Prayer For Youth Groups In Our Churches
18 Things to Pray for Your Church
Have you ever been reading your Bible and noticed how Paul prays such rich, kingdom-saturated prayers for churches?
- For the church in Thessalonica: “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power” (2 Thess. 1:11; see also 1 Thess. 1:9–13).
- For the church in Colossae: “We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:9–10).
- For the church in Ephesus: “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him” (Eph. 1:16–17; see also 3:14–21).
- For the church in Rome (Rom. 15:14–33) and the church in Philippi (Phil. 1:9–11).
Of course, there’s far more where this came from. See Don Carson’s excellent book on the topic, Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation (Baker) [excerpt], as well as TGC’s corresponding eight-session group study curriculum (LifeWay) [announcement | excerpt].
Leading the Charge
It’s comparatively easy for you and me to pray for ourselves, our families, and our friends. But how can we learn how to pray more fervently and consistently for our local churches?
For one, we just need to start doing it—and encouraging others to do so.
To help with that, here are 18 things you can pray for your church. They aren’t as rich as Paul’s since I wanted to keep them simple and -length. (Also because I’m not inspired.) Still, perhaps you could print out this article and pray two or three of the points below per day for the next week—maybe in your quiet time, maybe at the family dinner table.Also, consider copying and pasting your favorite prayers below into or , led by the phrase “Pray for your church: . . .” Don’t insert my handle or TGC’s. You don’t have enough room, and it’s not the point. The point is to use your social media platform to encourage others to pray for their church.
Who knows? One day in glory, perhaps we’ll see all the good accomplished from believers being more deliberate about praying for their churches.
What to Pray For
1. That we would have unity amid diversity—loving those with whom we have nothing in common but the gospel.
2. That a culture of discipling would form in which making disciples is viewed as an ordinary part of the Christian life.
3. That faithful elders would use Scripture to train members to do the work of ministry.
4. That a hunger for studying the gospel would form among membersso that they can guide and guard one another in it.
5. Thattransparent, meaningful relationships would become normal and remaining anonymous strange.
6.The preaching of God’s Word—that it would be biblically careful and Holy Spirit imbued.
7. Thatelders would remain above reproach,kept from temptation, complacency, idols, and worldliness.
8. Thatthe church’s songs would teach members to biblically confess, lament, and praise.
9. Thatthe church’s prayers would be infused with biblical ambitions, honesty, and humility.
10. Thatadult members would work to disciple teenagers and not just leave it to programming.
11. That the church’s primary teachers grow in dedication to God’s Word even when no one’s watching.
12. That it would grow in beingdistinct from the world in love and holiness, even as it engages outsiders.
13. That members wouldshare the gospel this week—and see more conversions!
14. That members would beprepared for persecution, remembering to love, not curse, their persecutors.
15. Thathopes for political change would be outstretched by the hope of heaven.
16. That giving would be faithul, as well as joyful, consistent, and sacrificial.
17. Thatmore members would use their careers to take the gospel to places it’s never been.
18. Thatmembers would be good and do good in their workplaces this week.
Can you think of something I didn’t include? Then pray it and share it! This is hardly the “official list” of the 18 most important things to pray. They’re simply what one guy thought of while sitting in his office chair.
The point is for all of us to start praying more intentionally for our churches, and to encourage others to do the same.
Church Membership • Healthy Church • Nature of the Church • Prayer
Youth With A Mission – Praying for Partner Churches
Join YWAM staff and students around the globe in praying and hearing from God. He is inviting you!
God has commissioned the local church to go into all the nations and preach the gospel. As YWAMers, we could not do what we do without our partner churches.
These partnering churches send us, pray for us, support us and alongside us for training, church planting, mercy ministry and other gospel-related activities.
The relationship between the church and those who are sent is a beautiful partnership, one that God has chosen to change the entire world!
So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.
