Excerpt from: Is Your Teen Stressed or Depressed?: A Practical and Inspirational Guide for Parents of Hurting Teenagers, by Dr. Arch Hart and Catherine Hart Weber. Published by Thomas Nelson; used by permission from Dr. Catherine Hart Weber (howtoflourish.com).
When a teen is stressed or depressed, there can be many causes, and various ways parents can help. For starters, parents can always pray.
As a parent of a hurting teenager, you may frequently be driven to pray out of desperation. The good news is that prayers for a depressed teen take concerns directly to God–absolutely the best place you can go.
And thank God, that is where He wants us-to turn to Him, to trust in Him, and to discover that He does answer prayer. You can pray for the following:
- Pray for practical direction and the healing of your child.
- Ask for God’s wisdom, guidance, strength, and endurance for the long haul.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to open your heart with renewed love and perspective and practical application.
- Pray for your teenager’s particular hurts, struggles, and needs. Pray for breakthrough, healing, wholeness, and peace for your child.
- Invite God to partner with you in all you do to fulfill your assignment of parenting and loving your teenager.
You can pray something similar to the following prayer for a depressed teen:
Lord, forgive me where I have not been sensitive to my teen’s hurt and need for nurture, protection, care, and guidance. I come to You in utter desperation, fear, and longing for my child.
Help me deal with my emotional reactions and confusion so I will do no harm. Open my heart toward the heart of my child, to be objectively sensitive to his needs and pain. Give me insight into the reality of the world my teen lives in, and what he has to encounter daily.
I submit myself to You, embracing faith, hope, and love for the assignment of being a parent to this child.
Still finding praying for your teen to be a struggle? You’re not alone. In future posts we will share even more concrete ways you can pray for your child: for wisdom and direction about what to do, and for your teen’s health and development. For the moment, rest assured that God loves you and loves your teen and be open to His response to the simple prayer above.