How To Pray For A Wayward Child (Yours or Theirs)

By Dr. Dan Cheatham

Regardless of your child's age & regardless of your child's level of rebellion or indifference to the Jesus & the the the things of God, prayers based on God's Covenant Promises will prevail because the Lord has bound Himself to The Word of His own lips. In this study guide I will bring scriptural solutions to bear on the whole gamut of wayward children, from young to old, unsaved to backslidden, rebellious streak to criminal, your child to another's child. Perhaps your child no longer attends church. Perhaps your child is experimenting or addicted to drugs or alcohol. Maybe they are running with the wrong crowd. Perhaps your child doesn't even know Christ as his or her personal Lord and Savour. Or maybe they are simply developing a rebellious streak! The good news is that God's Word is the solution to them all!

When it comes to our children, because we love them so much and our emotions take over, it is all too easy to pray amiss. Often Christian parentsí prayers are more akin to those of a Beggar, than a Believer. But we must pray INTELLIGENTLY, not out of panic, if we wish to see results. Intelligent prayer is prayer based upon the scripture, what the Bible already says about the situation.

Don't let Satan drag your kids through hell... or to hell. You have a covenant with God! FIGHT IN PRAYER!

Nehemiah 4:14 NLT - Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the leaders and the people and said to them, "Don't be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your friends, your families, and your homes!"

For your information, ever since God announced in the garden of Eden, that the woman's seed would be against the serpent, Satan has been trying to steal and destroy the seed of God's people. Satan is so terrified of our children that he often works overtime against them. This is because the devil knows that the next generation might just be the generation that is his undoing, ushering in the return of the Lord Jesus. Satan tried to destroy the seed by making a whole generation wicked at the time of Noah's flood. Satan tried to destroy the seed of the Israelites by convincing them to sacrifice their own children to the fire in idol worshipto Molech. Children have always been a target of the enemy in wars, famines, and even in the genocide of legalized abortion in our present day. I have said all this because it helps one to fight better if he knows who his real enemy is and what his enemy is really up to.

The Bible says that "foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child..." Children are an easy prey if not protected by their parents' P.E.P. P.rayers, E.xample, P.recept. The Bible prescribes the cure for such foolishness in the next phrase of the same verse, "...but the rod of correction will drive it far from him." So the Bible solution for ridding young children of rebellion is paddling! Brow-beating will never replace Bottom-beating! Early on children must be taught that there is always consequences for rebellion and disobedience.

More often than not, however, the greatest dilemna of many parents is WHAT DO I DO FOR A GROWN CHILD? They are grown and beyond corporal punishment, or, they are full grown adult children now, but they have gone wayward.

When a child is grown, it takes more wisdom and grace on the parents' part to see the turnaround of their children. It is a BEHIND THE SCENES ministry of PRAYER, like the Prodigal Son's father must have used. The need of the hour is for parents to become skilled in SPIRITUAL WARFARE!


1. CLAIM Acts 16.31 ALOUD IN PRAYER, NAMING THE CHILD! Acts 16:31 KJV - "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Even if the wayward child is technically "saved" by the new birth, the fact that he or she is wayward at the moment means that they are not allowing their salvation to work out in their heart, mind,emotions, and behaviour. So claim their whole man-whole life salvation, not just their eternal salvation. The greek word "saved" in the New Testament means "to be made whole", not just to squeak into heaven when one dies. If the wayward child has not received Jesus as Lord and Savour, then also refer to my book, "HOW TO PRAY FOR A LOST FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER."

2. CLAIM THAT YOUR SEED IS MIGHTY ON THE EARTH, not defeated, according to Psalm 112:1 KJV. "Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. 112:2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. "

3. CLAIM Isaiah 54:13 ALOUD, INSERTING THE NAME OF THE WAYWARD CHILD, IN PRAYER! "And all thy children (including ________) shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of (__________) thy children. " Tell God that you fully expect Him to keep His promise to TEACH YOUR CHILD. Ask God to give your child GREAT PEACE as promised here. Begin to declare aloud: "________ is God-taught! ________ has great peace with God and from God!"

