Telling young Christians to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) is solid biblical advice. But teens likely have many questions about the specific ins and outs of conversing with God. For example: What should I pray about? How and where should I pray? What words and topics are appropriate or best? Should I pray alone or with a partner? How do I know God is listening? By teaching intentional lessons on prayer for youth, leaders help kids establish good communication habits with God that will last a lifetime.
Check out these 8 lessons on prayer for youth:
The key points on this page are especially valuable for new Christians. Review prayer “basics” together, exploring Scripture verses about why and how we should pray. As always, a great starting point for teaching lessons on prayer for youth is Jesus’ example of the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-12).
Use this alphabet-based prayer guide with preteens, or provide the link as a resource for parents. Praying through the alphabet is a helpful way to expand your prayer vocabulary. And it underscores the fact that God cares about every aspect of our lives. Nothing is too big or small to take to God in prayer!
In this age of instant communication, remind kids that God is even more accessible than their phone contacts. Dive into Scripture to discover God’s “phone number.” And help teenagers understand that prayer should go beyond surface-level conversations. Instead of phoning in their prayers, young people can experience intimate, soul-level chats with Jesus, their best friend.
If you lead a small group of tween or teen girls, consider studying the prayers of various OT women. Together, discover what the words of Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Esther, and Hagar reveal about God and how to be in relationship with him.
Encourage youth group members to approach God in prayer about any unsaved family members and friends. This resource suggests 14 Bible verses for such prayers. As a group, ask God to become real to anyone who’s struggling with their faith walk. Then discuss ways you can be Jesus’ hands and feet, serving and befriending people in need of a faith boost.
Not all teenagers rebel, but at some point every sinful human (all of us!) rebels against God. Use the prayer prompts at this site to pray for and with kids. When sin and temptation feel overwhelming, assure teens that Jesus has already declared victory…and we can do the same, through him.
Although adolescence is a time of discovery, many teens these days feel lost. As kids try to decide what paths to take with their lives, remind them to turn to God in prayer. Their heavenly Father has a plan and purpose for each of them, and he’ll direct their steps. The 10 Bible verses at this site are a great starting point for teens, but concerned parents also will appreciate them.
At some point in everyone’s prayer life, words fail or fall short. Let kids know that even when words don’t come, they can engage in conversation with Jesus. Use the five prayer prompts at this site to model how kids can still pray—and God will still understand—even when they’re at a loss for words.
What other lessons on prayer for youth do you recommend? What resources help you teach teens about maintaining ongoing conversations with Jesus?