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Overview: To parallel tossing our prayers up to God like we toss a ball or a piece of paper.
- 5 small nerf balls or pieces of paper per group
- 2 clean trash cans or large buckets
Preparation: Crumble 10 pieces of paper if no nerf balls are available
Time Involved: 10-15 minutes
Game Description: Break up the larger group into boys and girls. Line the two groups up with the trash can or large buckets approximately 20 feet away. Have the students compete to see which group can successfully make 5 baskets before the other group. The group who makes 5 baskets first wins gender bragging rights for the day.
Bible Verse Emphasis: Matthew 6: 5-6 (MSG)
“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat? “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
Goal: For the students to realize they don’t have to have the right words or the right style to pray. To talk to God like they would a friend instead of tossing up a prayer, hoping to “make a basket”.
Discussion Questions (in small groups)
- Go around say your name, your school, and your favorite sport or hobby.
- Do they ever find it difficult to pray? Why or why not?
- Have they ever found themselves just throwing a prayer up to God? Why?
- What do you think prayer accomplishes?
- Go around and say something you need prayer for. Then have someone pray for those request.
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Liked this game? View this Youth Group Lesson on Prayer
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Use this quick lesson to help your youth ministry discover the importance of prayer.
Say: A couple of weeks ago while I was on a business trip, I was talking on my cell phone with my wife (yes, they do more than send text messages!).
I had just received some great news and was excited to share it with her.
Suddenly, I realized that she hadn’t said anything for several seconds.
I looked at my screen and it said that we still had a connection.
I said her name several times and waited for a response but did not get one.
I was frustrated because I was pretty sure that she was still on the line, but for some reason my conversation was only working one-way.
After hanging up and trying again, we were able to resume the conversation, but later I got to thinking about my experience and realized that prayer can sometimes feel the same way.
I know that God can hear me when I pray, but when His voice feels silent in my life, I sometimes wonder if the connection only works one-way.
Read 1 Kings 19:11-13
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain, ” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave…”
Say: In this story, Elijah was searching for God. First, he looked for Him in a windstorm, then a powerful fire, but God was not in either of those things.
This was a very significant experience for Elijah because God had established a pattern of appearing in these ways over hundreds of years when communicating with His people.
God appeared in a burning bush to Moses in Exodus 3 and in billows of smoke on Mt. Sinai in Exodus 19 with winds that shook the ground.
Despite these patterns, Elijah does not feel God’s presence until he hears the faintest of whispers.
Do you ever find yourself expecting God’s voice to come in windstorms and explosive fireworks?
I know that when I am desperately seeking God in prayer, I most often want to hear or see His response in very obvious, visible ways.
If I am sick, I pray for healing and want to feel better immediately.
If I need help with a problem, I want a clear solution.
If I am in emotional pain, I want God make the pain go away.
Sometimes, though, I feel the same way I did during my dropped call with my wife.
I talk to God in prayer and feel and see no change.
It is in those moments that I need to remember that God’s voice sometimes comes in a gentle whisper.
He doesn’t always work in dramatic ways.
Sometimes it is in the little things that God moves the most.
I might not feel healthy right away, but He may nudge me toward the help that I need.
A solution may not present itself to fix my problems, but He can use those problems to make me stronger.
The pain may not always go away immediately, but He sometimes uses that pain to remind of all that He has blessed me with.
These are just a few tangible ways that God speaks through a whisper.
How are you looking for God to respond to your prayers?
Maybe the connection hasn’t been lost.
Perhaps you are just not listening carefully enough.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
How has God spoken or moved in your life in a way that seems like a powerful wind or fire?
How has God spoken or moved in your life in a way that seems like a gentle whisper?
What things in your life can make it difficult for you to hear God’s whisper?
Why do you think that God uses a whisper sometimes instead of a dramatic experience?
