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Teach Your Teens to Cultivate a Vibrant Prayer Life

One way to help your teens cultivate a close connection with God is through prayer. And you can teach them how to do this.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

If you’re unsure where to begin, why not focus on four prayers God loves to answer? My husband and I taught our children these prayers when they were teens.

“Give me wisdom”

In a world of conflicting messages, the input teens receive can be overwhelming and confusing. Since they don’t yet have life experience to draw from, it’s easy to make poor decisions that can lead to painful consequences.

In the Bible, we read that God was pleased when King Solomon asked for wisdom. He could have asked for riches and power. So God made him the wisest man on earth—and blessed him with wealth and honor as well (1 Kings 3: 5-13). Encourage your teen to always ask God for wisdom before making decisions, whether big or small.

The apostle James tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5). Short, simple, true. This prayer can change the course of your teen’s life. And it’s a prayer God loves to answer. 

“Forgive me and make my heart right with You”

One of the most valuable life lessons teens can learn is that God wants to forgive our sins and restore our relationship with Him. That can happen by confessing our sins to Him and asking for forgiveness. But like Adam and Eve, we often hide from God and try to cover our sin. Still, He pursues us and calls us to confess it so He can mend our relationship and give us a clean heart (Psalm 51:10).

The next time your teens do something wrong, instead of immediately drilling down on discipline, lead them out of hiding and teach them the truth of 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God will always answer when we sincerely confess our sins and ask Him to make our hearts right with Him.

“Fulfill Your purpose for me”

How can you build your teens’ trust and confidence in God’s love? Teach them this prayer. We may not always understand why God allows things to happen, but He promises to accomplish His purposes for us (Romans 8:28) and delights in doing that.

I remember the day our daughter tearfully announced she didn’t make the volleyball team. Through prayer, she had been convinced that God wanted her to be on the team. Psalm 138:8 became an important foundation for her life that day: “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.”

After that disappointment, we began praying together that God would work out His plans for her. And He did, of course. In an unexpected twist, she was invited to join a theater group at our church, and the remainder of her high school years were filled with new friends, lots of acting and all the sweetness and sadness that go with a team effort. In time, she saw God’s redirection as a not-so-random act of His lovingkindness toward her.

“Show me the right path for my life”

Finally, make sure to teach your teen a beautiful six-word prayer from Psalm 16:11 (NKJV): “Show me the path of life.”

I first prayed this prayer when I was 12. A woman I admired told me it was her favorite prayer, and she knew God always answered it—even if it wasn’t the answer we are looking for.

When we ask God to show us the right path for our lives, He promises to give us “fullness of joy” in His presence. So encourage your teens to pause and ask God to reveal His “path of life” when they encounter crossroads. He’s the only one who knows the best path because He alone knows all.

Teaching your teens the four prayers God loves to answer will strengthen their relationship with Christ and deepen their communication with Him. These prayers are a firm foundation they can lean on during the painful ups and downs of their teen years—and for the rest of their lives.

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