Trying to get a newly gathered group of preteens or teens to settle down and start focusing on a serious subject is no laughing matter. To ease the transition from socializing time to lesson time, maybe you segue to an icebreaker or a game. But when it’s time to calm down for a Bible study or message, the opening prayer you choose can make a world of difference. That’s why we’ve collected a variety of opening prayers for youth groups that will help spark your own ideas.
Opening prayers for youth groups can be any length. They can be adult-led or student-led. And they can be general or tied to that day’s topic. No matter which approach you take, these prayers are essential. Not only do they quiet kids’ bodies, but they also direct their minds onto God’s Word.
Try one of these opening prayers for youth groups at your next meeting or Bible study!
11 Opening Prayers for Youth Groups
When time is tight, don’t skip the opening prayer. Instead, thank God for bringing you all together. Also ask him to guide your study and help you listen to his teachings.
Begin your time together by having teens take turns shouting out praises to God. During the prayer, they can name a general blessing (“a car that starts”). Or they can pinpoint a specific praise (“my mom is well again”).
3. Listen Up!
Before a Bible study or lesson, pray that God will open everyone’s ears and make them receptive to Scripture. This type of prayer reminds teenagers that God is speaking directly to them through his Word. It also opens their hearts to the real possibility that their heavenly Father will transform their hearts and lives.
Opening prayers for youth groups can uplift and inspire students—and remind them of God’s constant presence in their lives. Use this sample wording to emphasize that Jesus plants “seeds of faith” in our hearts and faithfully nurtures them.
When you pray before a Bible lesson, emphasize that it’s a privilege to have direct communication from and with the Lord. Thank God for his wisdom and power. Ask him to give each student discernment and willingness to follow through on what they learn.
Use opening prayers before youth groups to remind kids that your meeting area is a safe, judgment-free zone. Thank God for being open to all our questions and for loving us no matter what.
7. Never Alone
When you know that kids are struggling or hurting, use opening prayers to bring comfort. Remind them of God’s open, loving arms. And thank him for giving us the “support system” of youth group.
8. God Is Good!
Use opening prayer times to offer praise and adoration to the Lord. Highlight various roles of God, from Creator and Redeemer to Sustainer.
Give kids each an “Ask me to pray for you” button during your opening prayer time. Then use the closing prayer time to let kids pair up and pray for each other’s needs.
10. Thy Will Be Done
Use excerpts from the Lord’s Prayer to begin a meeting or study. For example, one time you can focus on God’s holy name, and the next you can pray that God’s will be done. The next time, pray about asking for forgiveness—and having a forgiving spirit.
Lyrics from contemporary praise songs and classic hymns make wonderful opening prayers for youth groups. The options are limitless!
What other opening prayers for youth groups do you recommend? Please share your ideas in the comments below!