Tuesday, March 8, 2016

YOUTH: I don't know how to pray!

I was recently asked to train some volunteer youth counselors and they said they really wanted their youth to start being responsible for prayer and devotions. The young man who is currently the President of the youth group was super open and said he wanted to pray and do devotions, but didn't know how. I created these forms for him and thought there might be somebody else who might want to use them too.

This simple form has an explanation of the ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) typically used in prayer, but it's in language teenagers will be comfortable using and a basic form on back that can be printed out and shared. Don't forget to remind them that prayer time is a time for focus on communicating with God and not goofing around.

  • Use simple words. You don't need to sound like the pastor. Sound like you.
  • Each prayer leader can use the form to make the prayer that night their own. 
  • Have the whole group write a basic prayer they'll use every week, but have a place for personal petitions. 
  • Start a prayer tradition for the group. When I was in high school our youth group would stand in a circle with arms crossed, we would do a popcorn prayer (squeeze the hand of the person next to you when you're done) and then we had a song we sang. 
  • Another tradition might be to have everyone put their hands in the center as they pray or sit facing out of the group and holding hands so they aren't distracted by each other. 
It's very important for us to make sure children grow up being comfortable praying out loud. I hope this simple tool helps.

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