Bridging the teen communications gap

In my executive coaching practice, or in my role as a Stephen Minister, there are inevitably times when I sense a problem exists that my client or care receiver may be reluctant to talk about.  If I feel a gentle nudge might be appropriate to prime the conversation pump, I will sometimes ask if there is anything I can be in prayer for them about.  That question is almost always met with a positive and grateful attitude.  Even strangers or agnostics/atheists will usually volunteer prayer requests if they sense genuine concern and sincerity on your part.  It has occurred to me recently that prayer can be a very effective way of discerning what may be troubling your teenager (or pre-teen), which they would otherwise be reluctant to share with an adult, perhaps especially a parent.  There is a great little book which can help you in this process and greatly enhance communications with you and, most importantly, engender the invaluable habit of their regular conversation with God through prayer.  A small gem of a book, entitled “Call on Me: A Prayer Book for Young People” by Jennifer Gamber & Sharon Pearson (Morehouse Publishing, 2012).  Parts of the book are from the Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer, but a larger portion is unique to the book, age appropriate and is conveniently categorized by subject.  For example, Envy, What is Love, Loneliness, Body Image, Suicide of a Friend, Anger, Being Bullied, and many more.  Great conversation starters and prayer examples.  Prayer changes things, God desires it, and your child or grandchild  thirsts for it but may not know how.  You can make the difference in a young life, and they will love you for simply caring enough…

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