Acts 16:5 (NKJV)
Please join with YWAM’s global prayer day, called The Invitation, this month to pray for our partner churches on November 9.
We ask you to celebrate this partnership on a local level by praying for your partner churches, and if you sense God’s leading, by taking action to strengthen those relationships.
If you have only a few minutes to pray this month, please pray for the health of your partner churches and that God would bring blessings to them. If you are praying with a group or if you have more time to pray, please see below for the complete list of prayer suggestions.
YWAM Queenstown DTS team at a YWAM Bangkok partner church: Khlong Toey Church
Photo credit: YWAM – All Nations Bangkok
Prepare to Pray:
Take a moment to bring to mind the congregation of your partner church, whether at home or in your present location. And then consider the lead pastor of this congregation.
What are all the things the pastor of a congregation such as this would have to think about, take responsibility for, or take care of? As a group, use a whiteboard or large sheet of paper to brainstorm all the ideas that come to mind in response to this question. Make note of as many things as you can.
Next, take some time to reflect on how such a pastor might feel about all these responsibilities, concerns, and opportunities. Enter into those feelings as much as you can.Finally, as you hold before God these possible feelings and needs, ask Him how He might to love, encourage, and strengthen this church leader through you. What comes to mind as a response, whether in prayer or in action? Share these ideas with one another and make a note, so that you can follow through on Holy Spirit’s prompting.
YWAM goals are realized while churches go forward. A true win-win situation.
Pray for Our Partner Churches:
Serving Chai in Partnership with a Local Church Outreach
Photo Credit: YWAM Brisbane
- Praise God for successful partnerships that YWAM has had and is having around the world with local churches and sending churches.
- Praise God for your partner churches.
- Pray for the health of your partner churches and ask the Lord to bless them.
- Pray for unity and healthy and equitable partnerships between YWAM locations and partner churches.
- Pray for solid relationships between YWAMers and the people of the local church. Pray for YWAMers to make consistent commitments to the local church.
“The healthy cooperation of the local church and global mission is a major threat to the kingdom of darkness.”
Lynn Green, a YWAM leader
- YWAM provides opportunities for churches to engage in mission through outreaches for church youth groups, serving opportunities for adults through Mission Builders, mission awareness programs, seminars for families, and more. Pray for long-lasting results.
- Pray for the church to send more workers to the field where the needs are the greatest in less-saturated nations.
- Pray for YWAM locations to understand and minister to the needs of churches and the congregations they serve.
YWAM’s Dan Baumann teaching at partner church Oakland Baptist
Photo Credit: Oakland Baptist Church
- Pray for God to prepare churches in developed countries and in developing countries to send and support those called to Go.
- Identify all of the partner churches that are involved with your location. Display a map with each church marked. Pray regularly for these churches.
- Host a thank you event for your partner churches. Brainstorm on ways they can even partner with one another to build the church.
- Schedule meetings with local partner churches and their pastors/leaders to listen to their needs and dreams without focusing on the needs and dreams of YWAM.
The best way to maintain a relationship with local churches is to concentrate on how we can serve them.
- Invite partner churches to send a DTS student to the next DTS at your location.
- Identify local churches where there might partnership opportunities in the future but where none exist today.
- Encourage staff and students at your location to regularly attend and participate at a local church.
- Communicate partnering opportunities via YWAM channels, including, but not limited to:
- Schedule an outreach event with one or more of your partner churches.
- Offer to help one or more of your partner churches with a Mission Sunday type event to raise awareness within the church.
A partner church, Living Stones Christian Fellowship, praying over long term YWAM Richmond missionaries
Photo Credit: YWAM Richmond
How We Prayed
October 2017 – Prayer for the Hindu World
- There was a lively discussion on about praying for Hindus. One person noted that they regularly pray that Hindus will know Jesus with not only their mind, but also with their heart.
- YWAM Surabaya, Indonesia prayed for the Hindu world and asked for prayer for pupils to join their DTS starting January 2018 and for staff preparation.