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If you liked this lesson, you will enjoy this…
Youth Group Game on Prayer
A Prayer for Our Youth
Psalm 145, Daniel 1
Reflections of the Heart:
Our Youth are the future for our city, nation and world. Therefore, we must pray for them daily. As believers, we declare that our Youth are the righteousness of God! We declare that they walk in obedience and they are growing in the wisdom and stature of the Lord.
We exalt You, our God and King, and praise Your Name forever and ever. You are great and most worthy of praise. No one can measure Your greatness. Each generation will tell its children of Your mighty acts and will proclaim Your power. Lord, You are good to everyone and You shower compassion on all of Your creation. All of Your works will thank You Lord, and we Your faithful followers will praise You. We praise You for Your mighty works. We praise Your unequaled greatness. Father, we thank You for the Youth of Windsor Village UMC. Thank You for Minister Ray Bady and the Outbreak leadership team. Thank You, for protecting our Youth and blessing them in all areas of their lives.
Father, it is Your will that our Youth obey Your commands and seek You first in all they do. We decree that our Youth will obey the Lord with all of their hearts and walk uprightly before Him. We confess that they are blessed and all things are being added to them. We decree that our Youth will not let loyalty and kindness leave them, but they will tie them around their necks and write them deep within their hearts. As they do this, they will find favor with both God and people and they will earn a good reputation. We declare that they will grow into the full knowledge of Jesus Christ and confess with their mouths that He is their Lord and Savior. We declare that our Youth will comprehend how wide, how long, how high, and how deep God’s love is for each of them and they will earnestly seek truth and obtain favor. Lord, we expect You to give them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom, like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. We expect that people will look upon them and know that they are blessed. We declare that they will have ten times more knowledge, skill and wisdom as they obey God’s principles. Collectively, as a Church Family, we confess that our Youth are mighty in the land. We declare that every youth of WVUMC will fulfill God’s will and purpose for their lives.
Holy Spirit, we ask You to fill our Youth with Your wisdom and spiritual understanding. Please help our Youth to choose godly friends and bless their relationships with their parents and loved ones. Turn the hearts of parents and Youth toward each other. Give our parents wisdom and patience as they diligently teach their Youth Your Word. Holy Spirit, teach our parents Your principles for rearing their sons and daughters. Remind our Youth to follow godly instruction. Touch the hearts of our Youth and remind them not to defile themselves with the ways of the world through fornication, lying, stealing, alcohol and drug abuse and other worldly things. Help them to make the right choices and activate Your fruit of the Spirit in their lives. Please protect them and bless them at school and at their jobs.
I commit to proclaim the following blessings of God over the Youth in my community:
Father, forgive our Youth for disrespecting their parents, teachers, elders and any persons of authority. Forgive them for not obeying the instructions of their parents. Forgive them for using profanity, viewing movies and books of pornography, not studying, fornicating, gossiping, ridiculing others, and not representing the Kingdom of God in their daily living. Forgive parents for not raising their Youth according to Your ways. Forgive parents for provoking their Youth to anger by falsely accusing them, cursing them, or using profanity. Forgive our parents and Youth for not representing the Kingdom of God in their homes. Lord, forgive us as a Church Family for not always helping our parents and Youth; we know it takes a village to raise a child. Lord, remind our parents and Youth to forgive one another and others; and help them to forgive.
Lead them not into temptation; but, deliver them from all evil.
Lord, Your Word is forever settled in heaven. Your way is perfect. There is no God like You. Your Word is flawless and You are a shield, a fortress and a place of refuge. You are exalted in perfect faithfulness. You have done marvelous things. We give praise to You, the God who is strong. To You, the only wise God, be the glory, majesty, dominion and power both now and forever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture References for the Written Text: Psalm 145:1,3-4, 9-10, Psalm 150:2, Matthew 6:33, Proverbs 3:4, Romans 10:9, Ephesians 3:18, Daniel 1:17-20, Colossians 1:9, Malachi 4:6, Proverbs 22:6, Deuteronomy 6:6-9, Galatians 5:22, Ephesians 6:4, Matthew 6:13, Psalm 119:89, Jude 1: 24-25
Today, I will trust God to: