Opening prayer for youth group

These ideas use visual or activity prompts to encourage individual and group prayer. Several can be used together to develop extended times of creative prayer with your group.

‘I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Saviour, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.’ 1 Timothy 2: 1-4

BIRTHDAY PRAYER BOARD

Put up a wall calendar and ask the young people and leaders to write their names beside their date of birth. Include other members from the church if you wish and any significant dates from the church and youth group calendar. Each week use this visual prompt to stimulate small group prayer for individuals and activities.

PRAYERS IN A HAT

Ask everyone in the group to put their name on a piece of paper. Place the pieces of paper into a hat or another convenient container. Then pass the hat around the group and ask each young person to take out a piece of paper. Encourage them to pray for that person during the coming week.

NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST

Ask the group to face each of these directions in turn and then pray together in silence, or out loud, for any specific needs, personal, individual, local, national, global in that direction. Find out where the missionaries from your church, or those you support, are working and pray for them as you face the direction of their mission field. Bring a compass to the meeting!

COMMUNITY PRAYERS

Invite someone from your church or local community i.e. police officer, health worker, businessman, educator, local politician, to talk a little about their role and share prayer requests for the needs of the community related to their work and role. These can be developed for personal or group prayer.

PRAYER WALK

Invite the young people to go for a walk around your neighbourhood or town. If you have a large youth group divide into smaller groups, each accompanied by a leader. As you walk make notes of the things you see i.e. particular homes, schools, shops, people. Consider and discuss possible prayer needs for each of these situations, and make a note. You could pray right there and then, or perhaps go away and write up your list of locations and prayer topics.

NEWS PRAYER

Collect together some of the TV news headlines (local, national, global) from the previous week as a short video or PowerPoint presentation. Alternatively, select 3-4 headlines from newspapers and stick them to a piece of card. Ask the members of the group to write a prayer about one of the subjects, and then in turn, to read them out. Or, give out copies of the day’s newspapers and ask the young people to cut out or highlight stories they wish to pray for.

PRAYER MAPS (1)

Place a large map of your nation at the centre of the room. Read 1 Timothy 2: 1-4 and invite the young people to get into small groups of 3 or 4 and encourage them to pray for those in authority. Pray for your government and leaders. Pray for wisdom as they govern.

Ask the young people to form new small groups to pray for the church in your nation. Pray for the church to be bold in ‘speaking the truth in love’ and pray for revival. Pray for your church to have a greater impact and witness in your community.

PRAYER MAPS (2)

Place a large map or globe of the world in the centre of the room. Around the map place photographs and newspaper articles of situations around the world which need prayer and intercession. Highlight nations where you know missionaries and Christian ministries working to reach people with the Gospel. If you wish, ask members of the group to research certain nations and bring prayer requests from the information they have gathered.

Article by Grahame Knox from Insight. Used with permission.

fervr.net
FOCUS: To help students examine their understanding of prayer as a spiritual practice.

OPENING UP: Invite the group to pray with you and say:

“Dear God, we come before you and give thanks for everything we have. We ask that you continue to bless us. Give us the things that we need and the things that we want. Help us get the best MP3 players, the best video game systems, the coolest clothes, the hottest sports car. Help us make good grades on all our tests and homework, and help us to win and be number one at whatever we try. Most especially, bless our country so that we continue to be more powerful and more wealthy than any other country in the world. Thanks God. Amen.”

Ask: If you heard this prayer in a worship service, how do you think you would react/feel? How is this prayer different/same as your idea of prayer?

REFLECTION: Go around the circle and invite each person to finish the phrase “Prayer is…” with one word. Do this three times, encouraging them to use a different word each time. Encourage them to consider action words, descriptive words, symbols, emotions, etc. Keep a written list of their responses.

Alternative: Pass out a handout with a variety of images on it related to prayer. The images might include folded hands, a person singing, someone walking in the woods, a lit candle, worshippers holding hands in a circle. Invite youth to share which pictures say something to them about how they understand prayer.

DIGGING INTO THE TEXT: Read Matthew 6: 5-17 together. Ask: How could the text help shape our prayer practice? How might we pray differently than we do now in church/in private?

Read

Luke 18: 9-14 (The Pharisee & the Tax Collector). Ask: How do you think the Pharisee would define prayer? How do you think the tax collector would define prayer?

Read Luke 5:16. Ask: What do you think about Jesus’ practice of praying alone? What do you imagine he prayed about? What does your own prayer practice look like or what would you like it to look like?

BRINGING TOGETHER SCRIPTURE & OUR STORY: Pose “The Big Question”: Do you think God answers prayer? If so, how? What does a prayer sound like if it’s not about asking for stuff? What part, if any, do we play in helping God to answer prayers (or own or those of others)?

Encourage the group to reflect on the different ideas and images of prayer that you have discussed. Invite them to create (perhaps in silence, as an act of prayer) a group mural that illustrates, without words, different ways of understanding prayer.

TAKING ACTION: Invite youth to take up a prayer practice in the coming weeks that involves “emptying” oneself of those me-centered desires and distractions that get in the way of a more meaningful prayer practice. Encourage students, like Jesus, to find a “secluded place” to pray, whether that be in their bedroom or outside in the woods or locked in the bathroom! Invite youth to use a prayer box or bowl as a way to begin their time of person prayer. This vessel could be used in two ways. One: place into the receptacle things or symbols of things that might distract you in your time of prayer or draw you into yourself instead of into God. These might include a cell phone, watch, TV remote, homework, money, etc. Two: place into the receptacle slips of paper on which you have written the names of people or places for which you want to focus your prayer time.

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Here is a collection of Prayers for Meetings of any kind: Business meetings, Sunday school meetings, church or family meetings, and prayer meetings.

Opening Prayer for Meeting

Lord, we are meeting today to conduct matters
of business. Guide our hearts and our minds in the
spirit of fairness, right thought and speech. Impart your
supreme wisdom upon our activities so that our affairs
may reach a successful conclusion. Thank you for being
our source of guidance today. Amen!

Read our full collection of Opening and Closing Prayers

Prayer to Come to an Agreement

Dear God, we seek your help with our affairs today.
Bless this meeting with your divine intelligence, and
help us to make the best use of our own. We are
of diverse opinion here. Yet we wish to mend our
differences and reach agreement satisfactory to all.

Please share a little of your wisdom with us to help
us do right by all concerned. Thank you for your
Heavenly blessing. Amen!

Sunday School Meeting

O God, we thank You for this privilege of meeting
today in Your house. Help us worship You
acceptably. Bless Your word to us all.

Bless our pastor and people, in the name
of Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.!

School Board Meeting Prayer

Loving and Gracious God, you are indeed the giver of all good gifts
and we thank you today for all your blessings, for the successful outcomes
of our school events and for all our staff members, both the teaching and
support members.

We ask that you bless them abundantly and we continue to seek your wisdom,
guidance, courage and strength. Be with us in our deliberations and help us
to be wise in the decisions we make for the good of all those who have placed
their trust and confidence in our leadership.

Give us insight to lead with integrity that our decisions may reflect what is
right and good. Keep us from short-sightedness and pettiness. Help us to make
decisions that are for the good of all and guard us from blind self interest.
Dear Lord, grant us the humility to always seek your will in all that we do and say.

All Glory be to you, loving God, now and always through Christ and the Holy Spirit
forever and ever. Amen.

Hosting a prayer meeting? Check out these great Prayer Meeting Ideas.

Family Meeting Prayer

Our family gathers today in joyous occasion,
thanks to our Lord who looks after us all.
Bless this happy meeting and may we all
be praised in Your gracious name!

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