"So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding."
Colossians 1:9Prayer is not an option - we all need to be praying. God's work cannot happen unless we have prayers committed to the cause.
Here is a bunch of prayer ideas you can use with your youth group.
Prayers in the SandThis is a great way to spell out forgiveness, you get a tray of sand that people can come up to (put it a bit out the way, so other can't see what you write) and then if there's something they want to confess and repent of, they just write it in the sand, and once they've repented of whatever it is, then they rub out what they wrote and it's gone. It's just a very clear way of showing how God wipes the slate clean when we ask for his forgiveness.
At the foot of the CrossYou can make a cross or put a picture of a cross on a wall, and have a verse for people to think/pray about. A good verse to use is Luke 9:23:
Then he said to them all: If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Then you can put a note below saying something like 'what does this mean to you/in your life?'
Praying for the WorldYou'll need a big picture of the world, maybe a poster or use a projector to show an image, or just use a globe. Also, you'll need some post-it notes, then people can come up and write a prayer for a countries on the post-it and then stick it on the map (in the right place). You could also be more specific and pray for Bible translation projects or for missionaries.
Prayer ROCKS!You will need a collection of rocks (enough for everyone in your group and small enough to carry in a pocket) and permanent markers for everyone.
Get everyone in your group to take a rock, and with a pen write their name and a prayer request on it. Then put all the rocks in the middle again and pick up someone else's rock. They then have to carry the rock around with them wherever they go, and when they remember the rock, pray for the person on it. When you meet again, exchange rocks with someone else.
On the other hand, if your church supports lots of missionary, perhaps you could write a missionary on each rock and then hand them out.
North, South, East and WestPray for the four corners of the whole. Get together some prayer requests or issues going on is the world that need pray, and split them into four groups: North, South, East and West. Then when you are with your youth group share the prayer requests for the North, face that way and start praying. Do this for South, East and West. A compass may be needed if you don't know where North is. Also, you could try praying in different ways for each direction, e.g. kneeling or writing down prayers.
The Inclusive Prayer CircleIf you have got lots of people in your youth group from different schools a great idea is to get everyone to make a big circle. Then whoever is in charge calls out the name of a school (that someone actually attends) then everyone who goes to that school goes into the middle of the circle, and then everyone still in the circle crowds around those in the middle and prays for them (e.g. that they would have the boldness to talk to the school friends about Jesus). After a short time get everyone to return to the circle and then call out the name of another school. Keep doing this until everyone has been prayed for. Getting everyone to pray out loud and all together is a good idea.
Prayer BalloonsPrayer balloons are great for large groups of people, but can be quite noisy and slightly messy. You will need balloons that have not yet been blown up. Each person in the group gets a thin strip of paper and writes a prayer request on one side and a Bible verse on the other, the verse can be one they like or one they feel God wants them write down. Then each person gets a balloon and puts their piece of paper in it. The balloons are then blown up and when everybody is done the balloons are then thrown up into the air (preferably indoors so none fly away). Each person then catches a balloon of a different colour and pops it. Everyone then has another persons prayer request and a Bible verse to read.
Prayer Post-Its NotesThis is a great prayer activity for any size group and all you need is some Post-it notes, and of course prayers. Each person in the group is given a Post-it note and writes down a prayer request they may have (you could suggest praying for missionaries you support). Once everyone in the group is done, the Post-it notes are then passed on a few times around the group. Everyone can then pray for someone else and stick the Post-it note in the front of his or her Bible if it is an ongoing prayer request. You can then pray for people in your group every time you read your Bible.
Prayer BallsIf you've got some time to prepare, and don't mind investing a small amount of money, then Prayer Balls is a great idea. What you need to do is go to a shop and buy a bunch of plastic balls, like the ones you find in children's Ball Pools, or you could buy some cheap tabletennis balls, you should have a least one ball per person praying. Then, using a permanent marker, write a letter on each ball, go through the whole alphabet as many times as needed.
When you come together spread all the balls over the floor, and get everyone to pick one up, then ask them to think of a country starting with the letter on their ball, and then spend a few minutes praying for that country. After a while throw the balls around until you get a new letter, and start again.
Prayer AeroplanesA simple idea to jazz up long prayer meetings. Everyone in the group writes one or two prayer requests onto a piece of A4 paper. Fold the paper into aeroplanes. When everyone is ready, stand together at one end of the room and fling your paper aeroplanes down the room. Then, go and pick up somebody else's plane. Unfold it and spend a few minutes praying for the people and situations written on the piece of paper. Prayer requests can be anonymous if the group is not comfortable with sharing requests.
CLICK HERE for some of the latest prayer requests for the Bible Translation movement.
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