We recently went through a difficult time with one of our older children. Okay, that’s not completely honest — while I am writing this, we are still struggling with some serious issues with our child. As with most of our struggles, I turned in anguish to the Lord and offered it up in prayer, storming heaven unrelentingly.

I screamed at God, as I prayed, “He is yours, not the evil ones! He belongs to you. You said so, by the grace of the sacrament of his baptism and his confirmation. In your word, you promise me that, ‘If I train him up in the way he should go, when he is older he won‘t depart from it’ (Prv 22:6, paraphrased). He is yours and you are his, Lord, LISTEN TO ME … my bruised heart is crying out and I choose to believe in YOU!”

Later that evening, my husband and I became immersed in a discussion about prayers for our children (especially the teens and young adults). My husband knows that I have started to actively pray sacred Scripture for my children, and he asked me to write down some of the verses I have prayed.

Fill my children with love for you, that they would love you, “with all (their) heart and with all (their) soul and with all (their) mind.” Matthew 22:37-40 resonates with me. So do some other verses: Proverbs 22:6, and for my daughters Proverbs 31:10-31 about a good wife, Proverbs 2:1-22 on wisdom, Proverbs 4:20-27, and Ephesians 6:1-3, among others.

Praying Scripture may seem foreign, but Christ did it and we are to be imitators of Christ. Catholics often think they don’t know how to pray Scripture, but almost all the words of the Mass are from Scripture … they do it all the time, they just don’t realize it. Learning to pray Scripture does take some discernment; the Bible has verses in it that can mean completely different things if taken out of context. It is important to read the whole passage and seek help in the footnotes or from a priest, religious or catechist if you are still unsure about what a certain reading means.

That night, before we stopped looking for verses to pray for our children, my husband asked me to read the Gospel of John 17 to him. It was read the week before Pentecost and it had touched him deeply. As I read the words of the Lord out loud, I was struck by the similarity of the words he prayed to his Father as mine had been for my son. He asked the Father to watch over us and claim us for his own; those were the words I had prayed for my own child. That is divine inspiration. Blessings and peace.