Prayers for a Teenager Struggling With Grief

sad boy

Sometimes the teenagers we love go through season of pain and suffering, and we quickly reach the limits of our human ability to help. We long to pour out our hearts to God, but it can be hard to find words when we are worried or afraid. Thanks be to God, we who have the Holy Spirit do not have to form perfect phrases, because “the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26). But there are times when it is a comfort to us to speak words, to pray out loud from the Scriptures, because as we pray we are reminded of the promises and character of God who loves our teenagers more than we can imagine. Over the next few weeks we will offer you prayers you can use as a starting point to lift up the teenagers you love to the Lord. We hope these will encourage you to remain steadfast in prayer, for “the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (Jas. 5:16).

Father in Heaven, my student is in the throes of grief. It feels like there is so little I can do to rescue him from this pit, but I can bring him before you, trusting that you are intimately acquainted with his tears and tossings (Ps 56:8).

In my limited capacity, help me love and care for this student well. Bless me with abundant wisdom, patience, and grace as I speak with him and pray for him. Help me to listen well and to be a steady presence in his life. Above all, Jesus, help me point him to you, the only one who can redeem and restore their grief.

I pray that in this season of darkness, this student would know your presence in a unique and intimate way. May he learn that you have sent him a Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to be with him at all times, in all places (Jn 14). When he feels pressed in on every side by his grief, may the Comforter tenderly assure him of your precious and very great promises(2 Cor 4:8, 2 Pet 1:4). Help him believe that you are near to the brokenhearted (Ps 34:18).

Lord, I ask that you would send him daily mana to sustain him in his grief: supportive friends, nights of deep sleep, moments of light, helpful and wise counsel. You are infinitely wise, and I trust you to provide exactly in the way this student needs.

Aside from his physical provision, I pray especially for his spiritual provision. When he questions your goodness in hisgrief, meet him there with assurances of your great love for him. When he feels you have abandoned him, bless him with a palpable sense of your presence. In your perfect timing, transform his mourning into dancing and remove the sackcloth of his grief and clothe him in your joy (Ps 30:11).

Good Shepherd, I ask that this student would learn your friendship in a deeper way in this season. You are a man of sorrows, well-acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). You know what it feels like to be in the depths of despair and darkness, and yet, you are the very Light of the world who alone has the power to dispel it. May this student take comfort in the fact that you see the intricate hurts of his heart and that you care about him to the point of bearing his griefs for him (Isaiah 53:4).

Father of mercies, it is true that you are our only comfort in life and death. In the midst of grief and pain, there is nowhere else to turn but to you. I praise you that through your life, death, and resurrection, you are making all things new (Revelation 21:5). This grief is not the end of this student’s story, and I ask that you would bless him with an unshakable trust in that truth. May he never grieve as one who has no hope (1 Thess 4:13). May you keep his eyes fixed on you, the one who has walked through death and grief for us, assuring us that pain, death, and despair do not have the final word.


Rebecca serves as the Ministry Development Coordinator/Assistant Editor for Rooted. Previously, she has worked in both youth and young adult ministries. She is a graduate of Furman University and recently completed her Master’s in Theology at Beeson Divinity School. Rebecca is happiest on a porch swing, in a boat, or on the dance floor.

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