- YWAM Vanuatu, Oceania also prayed and asked for prayer for teachers that have a DTS background in education to come and teach children alongside locals.
- December 14, 2017 Pyongyang
- 2018 Theme: YWAM Foundational Values (along with other topics)
Don’t Miss The Invitation:
- Sign up for prayer updates. Go to ywam.org, find the “Stay Connected” box on the home page, put in your email address and click “Sign Up.”
- Download prayer updates in a specific language. Go to ywam.org/theinvitation. (Currently available in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Indonesian, Korean or request other languages.)
- Join the conversation about how God is leading in these prayer times. Comment on the page on the second Thursday at .com/youthwithamission or on @ywam, hashtag #praywithywam. You can also post a photo on Instagram and use the same hashtag, #praywithywam.
- You can now listen to The Invitation as a podcast. To sign up or listen to past episodes, go to: ywampodcast.net/prayer.
- If you sense God giving you a word or a direction for YWAM’s prayer, please contact us: email@example.com.
5 Prayers to Open Meetings and Events
“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18 NLT
Instead of back-building worry and anxiety as we attempt to forecast an unknown future, Paul begs us to “Pray about everything in every way you know how!” (Ephesians 6:18 VOICE).
Stop to consider what the situations of our daily lives might look if we paused to pray into them and about them more feverishly.
Whether you are starting a business meeting, church service, or family event you can use these prayers to join together to ask God for guidance and blessing.
Prayer can change our situation. It can move the heart of God. And I believe sometimes prayer allows us to understand our situations, rather than affect the outcome. Our hearts change as we seek God’s wisdom and Truth.
King David, living in OT times, did not experience prayer the way we do today. Yet, even He knew that true peace came only from God.
In Psalm 3, as he faces yet another terrifying and humiliating season of his life, he chooses to focus on God’s character and faithfulness.
“O Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’ But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.” Psalm 3:1-3 NIV
Here are five powerful opening prayers to help focus our efforts on striving for the peace that transcends all understanding. Use them to begin asking God to bless and guide your time together!
1. An Opening Prayer for a Meeting
Thank You for every seat that has been filled here, today. For each mind and heart that fills the presence of this room, we thank You. Only You truly know what we are setting out to accomplish today.
We have an idea, a vision, hints, and daily instructions. We have talents, abilities, and time to work. However, only You can see in perfect detail the end of every beginning. Every project, every season, every life.
Nothing is ever in vain, for even mistakes and missteps are used for good.
Your righteousness transcends all our efforts and understanding. Forgive us for our pride. The pride that puffs us up and the pride that threatens to unqualify us. Strengthen our confidence in who You have made us to be. Set us free from comparison in order to work together efficiently.Bless this meeting today, all those present, as well as the lives of those we will encounter afterward. Ready us to make every moment count.
In Jesus’ Name,
2. A Prayer to Open an Event
Praise You for this event, and Your purpose for it. We know that when we gather together, You always have a divine agenda. We love You for that, Father. That even when we have done what You have asked, the results are so much greater than we ever could have imagined. Even in failed attempts, You blow us away with Your faithfulness to provide what we need.
Our prayer today is that Your will be done through this event. Take what we have prepared and multiply our efforts as only You can. Steer our intentions to align with Your righteous will. Remind us of Your faithful provision when our efforts fail us or fall short.
May all glory go up to You when we reach the finish line and climb over benchmarks. Blanket us with Your peace today, Father. Keep us physically safe and guard our hearts and minds from pride and selfishness.
Keep love at the forefront of our minds today, and the guiding light for all we set out to accomplish and celebrate.
In Jesus’ Name,
3. An Opening Prayer for Group Humility and Peace
As we gather together, we praise You for this day and Your purpose for it. Reset our agendas, as we sit in Your presence. For You assure us that where two or more gather in Your name You are here.
