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Prayer For A Rebellious Teenager

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Today we are sharing a prayer for a rebellious teenager and a prayer for that teen’s parents. We hope you find this helpful.

As a mom, and someone who was previously a teenager, I could have never prepared myself for the trials and tribulations of being a mother during the teenage years.

As Christian parents to toddlers, I thought we had it all figured out because wouldn’t spare the rod and spoil the child, but we were off base. We demanded obedience above all when my boys were little, and I see now that was a mistake. We demanded something from our children that we couldn’t do.

Love should have been our utmost focus. Love should have been the beginning and the end.

Don’t get me wrong, we thought we were parenting out of love, but we are flawed, sinful people. Our judgment of what is right, just, and holy can be wrong.

Interested in more like this? Read an open letter to my daughter or what you need to know when you marry my boy.

collage of parents with teens and a text overlay that reads love-led parenting everyone wins

Love-Led Parenting:

We are trying a different approach now that we have a teenage daughter. There was always unconditional love for our sons, but it was muddied, and I wish I could go back and do it again.

Our high standards and expectations boxed in our sons. If our teens viewed Jesus, our Father God, and the Holy Spirit through the lens of our parenting, they knew God the way I did.

When I was younger, I viewed God as an angry dad who wanted to “fix me.” I hate that I passed this on to my boys. It’s no wonder kids rebel against their parents.

In the age of bullying, social media, massive gun violence, and uncertainty in every corner, our home should be a refuge for our children.

Having our children memorize Bible verses and advocate daily prayer and family devotional time is not enough. We have to be there to live life with them.

Their lives.

We are meant to be an instrument of love in our children’s lives, not wrath. In some ways, I believe we facilitated a spirit of rebellion during their teen years by not being willing to let them have their own thoughts and be individuals.

Legalistic Parenting:

Sometimes as parents, we believe our children are just an extension of us, and we treat them like they belong to us instead of God.

We are so obsessed with our children going down the right path from such an early age that we don’t appreciate the journey God will use to take them exactly where he wants them to be.

We use God’s word as a weapon against our children instead of a healing balm. In many ways, we turn our children away from God.

Of course, God can use our sin against our children for their own good, but I don’t want to excuse my responsibility to my children.

Children in this country are hurting. They’ve experienced things during their lifetime that have changed them.

They need us to fight for them, hold them, and protect them.

Shepherd or Pharisee?

As Christ-followers, we get caught up in being the Jesus police.

We want to tell everyone else what to do while shouting for religious freedom. Ironically, we came to this country to flee religious persecution and have the freedom to worship God in the way we saw fit. Yet, everything we do now is about forcing our beliefs on others and taking away their freedom.

We do the same thing to our children.

We make a huge deal about modesty, sexual immorality, music, tv shows, and everything else that doesn’t matter. Our focus is always on the outward, not the heart.

We pray that our children will have the “right friends” when we should be praying that we are the best parents who can show love to them and their friends. Jesus didn’t surround himself with “good people.” He loved everyone.

Do you think a child can grow to show love like Jesus if you shield them from real people all of your child’s life?

If you feel like you are facing spiritual warfare right now because of your child’s actions, know all teens rebel. It’s a natural part of how the brain works. You may have done everything right, and they are just figuring out who they are.

It’s also possible that their rebellion says more about our parenting than it does about our rebellious children.

With that in mind, I want to share what I hope will be a powerful prayer for all of us.

Is your child running away? Let’s talk about it.

praying hands on a bible with a text overlay that reads Prayer For A Rebellious Teenager

Prayer For A Rebellious Teenager:

Heavenly Father,

We come to you with broken hearts as our teenagers are involved in situations we could have never imagined. We witness peer pressure, the desire to fit in, and the willingness to do things that don’t make sense to us.

These are our babies, God; the lives you knit together in our wombs claim you don’t exist. They say they are atheists and don’t want to live a life for God.

