Prayer: Why & How?

A session exploring prayer, the effect it has, why we pray and giving the young people a chance to re-write the Lord’s prayer

Suitable For Ages 11 upwards (although projects are better for older teenagers to do)

Required: pens, paper, flip-chart, Bruce Almighty DVD (and way of playing it) and perhaps some news articles of current issues

Extra Files Needed (i.e. worksheets etc): Prayer Tips and Lord’s Prayer Sheets – click to download

Session Plan


Introduce the session:
Tonight we will be looking at prayer

Prayer to start:
asking God to help with understanding, revealing himself more and igniting us to want to pray more.

Brainstorm:
Ask the group what they think the point of prayer is? Do you think it works?

Prayer Testimony:
Have one of your leaders give a testimony of when God has answered a prayer in their life, it could be a huge thing or just something small.

Ask:
Have you ever prayed something and had God answer? Has God ever not answered something you’ve prayed?

Film Clip:
Film Clip From Bruce Almighty, it can be found in the deleted scenes, play from ‘Answering prayers’ up until Morgan Freeman talks about painting with dark colours.

Explain:
If God gave us everything we could possibly ask for we’d become selfish in our prayers and continuously ask for things we don’t need, and things that would distract us from God. If we just ask God for things prayer becomes like a supermarket, we go to a supermarket when we want things and the same could become of prayer, we could only pray when we want something.

Ask:
What do you think the priority of pray is if it’s not getting stuff?
The group may come up with things like praying for others, thanking God, getting closer to him.

Explain:
Just because the priority of pray isn’t about getting things doesn’t mean God doesn’t give us anything, Matthew 6: 25 and beyond says ‘

So I tell you don’t worry about the food or drink you need to live or about the clothes you need for your body. Life is more than food and the body is more than clothes. Look at the birds in the air. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns but your heavenly Father feeds them and you know that you are worth much more than the birds. You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it.

And why do you worry about clothes? Look at how the lilies in the field grow they don’t work or make clothes for themselves but I tell you that even Solomon with his riches was not dressed as beautifully as one of these flowers. God clothes the grass in the field which is alive but tomorrow it’s thrown into the fire so you can be even more sure that God will clothe you, don’t have so little faith. Don’t worry and say ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘what will we drink?’ or ‘what will we wear?’, the people who don’t know God keep trying to get these things and your father in heaven knows you need them. The thing you should want most is God’s kingdom and doing what God wants. Then all these other things you need will be given to you so don’t worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Ask:
What do you think of that bible verse? Does it speak to you?

Explain:
The main priority of prayer is to communicate with God and to have a relationship with Him.

Tips And Tricks Of Praying

1-Be honest with God
– When you pray it’s good to be honest with God, he knows if you’re lying!!! It’s good when you pray to be able to tell God anything, it could be a rant or ramble or just confession saying sorry for the things you know you shouldn’t have done.
2-You are a product of prayer – When you pray remember, Prayer Works! – You are a product of prayer, someone (probably more people) were praying for you before you made a commitment to Christ, and they probably continue to pray for you!
3-Stand in the gap for others – If you are a product of prayer make someone else part of yours, you all probably know people who don’t know Christ, pray for them!
4-Faith-Filled Perspective – Believe when you pray that God will answer your prayers, sometimes not the way you expected or even what you wanted but he knows best.
5-Give glory back to God – When you pray it’s good to praise and thank God for thing he’s done, for answered prayers, for good days…even for bad days!
6-Remember – Praying can be tricky! – Many Christians find praying difficult but persevere because God is listening and hanging onto every word you say.

Perhaps a testimony of praying for a long time and being surprised how quick the time goes!

7-Listen for God
– Conversations are a two-way thing, try and let God have a word in edge-ways. Sometimes it’s good just to sit still quietly and listen for God, perhaps have some quiet music on, have a bible handy, God might stick a verse in your head!

Don’t forget!
– Praying can be done with one or more people, it can be good to pray by yourself but also good to pray with your friends or people at church or Youth Group.

Activity:
Get the group in teams to re-write the Lords prayer in a way, which they find helpful and speaks to them. Try not to remove bits of it though, it’s all important!

Share:
Get the group to share their prayers perhaps explaining why they’ve written it how they have. Have they kept any of the old one? If so why?

To Close:
To finish it’s topical to do some prayer! Ask the group for individual prayer requests, perhaps have some ‘World Issues’ on the side just in case they all have perfect lives that need no prayer, encourage the individuals to pray out loud reminding them that it doesn’t matter if the prayer sounds posh or not, it’s what’s on your heart when you pray that matters, God isn’t looking for good grammer!