Recalibrate our intentions and refocus our hearts. Your will for our lives does not always reflect our plans. Change them to reflect Your will.
Help us to understand that we don’t need full clarity to walk into the unique purpose You’ve inlaid in our lives.Lift our eyes to seek You first today, and always, surrendering our need to achieve, understand, and be known. Shift our perspective to seek Your peace above all else.
In every situation we ponder in our daily lives, let the Holy Spirit translate Your commands. Give us renewed strength and godly courage to obey You without questioning.
Forgive us for striving beyond our means, worrying, and forcing results.
Only You know what lies ahead. You are our good Father, just and righteous. Though our circumstances will be unfair from time to time in this life, You are always our unwavering protector and shield (Psalm 3:3).
Keep the words of King David fresh in our minds, and renew our hearts to the tune of Your truth.“I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
” Psalm 3:5 NIV Let Your peace rain down on us today, as we seek You more than anything else.
In Jesus’ Name,
4. A Prayer for Group Peace and Understanding
As the events of the day continue to unfold, we seek Your clarity and Your peace. We know You are with us and for us as we gather together to seek Your counsel. Scripture reminds us the more we seek You the more we will find You. Lead our surrendered hearts to the path of Your peace today.
Come fully into our situation, both as a group and individually. And sort out the muddled feelings and distorted thoughts that plague us. Cover us with a blanket of honesty and patience that is not of this world.
Holy Spirit, translate our desires and pleadings, and may we understand the faithful response of our great Father. Jesus walked the earth to explain so much to us, and to save us from eternal suffering. Yet, on this earth He promised us that we would encounter much pain.
Struggling for solutions amidst differing personalities can seem impossible. Thankfully, we are not expected to be perfect. Thankfully, we’re told in the Bible that we will all fall short.
So, as we sit here today, let us release the bind of blame in exchange for accord. Help us to endure disagreement and strife with godly courage and love.
Grant us peace in knowing we are pursuing Your purpose for our lives.
In Jesus’ Name,
5. A Prayer to Glorify God after Group Success
We are here today to celebrate great success! In a world full of chaos and calamity, we are embracing a moment of triumph in Your name and for Your glory. Once again, we have experienced the miracle of Your sustenance, as King David so appropriately penned in Psalm 4:7: “You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.”
Father, our hearts, the very center of our humanity and our souls, are filled by You. In extreme emotion, this indescribable feeling is even more pronounced.
We are aware that we could not see this great success come to fruition without the individual purpose You have put in each person here today.Thank You for bringing us together to accomplish this great feat for Your glory, though the odds were stacked against us as they often are.
Guard our hearts from pride and selfish gain as we celebrate today. Let it fuel our faith in You as our provider and our sustainer. Filler of our hearts. May all glory for our achievements go up to You today and always.
In Jesus’ Name,
Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ on her blog, https://sunnyand80.org. She is a stay-at-home mom, freelance writer, blogger, and preparing to release her first book, “Friends with Everyone.” She resides in Northern Ohio with her husband of eleven years, two daughters, and their Golden-doodle.
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times.
Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray.
Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
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12 Simple, Yet Powerful Prayers for Your Church
Jesus is alive, and he is building his church (Matt. 16:18).
Jesus’ church is built upon his life, death, burial, and resurrection. It is through the proclamation of this message—the gospel—that the church will either visibly rise or fall.
The gospel is of first importance for the church (1 Cor. 15:1–11). The Church may have a variety of differences, but there’s one common denominator between them all: We are justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
The gospel renews people who are burdened with sin and discouraged by the struggles of life.
The gospel offers hope for those who have succumbed to the darkness of despair and helplessness.
And the gospel performs the greatest miracle of all:
It introduces people to Jesus who will transform them into new creations in him.
Jesus is inviting you to participate in his work.
One of the most significant ways we are called to participate in God’s work today is to pray for the Church.
We are to…
Pray for the Church.
Pray for our church family.