4. CLAIM Isaiah 49:25 - Isaiah 49:25 - "But thus saith the LORD... I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children." Wrap your faith around this promise of God until it comes to pass for you. Be determined not to budge off this verse regardless of how long it takes.

5. ALOUD, TELL THE DEVIL WHERE TO GET OFF! Command him to get his filthy hands off your child! Jesus taught in John 10:10 that it is "the thief that comes to steal (our seed), to kill (our children), and to destroy (our family)." Then Jesus contrasted his mission with that of the enemy by saying that, "I am come that they might have life and more abundantly." Your child has a right to ABUNDANT LIFE! The Bible teaches in James 4:7 that we are to "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you!" Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that we are to ask God to resist the devil. Rather God's Word commands us to take charge and rebuke the devil ourselves. So break the power of the devil off your wayward child's mind, will, and emotions, ALOUD! Tell the enemy to cease and desist speaking his lying thought suggestions to your seed! Tell the enemy that YOUR SEED WHICH IS GOD'S SEED is no longer a candidate for his lies and deception!

6. BY NAME AND ALOUD, ASK GOD TO SEND AN ANGEL WITH A FLAMING SWORD TO SEPARATE YOUR WAYWARD CHILD FROM EVERY PERSON THAT IS A BAD INFLUENCE TO HIM OR HER! Genesis 3:24 - "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." Notice in this verse the roll of angels... that they can DRIVE AWAY PEOPLE. You cannot be with your wayward child but so often; so you cannot help them. (Not as if they would want your help anyhow! Ha!) But God's angels can be where you cannot. God's invisible secret agents can be at work behind the s.e.e.n.s. God wants to escort your child via His armed guards called angels. I guarantee you that your wayward one is wayward because of the influence of at least one other person. The Bible teaches that "Bad company corrupts good character!" The Bible teaches that "He that keeps company with the wise shall become wise, but the companion of fools shall be destroyed." In order for your wayward one to find his or her way back to the Lord and their senses, the WRONG PEOPLE MUST GO! So ask God to send an angel to SEPARATE your child from all bad influences. If you know the names of any of these tares in your child's life, name them aloud to God in prayer, asking that He completely remove them from your child's life altogether!

7. IF YOU KNOW THAT YOU RAISED YOUR CHILD IN A GODLY HOME, THEN CLAIM PROVERBS 22:6 ALOUD IN PRAYER. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Not every parent raised their children in a Christian environment, perhaps because the parent did not receive Jesus until later in life. Still those parents can claim the previous scriptures, now that they are saved. However, if you know that you DID raise your child in a godly environment, then you have a covenant right to see the fulfillment of the above verse in your children; so claim it as well!

8. If the child is an older child, the rebellion in that child may have to be dealt with in a tough manner. Like the prodigal son's father, who saw that his son's rebellion had gone too far, you may have to call that child's bluff, tell them that you are sorry they have made that choice, but let them go ahead and leave, get burned, and learn their lessons the hard way. The Bible says that it is useless to try to educate a fool or rebel. The harder you try to change them, the more they will rebel. When a child has crossed that line, let life's pain bring them to their senses and let the Holy Spirit deal with their rebellion. But while that child is spending their life eating the fruit of their own ways, you can be standing in the gap for them, interceding for them, standing on your covenant with God, and knowing that someday soon they will be restored to you. But repentance must come first. Don't abort the process by helping them out of all their trouble. You can war in the spirit behind the s.e.e.n.s. in intercessory prayer. God will come through for you! Like one grandmother told her rebellious grandson, "Sonny, I know you think you are having a fling in life right now, but you'll come around because Grandma loves you and is "interfering in the spirit" for you. Today that rebellious preacher's kid is one of the finest Gospel ministers I know!

9. Claim both these verses boldly and aloud in prayer:

Proverbs 11:21 NLT - ...the children of the godly will go free.

Proverbs 12:7 NLT - ...the children of the godly stand firm.