As youth ministers, I don’t think we always do a great job of placing a very strong emphasis on the importance of prayer in the lives of our students. Certainly we encourage them to pray, and we come alongside them to pray with and for them, but I am confident we can and should do a better job explaining and modeling the importance of prayer. God Himself commands us to pray. 1Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” And, He also says that if we, “Ask it will be given to us, if we seek, we shall find. If we know the door will be open to us!” Matthew 7:7-8
I would like to give you a few ideas to help show your students the importance of prayer especially within the church. Today I will discuss the idea of a Prayer Night in your congregations, and next time I will discuss a specific way that your students can pray for and say “thank you” to each of your church staff.
One night a year, our youth group has a Prayer Night. We begin in our youth room and have a mass prayer including petitions from each member of the group. We also pray for our youth group and that God continues to bless His ministry in us and through us.
After the mass prayer, we break up into groups. Each group has a leader and each group is assigned different areas in the church. When the group gets to their specific area, there is a piece of paper explaining what happens in that specific area of the church. For example, one of the areas is our conference room. The students learn about all the decisions that are made in this room as well as all of the Bible studies, etc. that happen there. After the introduction, youth spend five minutes in prayer thanking God for this specific area, but more importantly, for the people who seek His will in that place. There are four other locations where groups are doing that same thing. After 10 total minutes, each group moves to the next location. When each group has prayed in all five areas, students gather back in the youth room for one final prayer for God’s people.
A night of prayer can make a huge impact in the lives of your youth. Not only can you give them a chance to pray, but you also allow them to develop an awareness of what actually happens in the life of your congregation! As Psalm 136:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever!”