We are asking for your love and guidance for our teenagers and ourselves. Sometimes I feel like I don’t recognize my own child, but I trust that you will use every experience in my child’s life to shape them into the adult you want them to be.

I am sorry, Lord, for all the times I thought I was acting in love but was acting selfishly. I’m sorry for thinking I could make my child into your image. I am not the Holy Spirit. Please help me to let go of my teen and fully surrender them to you. You love them more than I ever could.

Give me grace and mercy, Lord, and help me give the same to them.

Help my teens to see the value and beauty in following your ways. Comfort them in their difficulties and surround them with loving friends and family who can support them and be a light. Give them compassion and empathy to love others the way you love us.

Remind our daughters that they are beautiful because they are fearfully and wonderfully made. As they look at the sunset with awe, the same God who paints the sky created them. May they break down the low self-esteem by seeing that you esteem them.

Bless our children with pure hearts and honest intentions. Grant them the wisdom to make healthy choices. Help them understand their life’s purpose and meaning and see that their true fulfillment can only come from you.

We trust in your boundless love and mercy and know that nothing is impossible for you. Please, Lord, above all, give us hearts to truly love our teenagers and build relationships with them that will last a lifetime.

I pray that all young people will have an adult they can trust to see them as Jesus does. Someone who will not judge them but only love them 100% right where they are while they are sinners.

In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

praying hands over a banister with a text overlay that reads prayers for parents of a rebellious teenager

Prayer For Parents of Rebellious Teens:

Lord God,

Please open our eyes to the ways we may have wounded our children. Please remind us that just because our parents did it to us doesn’t make it right.

Heal us from our childhood wounds so we don’t pass that trauma on to the next generation Lord.

Show us what a father’s love should look and feel like. Give us what we don’t have to give.

Give us patience, understanding, a desire for closeness to our children, a willingness to listen, and a reminder that they are individuals created by you.

Forgive us for every time we disciplined in anger and all the times we thought we were right and were too stubborn and prideful to see that we were wrong.

Help us to love our children in a way that seems upside down. Please help us to go against our natural and sinful inclinations.

Let us be a light in our teen’s life and not contribute to the darkness. Help us embrace our teenage sons and daughters for exactly who they are now; while they are sinners, we will die for them.

We would also live for them.

We will put down the phones, the work, and the responsibilities and focus our attention on our teenagers.

Please give us the desire to play with our teens and share in what they find interesting. Teach us to truly invest in what matters to our sons and daughters.

Lord, let our lives and interactions with them be a living word.

In Jesus’ beautiful name, Amen.

Ways To Show Your Teen You Love Them:

  • Be fully present when they talk.
  • Grab breakfast for them before school.
  • Take them to lunch or drop lunch off at school (teens love food).
  • Take them to the dollar store for movie treats, then watch a movie together (they choose the movie).
  • Let them listen to their music in the car.
  • Ask them about the music they like, and ask them to make you a playlist.
  • Help them with their schoolwork.
  • Pick them up from school when they are having a bad day.
  • Ask THEM what they believe about current events/politics, and don’t judge them.
  • Ask them to pray for you.
  • Apologize when you sin against them (even the smallest thing, like getting an attitude with them)
  • Don’t excuse your sins but hold them accountable for theirs.
  • Rub their back.
  • Wake them up with a song.
  • Have inside jokes.
  • Ask their opinions on things.
  • Help them discover what they are passionate about.
  • Pray for them, with them.
  • Do a Bible Study together.
  • Let them sleep in your room, or you sleep in theirs (yes, teens love parent sleepovers).
  • Let them have friends over and go to their friend’s houses.
  • Be their uber, even when you don’t feel like it.
  • Compliment and praise your teens in front of others.
  • Don’t gossip about your teens to anyone.
  • Clean their room while they are in school (do NOT throw any of their stuff away).

Here are 35 fun things you can do with teenagers. I would love to hear what you do to show your teens you love them. I am always looking for new ideas!

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