How to Pray Effectively for a Rebellious Teen

When a teenager rebels against parents and parental values, the result can be troubling for the child, the parents and the family as a whole. Sometimes in the face of challenge and crisis, the best thing to do is turn it over to God. Praying effectively for a teenager engaging in rebellious or risk-taking behavior can be an important step toward forgiving the child and restoring the relationship, offers the Focus on the Family website.

Increase your prayer frequency and fervency regarding your teenager, advises the Shiloh Christian Children’s Ranch website 1. Although you may feel ineffective and powerless to do much to control your teenager, you have the power of prayer available to you at any hour of the day or night.

Ask God to protect your teenager from all harm -- physical, emotional and spiritual. Ask God to protect, direct and guide your child’s thoughts, decisions and actions. Ask God to reach your child and capture his attention, correcting him with love and mercy, advises Dennis Rainey, author and president of FamilyLife ministry 2.

Pray for courage, faith, energy, strength and wisdom for yourself to parent your child effectively. Ask God to help you forgive your child, when necessary, and to avoid parenting in a harsh or angry manner. Ask God to help you guide your family toward healing and resolution. Parenting a child in rebellion can be disheartening and exhausting for parents, warns the Focus on the Family website. The renewal, peace and strength you can gain from a close relationship with God can keep you going in the midst of the parenting challenges.

Approach spiritual mentors, clergy, friends and family to ask for prayers for your child and the entire family, suggests Rainey. Specifically, ask for protection and guidance for your child and for strength and wisdom for you as you navigate the process of parenting your child.

Use prayer in both formal and informal ways throughout the day. While spending time in prayer on your knees in private is important, there will likely be many times throughout the day when issues arise or you just need a fast connection with God. In these situations, the New Testament instruction in First Thessalonians 5, chapter 17 to “pray continually” can be both effective and comforting. While you’re driving to work and thinking about your child, send a prayer up to God for protection for your child and strength for you throughout the day. When you see a confrontation coming with your child, say a fast prayer for divine inspiration to help you handle the issue positively.