Pray for the body of Christ in our community and around the world.
Jesus’ church has stood the test of time. It cannot be stopped by force, political pressure, or even political correctness. It has weathered tumultuous years and lived through multiple heretical diseases.
Jesus will continue to build his church until he returns in glory to redeem his bride, and absolutely nothing or no one can stand in his way.
As you read this post, we encourage you to join us in prayer for the Church.
If you can, take a moment to put down your phone, start a prayer meeting, and take a break from whatever you’re doing to pray through these prayer points for your church, churches in your community, and churches around the world.
1 Samuel 2:1-10:
«And Hannah prayed and said, 'My heart exults in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. 'There is none holy the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock our God.
Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world.
'He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by might shall a man prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.'»
1 Peter 1:3:
«Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.»
«I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him.»
Psalm 51:7, 10-12:
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow… Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.»
«O Lord, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.”
«I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints,so that by God's will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company.»
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.»
“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.”
“Let our plea for mercy come before you, and pray to the Lord your God for us, for all this remnant—because we are left with but a few, as your eyes see us—that the Lord your God may show us the way we should go, and the thing that we should do.”
«Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
“Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
“For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.»
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.»
1 John 5:14:
“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
“And [Jesus] said to them, ‘When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.’”
«Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
«May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
«May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.»
«And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.»
2 Timothy 4:2:
“Preach the word; be ready in season and season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”
“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.»
«I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.»
“Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.»
«Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.»
«I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.»
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.
Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant.
He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.»
«And he said to all, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.»
2 Corinthians 2:14-16:
«But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?»
2 Corinthians 9:12-15:
«For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.
By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!»
A Evening of Prayer for Youth
If you are looking for a creative way to spend an evening with your youth in prayer, consider the outline below. You can use this to focus on God, each person, each other, and the world.
There are several activities below as examples of things you can do with your group. The typical timeframe would be 60-90 minutes but you can adjust it to fit your schedule. To bring added interest, you can use video clips, and visual resources as aids. You will want a comfortable room, with low lighting, music, bibles, tissues, and paper.
Begin the session with an introduction on prayer. You can use scriptures, a story, a video clip, or live testimony from another youth. The introduction should be engaging, relevant, and create interest. Here are two scriptures you can use as well:
‘Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place.’ 2 Chronicles 7:14-15
‘I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.’ Matthew 18:19-20
WORSHIP – FOCUS ON GOD
Have a time of worship using songs and music. The songs should relevant for the age range you are dealing with, and should be entirely focused on God, not our needs. The goal is to bring the entire focus for the evening to God, not our troubles, struggles, or youth activities.
During this worship time, you may wish to break into a song, and have a youth lead a verbal praise to God, for who He is, and/or what He has done. You may wish to use scriptures from the book of Psalm during these times, where the psalm is read and then accompanied by a personal praise. Praying the Word brings the will of God into your prayer session. Psalm 100 is a great passage to use.
FOCUS ON YOU
Gather the group together and time of repenting. Talk to the group about our human weakness, and everyone’s need for repentance. Read Psalm 51, and 1 John 8-9.
‘If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.’ 1 John 1:8-9.
Engage the youth. You don’t want to preach at them, you want to repent with them. Create a safe environment where they feel it’s ok that they’ve messed up, as long as they repent and try to change.
This should be a quieter time, where each can reflect on their life, and confess their shortcomings to a merciful God.Remind them to think about those who they may have wronged, and repent and ask God how to make things right.
You may wish to have a time where they write down their faults and then thrown them in the trash or shredder after repenting. They need to know that God will not condemn them, nor hold past sins over their head that they’ve repented of. You can also have the papers pinned to a cross to show that God took those sins upon Himself for us.
If your group is willing, consider having them go to each other and ask forgiveness for anything they’ve said or done to hurt each other.
Other suggested passages are Psalm 19:12-14, Psalm 66:18-20, and Psalm 139:23-24.
