Prayer For Youth Groups In Our Churches
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!”
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.
Resources for Planning and Leading Worship
If you’ve ever suffered through trying to organize an unfocused group of teenagers into a cohesive team of worship leaders, you may have asked yourself, “Why are we doing this?” That’s the way we felt when we started working with our church youth group eight years ago. It took us a while to figure out how the youth service we had inherited fit in with the rest of the youth ministry program. Were we only going through the motions each year because “We’ve always done it that way”?
After several years of trial and error, the light finally dawned: worship planning arises the same principles we use for the rest of our youth ministry.
Principles for Planning Youth-Led Worship
Focus on Process, Not Product
We are in the process of training leaders throughout all our programming, including worship planning. This wasn’t always the case. In the past, we did a worship service from the top down: we directed; the kids followed. We focused on presenting a polished “program” featuring the teenagers rather than on equipping the students to glorify God.
The catalyst for changing from performance to real worship was the realization that the Word must be the focus of every part of the process.
At every step of the way—in choosing music, designing artwork, structuring prayer—we refer to the passage as a guide.
As a result, the steps of planning, preparing, and leading have become as important to the students’ spiritual growth as the final one hour spent in the sanctuary.
Prepare So That Everyone Can Be Involved
Second, we work to involve all students in using the gifts they have. Not every student is ready to stand in front of the congregation, but every student has something to contribute to the body.
When we focus on ministering with, not just to, the students, we discover the importance of both identifying and valuing their individual gifts.
As a result, a youth service may look very different from one year to the next.
Since we’re not good at everything that goes into helping kids plan and lead a worship service, we have found that involving other members of the congregation benefits us—we can’t and don’t have to do it all. It benefits the students too, because they get to know other adults in the congregation. And it benefits the other adults we involve as they share the joy of working with the youth.Some of these adults come to our youth group meetings when we plan the worship service. The choral music director, for instance, works with us during the first part of each planning meeting. The students do most of the work on the banner during regular meeting times, so the artist who works with them comes for that time. Other adults do behind-the-scenes work: writing a drama, for example.
Teamwork among the pastor, youth leaders, and students is a crucial part of this process. We work together to choose a Scripture passage for the service. Usually we focus on a specific passage rather than a theme, partly because our pastor prefers preaching a text rather than a theme, but also because this is one more way to draw the students back to the centrality of the Word.
Remember the Goals
From our days of doing a youth service because “we’ve always done one,” we have moved to working with a clear set of goals that we communicate to leaders and students a:
- To use students’ gifts to glorify God and edify the body.
- To let students know they are the church now.
- To provide opportunity for another kind of “profession of faith.”
Nuts & Bolts—The Mechanics of Worship Planning with Youth
Choose a Text
Sometimes the text for the service comes from a retreat or Bible study the students want to explore further. Other times the pastor or a member of the congregation suggests a text.
However, we always involve both students and pastor in the decision.
We dedicate four youth group meetings to planning and preparing to lead the youth service, so we need to settle on a text at least a month before the date of the service (our group meets every Sunday night).
Study the Passage as a Group
We used to skip this part until we realized that by skipping it, we were not communicating the truth that the Word is the central part of worship. Now our first “worship planning” meeting is a Bible study. (See box “Sample Worship Planning Bible Study.”)
Discuss Why We Do What We Do in Worship
When we talk through principles of worship, we accomplish two things. First, we educate students. Second, we provide a common ground for making choices about what elements to include in the service.
For example, when we talk with students about worship as a dialogue, we help them see how that concept affects the order of worship.
As we discuss the difference between corporate worship and private devotions, we see students challenging each other to think about more than personal taste.
Have Students Form Planning Groups
Planning groups may change from year to year, depending on the gifts of the students. We try to have something that everyone can do so that there are no bystanders, and we encourage students to consider where they are needed, not just what area appeals to them most.Those who plan an element of the service do not necessarily lead that element during the service. A student who is uncomfortable speaking in public may be very good at writing a litany for others to lead.
Work in Planning Teams
Here’s where planning with the students will fall flat without advance preparation. We provide specific directions for each planning group and assign an adult or student leader to keep the group on task. (See the box, “Sample Worship Planning Teams,” for an example.) We think through whatever supplies the group may need and have them on hand.
Often much of what students develop in their planning teams grows their experiences in the youth group throughout the year.
For example, our group has developed a tradition of how we handle prayer requests: As people share their requests (or item for praise), one or two designated students write each request on a separate sheet of paper. When they have recorded all the requests, they pass the papers around the circle.
Each group member takes one or more requests and prays them aloud. The students have sometimes chosen to employ a similar method when they lead the congregational prayer.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Worship is not a performance, but we offer our best. And students are more comfortable when they know where to sit, when to stand, and so on.
How the Congregation Benefits
When youth are involved in leading worship, the congregation sees the covenant affirmed.
When other members of the congregation see teenagers owning the faith and giving back to the body of Christ, they will realize that young people are real contributors to the life of the church.Often this realization leads to a fuller involvement of youth, not only in “regular” worship services, but also in other areas of ministry.
When youth are involved in leading worship, the congregation sees the covenant affirmed.
Structuring the Worship Service
1. Brainstorm elements of worship (prayer, confession, praise, etc.) as a whole group.
2. Use the passage, Colossians 2:6-7, to structure the elements. Talk the full group through the passage, helping students think of where the elements identified above might fit. Below is a sample with ideas; what the students come up with may be different.
Scripture: Colossians 2:6-7
“Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord . . . ”
—students’ faith stories —prayer of thanks for those who encouraged our faith
“continue to live in him, rooted . . . ”
“built up. . .”
(this is the communal aspect)
—prayer for needs of congregation members —faith stories about God’s working through his church
—reports on youth group activities
“strengthened in the faith as you were taught . . . ”
—Scripture and sermon
“overflowing with thankfulness.”
—offering —prayers of thanks —singing
3. Personal challenge:
Ask kids to think about where their faith story might fit into this structure and encourage them to consider whether they might have a story or testimony to share.
4. Group brainstorming of music for each section of the worship
Gathering to Worship
Choral Call to Worship: “As We Gather” Renew! 6
Hymn: “I Will Sing of the Mercies of the Lord” PsH 169, TWC 30
Confessing Our Need
Early in human history our first parents listened to the intruder’s voice. They fell for Satan’s lie and sinned.
Apart from grace, we prove each day that we are guilty of rebellion too. We fail to thank God. We break God’s laws. We ignore our tasks. We are separated from our Creator, from our neighbor, and from all that God has made
God did not turn his back on his creation but provided his Son to reconcile the world to himself.
— the Contemporary Testimony “Our World Belongs to God,” 14, 15
Psalm 40: “I Waited Patiently for God” PsH 40
stanza 1, young people, stanza 2, congregation
Hearing the Word
Scripture Reading: Colossians 2:6-7
[read by a student]
“Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord . . . ”
Prayer of Thanksgiving for those who were agents of God’s grace in our lives,[led by students, who asked the congregation to mention people who had been influential in their faith lives, then offered prayers of thanks for those people]
“Rooted . . . ”
Dramatic Reading: The Apostles’ Creed
Hymn: “How Firm a Foundation” PsH 500, PH 361, RL 172, TH 94, TWC 612
“Built up . . . ”
[told by a student]
[led by a student]
“Strengthened as you were taught . . . ”
Faith challenge to young believers
[by a student]
Choral Response: “You Are My All in All” Songs for Worship and Celebration 220 (Word)
“Overflowing with thankfulness . . . ”
[led by a student]
Hymn: “Now Thank We All Our God” PsH 454, PH 555, RL 61, SFL 33, TH 98, TWC 374
Prayer of Gratitude
[led by students]
Serving in the World
Parting Song: “We Are Marching in the Light of God” (from South Africa; Renew! 306, Voices United, 646, With One Voice, 650)
Students choose to work in one of the following teams over the course of three youth group meetings.
Using the master list of songs brainstormed by the whole group, this group should compile a “short list” of songs for both the congregation and the group to sing in the service.
The group should work with the structure developed earlier to fit the music in appropriately. Other songbooks will also be available.
