Editor's Note: On the weekends during the month of September, we'll be featuring excerpts from Barbara Canale's new daily devotional for parents of teens, Hope and a Whole Lotta Prayer. In the introduction, the author describes this books as "a vitamin to boost the soul." Enjoy these reflections on how parents of teens can survive--and thrive--during those turbulent years, by turning to God in the troubled and joyful times. --Barb

hope and a whole lotta prayer

Follow God

It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me (Colossians 1:28–29).

It’s not good enough to send your kids to school. Teens also need proper nutrition, exercise, rest, and spiritual nurturing. If one element is lacking, everything is out of whack. If your kids don’t eat right, they can become ill. The same thing holds true for not maintaining a deep and interpersonal relationship with God.

Teach your kids to pray constantly in the silence of their heart. God hears everyone’s prayers and he’ll answer them on his terms. This might mean that you or your teen will have to wait and trust in God’s plan. Waiting can be the hard part. Teach your son to surrender entirely to God, because our Lord will never abandon him. God will shower his followers with an infinite stream of love and abundant blessings. God has something wonderful in store for those who love him!

You might feel it’s necessary to give your teenager everything he wants and not just what he needs. The best phone or laptop won’t make him better or smarter. Those gadgets might make him more popular, but where will that status take him? Eventually, a newer model will hit store shelves and he’ll want that. Perhaps what your teenager needs the most is hope. Hope gives your teenager a reason to live and something to strive for. That kind of hope comes from Jesus Christ.


Jesus calls us to serve, so we obey. Christ loves us, therefore we love others. Sometimes, expressing that love calls us to do extraordinary things, like take a mission trip, lead a youth group, or teach religion. Jesus calls us each day to make the most of it. What will you do with this day?


Dear Heavenly Father,

I exalt you, Lord and adore having you in my life to guide my footsteps. Teach me how to influence (name) to pray and develop a relationship with you. I want to serve you every day of my life. Amen.


From Hope and a Whole Lotta Prayer: Daily Devotions for Parents of Teenagers. Copyright Liguori Publications, 2015. Used with permission. Available at Liguori.org.

About the author:

Courtesy of Parker Stone Photography. All rights reserved. Courtesy of Parker Stone Photography. All rights reserved.

Barbara Canale’s writing career began after she adopted her two daughters, now young adults, from Romania. She writes for the Catholic Sun in Syracuse, NY and has contributed to eleven Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her devotional books include the latest Hope and a Whole Lotta Prayer (2015) for parents of teenagers, the award-winning Prayers, Papers, and Play (2013) for college students, and To Have and to Hold (2014) for married couples.