Prayers for youth sunday

Here’s some of the liturgy and prayers I was commissioned to write for our Youth Sunday church service this week.

*RESPONSIVE CALL TO WORSHIP One: Jesus said, “take up your cross and follow me.”



One: “I lay down my life only to take it up again.”



One: “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you” to live, to love, and to serve.



*UNISON PRAYER OF INVOCATION God of glory and service, we come to You today with open hearts and open hands ready to receive from You the blessing of Your Word and Your communion, ready to offer ourselves to You. Come to us with love and draw us together in Your body as we draw together to worship you. We come to Your table in anticipation of the day when none shall go hungry and none shall be denied. In Your sacrifice You have said “yes” to us when all others have said “no.” We dedicate this day as our “yes” to You. We pray this in the name of the servant king; Christ, the Lord. Amen.

UNISON PRAYER OF CONFESSION God of mercy, You created us in Your image and yet now we are but broken mirrors, meant to reflect Your image into the world but each day failing to do so. We are no strangers to brokenness. We have become masters at faking, pretending that we have it all together. We confess today that we do not. We confess that we can move no further if we do not move in You. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our savior. Amen.

WORD OF ASSURANCE (Matthew 20:28)

The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.


Lord of all things, we return these gifts which You have given to us back to You, to be used for Your kingdom and for the service of others. We give You these gifts, not in mere obligation, but as an act of worship to You. Amen.

The following prayer was written for use on a youth Sunday formed around the parables of the lost sheep, coins and sons (Luke 15) and includes five youth voices.

Let us together turn to the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth in prayer.

We pray for your wonderful creation, the earth, and its streams, mountains, creatures, and plants. Remind us anew of your wonderful gift of creation and empower us each to live in ways that honor your intent for us, your human caretakers.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

(Youth #1)

We pray for this holy gathering and for the people of God in every place.  May the church universal be faithful to your call to help bring about your kingdom on the earth as it is in heaven.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

(Youth  #2)

We pray for all the leaders of the world that they may make wise choices for everyone and that they may lead us to honor and respect all people.  May their words and actions lead away from oppression and violence and toward peace and possibility.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

(Youth #3)

We pray for those who live without resources we take for granted.  We give thanks for those people and ministries who seek to help provide food, healthcare, and shelter to those in need and we ask that you would bless and expand their efforts.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

(Youth #4)

On youth Sunday, we give thanks for loving support our congregation gives to our middle school and high school youth groups.  We pray that through all of the ministries of our church we would faithfully serve Christ in our community and the world.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

(Youth #5)

We pray for those who do not understand or have not experienced your love, that they may seek a deeper knowledge of you. We pray for your love to touch those who are hurting today, including those on our congregational prayer list.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

God, you are our Loving Parent.  Meet us now with open arms as we pray together the Lord’s Prayer

By Pastor Dev

Dear Heavenly Father,

On this Youth Day, our prayer is a prayer for forgiveness.

First, Lord, we ask for forgiveness for ourselves as a nation, when we have championed the wrong values to our youth — to the next generation. Forgive us for valuing possessions over relationships, valuing efficiency over friendship, valuing merits over graciousness. We ask forgiveness when — like the Israelites of old — we have used the next generation as an excuse to prevent us from serving or giving to You sacrificially; as tools for our own gain, instead of their benefit. Lord, forgive us.

Second, Lord, we ask for forgiveness as parents: for all the times that we preferred to outsource our children to others for our own convenience, or neglected them altogether; for all the times we have set a bad example for our youth and scolded them when they merely followed our pattern; for all the times we have failed to encourage them to listen to the will of their Father in heaven, and preferred them to follow to the wisdom of the world. Lord, forgive us.

Lord, we ask forgiveness for the youth: for all the times the young people have disrespected those in authority; for all the times we have claimed to be wiser than our elders, yet ended up becoming foolish; for all the times that we have cared only about ourselves and hurt many of our peers by being flippant with our words, our actions, our online activity and the way we form relationships. Lord, forgive us.

Finally, Lord, we ask forgiveness for ourselves as a church: for all the times we have been quick to condemn and criticize our youth instead of being slow to anger, patient to exhort, wise to counsel. We are sorry for all those young people we have hurt, using Your name and Your Scriptures. Lord, help to remove any blemish that we have impressed on their hearts, and show them Your true goodness and Your grace. May we be instead be like Moses, to admit our failures and use them to teach the next generation not to do the same.

Lord, have mercy on us; discipline us when necessary and transform us by Your grace, that we may better equipped to lead the next generation into the promised rest that is in Christ Jesus — into the beauty that is Your holiness.

All this we ask for the sake of Your gospel and Your glory. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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