The short list should be finalized at the first meeting so the group can begin practicing the songs at the next meeting.
This group should work on preliminary banner and bulletin cover designs the passage at the first meeting. They should assign people to purchase supplies before the next meeting.
This group has two jobs: (1) To determine where and what kinds of prayer they want in the service:
—Do they want separate prayers relating to each of the topical categories (being rooted, built-up communally, thanksgiving)? —How do they want those prayers structured? —Ask for prayer requests from the congregation and have different members of the group pray for them? —Write out a prayer and have one or more group members read it?
(2) To write out any prayers if they choose to have some written.
This could be done in a future meeting or assigned to willing volunteers to do by the next meeting. They should agree on structure: for example, will there be multiple readers? How will the prayer be organized? (ACTS? Some other way?)
Note: Members of the prayer planning group do not necessarily have to lead the prayers during the service, although they may if they wish. Other willing volunteers from the rest of the group can be solicited if desired.
This group will be composed of kids willing to share their faith stories/testimonies. Work with students to determine where in the service those stories would best fit and help them develop their stories.
Communal Statement of Faith
This group will select or develop an appropriate way for the congregation to express our communal faith. Possibilities include:
—presenting the Nicene Creed as a readers’ theater
—expanding the Apostles’ Creed with personal, contemporary material
Closer to Jesus Through Prayer
Supplies for this Youth Bible Study
You’ll need copies of Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) on sheets of paper and a pen for each student. You’ll also need a video display and Internet connection. Preview the following clips:
• Pre-Blessed Food: //youtu.be/j9JUqS4Q2A0
• The Holy Hand Grenade”: //youtu.be/xOrgLj9lOwk
• The Campaign Movie: //youtu.be/jhl1cnmOZ0Y
• Bruce Almighty: //youtu.be/yOgdjlPRWMg
Say something : Let’s take a look at one of the most obvious (but perhaps one of the hardest and most misunderstood) practices that helps us grow closer to Jesus. You’ve probably heard of it—it’s called prayer.
Conversation with Jesus, just conversation with your best friends, is critical to making our relationship with him the center of our lives. But conversation, just in real life, doesn’t always have to feel amazing.
And it doesn’t always have to be perfect.
Play the Pre-Blessed Food clip, then say something :
Say something : Sometimes the only time people think about praying is before a meal.
• When and why do you pray?
• Why do people sometimes feel inadequate to pray? Or why do some people feel they need someone else to do it for them?
Play the Monty Python and the Holy Grail clip, then ask:
• What are all the things that were odd about that prayer?
• Why do some people think prayer involves extravagant language?
• How would it impact your relationships if you had conversations this? What expectations would your flowery language communicate to your friends?
Ask someone to read aloud Matthew 6:9-13, then play The Campaign Movie clip. Ask:
• Why do we feel we need to say the right words when we pray?
• When Jesus said “Pray this,” what did he want us to learn about prayer?
Play the Bruce Almighty clip, then ask:
• What is it about this prayer that makes it so real and personal?
• How does this prayer communicate closeness between Bruce and God?
Give each student a pen and a copy of Philippians 4:6-7. Invite a volunteer to read the verses aloud, then have students jot down notes and mark up these verses as the group goes through the key words.
Key Word: Petition
• Why would you petition something? Who is a petition ultimately given to?
• Give some examples of things that need to be petitioned in our society.
• What things in our lives could we petition Jesus to change?
Have kids take a few minutes quietly to write down their petitions, then bring them before Jesus in prayer.
Key Word: Thanksgiving
• What’s the purpose of offering thanks?
• What creative way have you said “thank you” to someone?
• Why is an attitude of thanksgiving so important?
Again, have your students take a few minutes quietly to write down things they’re thankful for, then give thanks to God in prayer.
Key Word: Requests
Ask a volunteer to read aloud John 14:13-14, then ask:
• If you could meet Jesus face to face, and he told you to ask him for anything, what would you ask for? Explain.
• What does it mean to ask for something “in his name”?
Have your kids take a few minutes quietly write down some things they’d to ask Jesus for, then to lift those requests to God in prayer.
Key Word: Peace
• What does it mean to have peace that ‘transcends all understanding’?
