Equipment: Paper, Pens, Simple pictures, ‘A case of communication’ Skit, question sheets, a video of people talking about what prayer is to them, laptop, projector, speakers, jelly babies (for prayers)
Follow-up Idea! This session touches on reading the bible…why not follow it up with our session on engaging with the bible? Here
Ice Breaker: Invite the young people to get into pairs, sit back to back and give one person in each pair a piece of paper and pen. Hand the person without the paper one a simple picture (something like a house or car…a quick google search will find you some images) and ask them to describe that picture to the other person so they can daw it. Swap over and do another!
Ask: Ask the young people what was easy and what was difficult about that? Did they feel that the instructions were good? Did anyone get stressed doing it?
Drama: A Case of Communication (try and have prepped a couple of young people to do this drama in advance) – This skit is taken from Paul McCusker’s book ’52 Skits’
Explain: In that game communication is key. The pictures were simple so drawing skills didn’t really matter it was more about whether you could describe something in a way which someone else could draw it.
This afternoon we’re thinking about time with God and time with God is essentially about communication. our relationship with God is meant to be a two-way things.
Groups: In small groups get the group to discuss what they think makes a relationship work or breakdown.
Feedback: Get the group to feedback their answers. You may have: honesty, trust, communication, knowing each other, talking.
Explain: Our relationships work when we communicate with each other. If we don’t invest in a relationship it simply doesn’t work because you drift apart. It’s also key that we understand each other (unlike in the drama) and it’s like that with God.
For our relationships with God to grow we have to put time into them. We have to be committed to that relationship. It’s about committing to spending with God, talking to Him and getting to know him more.
Groups: In 2s or 3s invite the group to discuss how they find spending time with God. Do they pray? Read the bible? Follow some kind of ‘study notes’ (whether it’s a podcast or blog or booklet). Is it easy or difficult? Are you motivated to do it?
Feedback: Do you find it easy to spend time with God? What’s easy? What makes it difficult?
Video: Prayer (I used one which was originally from prayer spaces in schools and featured different people talking about what prayer was to them. This video is no longer available however why not make one of people at your church or turn to YouTube to find one)
Ask: What do you think?
Explain: The bible says
‘Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.’ – Hebrews 10: 19-22
This means that when it comes to our relationship with God we don’t have to go through a priest or a vicar but that because of Jesus we can go directly to God.
The only person responsible for our relationship with God is us. God is always there, always listening and always ready to work on that relationship but it’s down to us and if we choose to spend time with Him.
It might be difficult but it’s about finding a way which works for us. We can pray to God out loud or in our hearts. We don’t have to put on a fancy language but can talk to God just like we would anyone else.
You don’t even have to talk…you could sit with a pen/paper and write a prayer to God…use post-its and stick them to your wall…draw pictures to represent your prayers…even use notes on your mobile phone if that helps (and doesn’t distract you!).
When it comes to reading the bible it’s about finding a way which helps us. Try and find a version that you find easy to read…don’t read too much at once but focus on what you do read.
The gospels are a good place to start when reading the bible…start with Genesis and you’ll probably give up shortly afterwards!
Ask God to teach you more about Him through reading the bible.
If reading isn’t you’re thing then there’s loads of videos and podcasts out-there that can help you focus on God and reading different parts of the bible.
If you want help finding a way that works with you then chat to one of your youth leaders…they will jump at the opportunity to help you dive in more!
Jelly Baby Prayers: As this session has begun to think about connecting with God differently we’re going to pray with jelly babies! In advance split your jelly babies into colours.
Invite the young people to pick a jelly baby and pray for a specific thing (for each colour) before eating.
Red – Prayer for something you’ve seen on the news recently
Yellow – Pray for a friend who’s finding things tough at the moment
Black – Pray for your family
Green – Pray for something you’re worried about
Orange – Pray for help to trust God more & deepen your relationship