Pray for the fruit of the spirit to work in their lives, using Galatians 5:22-23:
‘But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!’
Do not rush this time. You want the youth to know that sin is not something to take lightly, but rather, something we need to spend time on changing and acknowledging. End with another worship song, thanking God for His forgiveness and mercy.
FOCUS ON FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Every person has someone else that they can pray for. Ask the students to take this time and focus it on other people in their life.
Are their friends who need salvation? Do they have family members who need God’s help in their relationships? Is there someone sick they can pray for? Do they know someone struggling in their relationship with God? Is there a backslider who needs someone to care and intercede for them? This time is focused entirely off of the youth member.
A good scripture to read for evangelism is Read Mathew 18:19-20.
As you talk about people in each youth member’s life, ask them to write down the names and needs (on a sticky or small paper) of those who come to mind.
You can gather all the papers and place them in the center of your group, or hand them out for others to pray over, or in groups. Pray for the needs that night. Don’t just hand them out to pray over later.
If you can, keep the papers and follow up on them at a later date. You want to know when God has met the need so you can give Him thanks for it.
Here are some example things you can pray:
That each person will see their need of God and go to Him for help and salvation.
That each person will be willing to make their relationships work, and to change themselves in the process, forgiving, and letting go of past hurts.
That God would use you to reach your friends with God’s hope and love.
That backsliders would acknowledge they need to return to God, and that they would feel loved by God and feel welcomed to return, regardless of anything they’ve done.That families would grow stronger together, being patient and forgiving, and put God first in their home.
That those who are bound by addictions would have a clear mind that can sense God drawing them, and that they would not find happiness in their addiction.
End with thanks to God for hearing your prayers. Collect the prayer requests for use later.
FOCUS ON THE WORLD
Plan on having a majority of time in this area. God wants us to put His kingdom before our own. Often, this is the area with the least amount of time spent on it. But God said that if we take care of His kingdom, “all these things will be added unto us.” We need to be kigfdom-minded, and today’s young people want to make a difference in their world.
Read the following:
‘I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Saviour, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.’ 1 Timothy 2:1-4
Have prayer resources available for your youth to gather in groups and pray over. This can include things such as:
- Maps: pray for nations and missionaries in those nations. Pray for the 10/40 Window and diverse people groups, such as Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Tribal groups, and the unchurched/atheists. (Go to win1040.com and joshuaproject.net for more resources.)
- Photos of government and city leaders.
- Missionaries photos, including missionary kids. (Go to GlobalMissions.com and UpWithMKs.com for more resources.)
- New churches being built and home missionary churches in the U.S. (Go to namupci.com for more resources.)
- Photos from news articles about war, famine, disease, natural disasters, etc.
- Photos of orphans and child/youth soldiers.
- Pray for those who are currently imprisoned for sharing the gospel. (Go to prisonalert.com for more resources.)
Have your youth gather in groups and lay their hands on these photos and maps. Pray light (revelation) into dark nations. Pray for new churches to be built, and more missionaries to be sent to the field. Pray for God to use those who are imprisoned to reach those in their cells and areas with the gospel until they are delivered, and pray for their strength.
It’s highly suggested to have prayer stations set up around the room where youth can go to each one and find associated scriptures, and visuals to help them pray.
Light in the Darkness.
Give each youth a candle or flashlight as a object lesson to bring awareness to the importance of sharing the gospel to our world – a light always dispels darkness.
The more light you shine, the more darkness that is removed. God has need of people to go into nations of the world with the Truth. We may not all be able to become missionaries, but we can all pray.
The more we pray, the more light that is brought by the answers to those prayers.
Close the evening with a final time of worship. Don’t rush it. Engage the students in enjoying what they’ve experienced that night. The more they enjoy it, and see the benefit of it, the more they will want to do it themselves.
As you lead your group through these sessions, also be aware not to focus prayer on just a list of things to pray for. Prayer first, is a relationship.