• What sorts of things cause your heart and mind to worry?
• How has prayer brought you peace?
Have your students take a few minutes quietly to write down their worries, then hand them over to Jesus in prayer.
Encourage your teenagers to practice this type of praying every day for the next month. Wrap up by praying a blessing over your teenagers, using Numbers 6:24-26 as the basis for your blessing.
Co-authored by Zach Castor. This is the second in a series of Youth Bible Studies that explains what it looks to get closer to Jesus. Click on the titles below for individual studies in the series.
One: Jesus Invites us to be close
What is the role of youth in church?
Religion is one of the most important aspects of many people’s lives. Churches serve as valuable hubs for people of all ages. However, one of the groups that is often left the conversation is the youth group. Therefore, today, we will be talking about youths in the church, their role and the importance of the church for the youth. Check it out!
Traditionally, youth is considered to be a period of transition from childhood to adulthood. Most of the time, people use the word ‘teenagers’ when referring to the youth, even though there are no defined age boundaries. Anyone can be a youth if they want to 🙂
Youth in the church can actually be and do anything they desire. For instance, some young people choose to attend a youth ministry, where they can learn, communicate and grow in a safe and faithful environment. Others are actually in charge of said youth ministries and other similar religious organisations for young people, where they can give back to the youth in their communities.
Now, let’s talk about the role of youth in the church in a little bit more detail.
Role of youth in the church
As we have mentioned before, youths can take on any role they in the church. First and foremost, they can be the consumers. Young minds are perfect vessels for information.
There is no better time to teach them about God, religion and spirituality other than in their younger years.
If they are encouraged enough to participate in the life of the church when they are young, they will continue to do that in their adulthood.Another important role of the youth in church is providing a fresh perspective on things. Some older people might be too stuck on outdated ideals. The goal of the youth is to offer their own view on the situation/topic, from which everyone can benefit.
Young people often have more energy than adults, which makes them the perfect choice for various organisational jobs. Lots of teenagers are great at organising and holding various celebrations and events, as they usually have lots of amazing ideas.
Here is the thing:
Apart from being in control of things planning, youths should also act as a helping hand. This could mean many things: young people can take on the cleaning duties; they can help the oldest members of the church; they can also help other youngsters in their search for God and spirituality.
Most importantly, the youth is the future of any church. They are the ones who decide whether to continue preaching what their predecessors have preached or to introduce something new and fresh. If the youth is not interested in going to church, then the whole institute of religion might fall apart. Therefore, it is important to encourage the youth to get involved with the church.
Role of the church for the Christian youth
READ ALSO: Prayer points for the church in Nigeria
Apart from considering the things the youths could do for the church, we should also think about the things that the church could do for the youth.
The most important thing any church can do for youth is provide guidance and knowledge. While many young people are blessed with wonderful parents/guardians/teachers, some do not have that luxury. In order to save them from themselves or from the situations they might be in, the church has to show them the righteous path that involves faith in Our Lord.
Church can be a great way for many young people to find some meaning for their lives. With help from other church members (pastors, priests, other believers), the youth can find a place for God in their hearts and lives. They can learn from other people’s experiences, share their own and hear feedback from others.
Churches should offer educational programmes for young people that can teach them how to be good, faithful people in the future. These programs should also provide information that children cannot find at school or at home.
However, that is not all:
Church’s role in youth development should not end with just providing important knowledge and guidance. It should also provide the youth with all forms of support. The support can come from anyone within the church and take on any forms.
It can be spiritual, financial, moral, social, or any other form of help that the youth might need.
As young people are quite a vulnerable transitional group, they should have all the support they can get in their complicated journey towards adulthood.After all, a church should serve as a safe space, a light at the end of the tunnel, an answer to the many questions that fill young minds. It should be a home and a main destination for those who are lost, confused, scared or hurt.
This is our view on the relationship between youth and the church. We tried to present it in the clearest way possible. If you have any questions, suggestions or remarks, let us know in the comments. We would love to hear from you. If you agree with what we have said, do not forget to share this article with your friends. God bless you.
READ ALSO: Benefits of thanksgiving to God