it. Help me to remember that you forgivene, and to know in my heart that you aren’t holding my mistakes against me, but that you want to help me make better choices next time around. Thank you for giving me fresh start, Jesus. Amen
When You Fear Failure
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. . . . What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Rom. 8:28, 31
Dear God, I’m really scared that I might mess up. What if I make a mistake and everything goes wrong? Help me to remember that even if I make a mistake, you will use it for a good purpose. Help me to relax because I know you love me and that you are for me, no matter what happens. Amen
When You Feel Worthless
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Eph. 2:10:
Dear God, I’m feeling really down about myself today. It just feels like I’m not good at anything and I can’t do anything right. But I know you created me, and you make masterpieces, not worthless junk. Help me to remember that. And please show me one “good work” that I can do for You today. Amen
When You Feel Like You Just Can’t Do It
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isa. 41:10
Dear God, I don’t think I can do this. I just don’t think I have what it takes. Yet the Bible reminds me that even if I’m weak, you can strengthen me. You can hold me up with your hands and help me do hard things. Please help me, God. Help me to remember that you are with me and you will give me everything I need to make it through. Amen
When You Feel Worried
“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.” Phil. 4:6-7:
Dear God, I feel so worried right now, it makes everything feel heavy. Please help me to hand these worries over to you. I know that worry doesn’t really accomplish anything, but praying does. So help me to make requests to you instead of trying to figure it all out myself. And help me to remember all the good things I can be thankful for. Please give me your peace, God. Amen.
When You Feel Like Everyone Is Mad At You
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves, He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zeph 3:17
Dear God,It feels like everyone is angry at me right now. Will you please be with me in this and help save me from this situation? Show me if there’s something I need to do to make things right. And when I’ve done my part to fix things, help me to remember that you love me, you delight in me, and you do no rebuke me. Amen
When You Feel Overwhelmed
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22
Dear God, Everything feels out of control right now. I am overwhelmed, and I don’t know what to do. Help me to remember that I don’t have to handle all of this on my own, because I can bring all these cares to you, God. Thank you for your promise to sustain me, to take care of me. Please give me peace and help me not to feel so shaken by these worries. Help me to trust in You. Amen