Leading Preteens to Pray ~ Part 1

Preteens are bombarded with activities that compete for their time.  Online games, Wii, homework, baseball, friends and a list of about hundred other things compete for their attention.  MY ten year old has a tough time just sitting in the car without having something to engage with. My iPhone (I let him play games on it sometimes) and his iPad are his two favorites. The average preteen would agree that prayer is important, but most likely doesn’t fit much of it in their daily routine. Especially when so many other things are screaming for their attention attention.

So, how do you lead preteens to pray in today’s fast paced world?  Here are a few things to emphasize:

First, prayer is something you get to do, not have to do.

Preteens often think prayer is a religious activity that isn’t very fun or interesting. Praying is often viewed like a chore: taking out the garbage or doing the dishes. It isn’t fun or exciting, but necessary. Emphasize that prayer can be one of the most exciting activities of their lives! After all, they can experience God do amazing things in and through them when praying. Paint the picture that prayer can be even more exciting than playing online games or hanging out with friends.

Second, prayer deepens your relationship with God.

We all crave a deep personal relationship with God. It’s what we’re searching for deep down. Preteens feel this need as well. They are old enough to recognize and make choices to take step towards God. They, like the rest of us, try to fill it will other things like: popularity, looking good, getting stuff, etc. But these things are empty and never truly fill the need. But when their prayer life is strong, their friendship with God deepens. Preteens are in transition from childhood to adolescence. They’re not kids anymore nor are they teenagers. They’re preteens.  Preteens want to own their faith in Jesus independently of their parents. Helping them to see that prayer deepens their friendship with God is one way to help them own their faith in Jesus.


Next week we’ll take a look at two more things to emphasize when you’re leading preteens to pray. Be sure to come back for more.

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ndiliberto@churchleaders.com'
Over twelve years ago Nick Diliberto lauched a preteen ministry with a handful of volunteers and about 25 kids. Over the years it grew to over 100 kids and has impacted hundreds of young people's lives. Nick is the driving force behind PreteenMinistry.net, Children's Director at La Jolla Presbyterian Church, workshop speaker and author of an ongoing preteen column in Children's Ministry Magazine.