Prayers for young adults


“In many ways, they will need you MORE as young adults than they have at any other point in their growing up years.

The decisions are bigger now!

The pressure is greater!

And, their need for wise counsel and coaching is enormous!”

This is what one of my very wise mentors told me as my first child was starting college.

She was and is so right.

When our kids hit these young adult years—between ages 18-30—they do need our wise counsel, our support, our money, our time, our help, and our wisdom.

And, they need our prayers.

Unlike any other season of their lives, our young adults need us to be faithfully lifting them up in prayer. Click To Tweet

prayers for young adults

There are moments when our young adult children will swing back and forth between wisdom and foolishness.

We need to pray that they will move toward greater and greater discretion and understanding.

Here’s a verse that you can pray:

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16

Prayer – “So let ____________ be careful how he/she lives. Don’t live them live like fools, but let _________ live like those who are wise. Teach ____________ to make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” 

We need to pray that they will move toward greater and greater discretion and understanding. Click To Tweet

Our kids may look all grown up, but most of them still have much maturing to do in their twenties.

We need to pray that God will grow them, teach them, train them, and mature them.

Here’s a verse that you can pray:

“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”  Luke 2:52

Prayer – “As Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people, grow ____________ in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and all the people.” 

We need to pray that God will grow them, teach them, train them, and mature them. Click To Tweet

Friends are a huge deal for most young adults.

Pray that God will surround your kids with wise, healthy, and positive friends.

Pray for those negative, immature, unhealthy friends out of their lives.

Here are two verses that you can pray:

“How well God must like you-you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon, you don’t slink along Dead-End Road, you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.”  Psalm 1:1, MSG

Prayer – “Would you help ____________ to not hanging out at Sin Saloon, or slink along Dead-End Road, or go to Smart-Mouth College? Instead, help ___________ to thrill to God’s Word, to chew on Scripture day and night.” 

‘Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”’ I Corinthians 15:33

Prayer – “Help __________ to not be deceived and to realize that bad company ruins good morals. Protect __________ from bad company, unhealthy friends, and unwise companions.”

Pray that God will surround your kids with wise, healthy, and positive friends. Click To Tweet

With so many things competing for our young adult kids’ attention, we need to pray that they will be drawn to the Lord.

Here’s a verse that you can pray:

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:12-13

Prayer – “Thank You for listening when we pray. Encourage _________ to pray. And, put in ____________ ‘s heart a desire to look for You wholeheartedly. Thank You that ____________ will find You if they seek after You with their whole heart.”

With so many things competing for our young adult kids’ attention, we need to pray that they will be drawn to the Lord. Click To Tweet

Fifth Pray for them to Get in on God’s Plan for Their Lives

I don’t believe there is a season in our children’s lives filled with more major decisions than this one.

They are deciding what to study, where to go to college, where to live, whom to marry, what career to pursue, and who they will become.

Our young adult kids need for us to pray for them as never before. Click To Tweet

Here’s a great verse that you can pray:

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Psalm 138:8, ESV

Prayer – “Thank You that You will fulfill Your purpose for __________ and for his/her life.” 

So, what do you think?

How do you pray for your young adult kids? Click To Tweet

What verses have you used?

How have you seen God answer your prayers for your children?

It’s called – Live in Light: 5-Minute Devotions for Teen Girls.

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prayers for young adults

prayers for young adults

prayers for young adults

prayers for young adults

“If we’re serious about forming faith to sustain young adults… we have to trust that the Christian spiritual tradition has much to offer.”

On Millennials and Church

Young adults – those in their 20s and 30s, often called Millennials – seem to be everywhere, except, of course, in church. If we truly believe that the church needs millennials, and that millennials need the church, what is the way forward? Kyle Oliver has studied and written extensively on this generation. The following is a condensed version of his article from the Winter 2016 Episcopal Teacher.

The Challenges of Reaching Young Adults

At the developmental margins by definition, the in-betweeness of young adults is a huge part of why congregations are so flummoxed about them. Churches have long served children, youth, parents, empty-nesters, and elders. But emerging adults are a special kind of moving target, no longer youth but not quite adults.

How can churches meet twenty- and thirty-somethings where they are developmentally, supporting them in their transitions without condescension?

The challenges are real: Pew Research reports that only 18 percent of Millenials say they attend religious services “nearly every week” or more, as of the late ’00s. Religion may well become more important to the Millennials as they age, but slight upward trends do not change the experience of church for the young adults who are currently attending, where the young adult experience can be one of isolation and alienation. It is often difficult to form a critical mass for young adult fellowship or programs.

Below are four approaches that churches are using for successfully engaging young adults.

#1: The Critical Mass, Going Post-Denominational

What no denomination can afford to continue is the habit of trading on denominational loyalty alone. For example, in the Episcopal Church, campus ministries flounder when they say “We’ll be a home for all the Episcopalians on campus.” Many Episcopalians aren’t looking for such a home, and many more don’t particularly care if the Episcopal shield is on the sign out front.

A post-denominational approach acknowledges that the broader Christian tradition is much more important than the way denominations slice and dice that tradition. Denominational identities can help us form distinctive, authentic Christian communities that don’t assume a membership model of the past (“every Methodist will join our group”).

Gathering around a common Christian identity – core teachings of the faith, patterns of common worship and fellowship, a desire to grow and live in integrity – is more engaging than denominational differences.

This is good news for faith formation leaders. We’ve long known that the message of the Gospel, the power of personal relationships, and the freedom to explore the rich diversity of the Christian way are more important factors than denominational brand identity in the forming of a mature and lively faith.

#2: Emphasizing Service

Following the popularity of secular programs like the Peace Corps, Christian denominations have created programs for service in the U.S. and abroad. These programs are a terrific response to the realities of emerging adulthood, providing food, housing, and employment at a time when many cannot find work; bringing young adults seeking to make a difference to areas of great need; incorporating vocational discernment; and connecting them to faith communities.

These programs are changing Christian culture because they provide as positive model for how being the church is about more than Sunday worship. Participants become living signs of being a Christian in the world. Many organizations find that an emphasis on service addresses the issues springing from Millennials’ waning religiosity and distrust of institutions.

Service connects with young adults in a way that worship or church activities may not. It many not be easy for most Millennials to invite a friend to church. But inviting them to serve? That is a way to plant the seed of faith.

#3: Creating Space for Questions

We can respond to young adults’ developmental needs by becoming a place where they feel safe to be themselves: anxious about the future, conflicted (or not) about their sex lives, doubtful about the historical doctrines of the church, etc. They need to be encouraged to own their faith, to make it real and concrete in their lives. The motto of the catechumenate program at Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis is, “Your questions are not in the way – your questions are the way.” Communities that are successfully reaching young adults emphasize authenticity.

The lens of authenticity is helping many young adult ministers find success by gathering around food and drink, such as pub theology and dinner churches. It’s wrong to think of these approaches as merely luring in young adults promises of food and booze. It’s about meeting them where they already are, trusting in Christ’s presence among any gathering of the faithful and the seeking, easing barriers to invitation, and acknowledging that the faith questions you’d ask in a pub or at a dinner table are just as legitimate as the ones you’d ask in a pastor’s office or parish hall.

#4: Digital Ministry 

Online spaces are a primary outlet for all kinds of authentic expression, including religious expression. We shouldn’t assume that young adults demand that all of our faith formation practices have an online component, but strategic efforts can lead to additional “faith touches” and a sense of ongoing connection and belonging amid busy young-adult lives.

A Firm Foundation for Faith

A pilgrimage is just a trip if there is not both a journey and a meaning connected to the journey. There is a body of Christian knowledge and a distinctively Christ-like way of living and this resonates with young adults. How should we describe it? In 2014, my colleague Melanie Mullen and I jotted down the big items:

•  Basic knowledge of the Bible and reading it for spiritual fulfillment
•  Basic knowledge of church traditions and worship and a commitment to letting them shape us over time
•  Basic knowledge of theology and an ability to use it to reflect on everyday life
•  Basic knowledge about prayer and spiritual practices and a willingness to explore them in a committed way
•  A passion for justice and mercy and a commitment to serving others and the common good
•  A sense that we are in this together as a people, sharing our joys and sorrows, marking the major passages in life.

Your community’s list might be different depending on your tradition, your gifts, and your theological commitments. But you can help the people you serve make their meandering way through that territory over time.


Programs may be out. Formal curriculum may be deadly. Service may be the starting point, or fellowship over coffee, beer, or a good meal. But a pilgrimage requires a sense of direction, progress, and thorough exploration. If we’re serious about forming faith that will continue to sustain young adults as they age, we have to trust that the Christian spiritual tradition has much to offer. We need to give it a chance to do its work, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Kyle Matthew Oliver is digital missioner and instructor in the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary and priest associate at St. Michael’s Church in New York City. He leads the e-Formation Learning Community because he believes digital literacy is essential for 21st-century ministers. He lives in the Bronx with his wife, Kristin Saylor.

One of our biggest responsibilities as adults is to teach and train our kids core principals from the Bible to give them a solid foundation in Christ as they grow.  You don’t have to walk very far to see how important it is to pray right now.  It seems like each generation gets a little more out of control than the last one.  Here are 7 prayers you can pray for young people (ages 20 and under) and the next generation.

Rise Up

Father in Heaven,

I pray that You would raise up a generation of children that would fear You greatly!  Lord, I’m scared about where our country is headed.  Many bad decisions are affecting our kids.  Abortion is not a scary word anymore.  Father, our kids need to know to fight for what’s right and I pray that You would use me to help Your cause to raise a generation of young people that will continue to fight for You!  I love You!  Amen

“We know what’s right!  We’ll stand and fight!  It’s time to rise!” (We Know What’s Right, Whitecross)



You know the hearts of our young kids.  I pray that you would grow a desire in them that some would devote a life of service to a ministry.  We need honest preachers.  We need passionate worship pastors.  We need men that will take hold of these desires and run with them.  You can do great things, Father, through us and I pray that You will use the Holy Spirit to speak to our adolescent children to grow a passion inside of them that wants to know You more and live for You daily!  I love You!  Amen

“And how are they to preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’”(Romans 10:15)

Your Own Kids

Dear Lord,

I love my children so much and I know that they are learning to love You more daily.  Father, I am scared for them because everything around them says You are a lie.  I pray that the Holy Spirit will convict them daily to know what is right and what choices they should make.  I know that they are only with me for a brief time and I pray that I would be found faithful in Your sight with how I raise them.  I will continue to pray with them and encourage them to read their Bibles daily.  Lord, I believe Jesus!  He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) I pray that my children will grow to believe the same way.  I put them in Your hands, Father.  Amen

“And when you feel like giving up, I will walk you through the pain.  And when you feel like life’s too much, remember Jesus is your strength always.” (Always, Seventh Day Slumber)

The Outcasts

O Father in Heaven,

My heart is breaking for the young men and women who are social outcasts.  The news tells the same story every single night.  Someone is being bullied or shot.  Father, this is chaotic!  Please, Lord, protect the ones who cannot protect themselves.  Some kids are so emotionally traumatized that they have attempted to take their own lives…some have succeeded.  Father, I pray that You would place men and women of faith in the paths of these kids to show them that they are special and they are loved.  Until they see love they will only continue in the spiral of endless chaos.  Father, use me to help in any way!  I love You!  Amen

“I will not turn my eyes.  I will not ignore their cries…Orphans come home.  The kingdom is yours.” (Orphans, Impending Doom)


Blessed Lord,

I thank You for the men and women that lead teams of missionaries to help spread the truth of the Gospel of Christ.  I pray that as our church is planning its next trip that our young men and women will step up and fill the need.  I have seen You move on these trips in mighty ways!  Many people who needed clothes, shoes and a roof for their head have come to know and love You because of people willing to go on a missions trip.  Lord, I will encourage the young people to go, just as You have told us to go in the great commission.  I love You!  Amen

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

In The Womb

Dear God,

I pray for those yet to be born. There are thousands and thousands of little babies waiting to be born from their mommies. I pray that these little ones will hear the truth of the Bible as they grow older.  I pray for Your protection on them in the womb.  Without new life, we would be extinct and children are a huge blessing.  Guide, guard and direct these little ones as they grow in You.  They could change the world because of You!  I lift them up to You in the name of Your precious Son.  Amen

prayers for young adults

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Psalm 127:3)


Heavenly Father,

I pray for the young men and women who have left their faith behind to indulge in the desires of the flesh.  Father, I pray that You would open their eyes to see the decay that is around them.  I pray that they would understand their sin fully and repent.  Lord, bring them to their knees in sadness and remorse for the terrible things they have done.  Until they see the need for Jesus they are doomed for hell.  Please, Father, draw them back to You.  Use men and women of faith to love on them and show them truth in the midst of the deception they are living in.  The devil is crafty, but You are Holy!  All things are possible through You!  I love You!  Amen

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)


These are only 7 of many prayers you could pray for our young people and the next generation.  We need to be in prayer daily for them!  So, please, take just 2 minutes of your day and say a quick prayer to God for a young person you know.  It may be the very thing that launches that young person into a life of service to the Lord!  May God bless you as you continue to live a life worthy of the calling!

More about raising up children: How to Raise A Child in A Christian Home

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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