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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
Structure – Divine Mercy Prayer Cenacle
Prayer Outline Part 1 (The Chaplet)
1. Opening greeting:
Begin by welcoming your youth and new members. Invite the youth to share about what’s going on in their life and ask them if they have special intentions that they would want the group to pray for.
2. The Purpose of our Prayers: The purpose of our prayers is to pray for our youth, the youth of today; the youth of tomorrow; and the youth that has fallen yesterday; in hope that they will return. Praying for our youth is a commitment we hold very close to our hearts. In addition, we pray for our families and for all families throughout the world. We are dedicated in praying for our Holy Father the Pope and for the Holy Church.
3. Description of Prayers: Remind the youth of the order of prayer. We begin by praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, followed by praying the Holy Rosary. After the rosary, we invite all of you to hold hands and present your petitions to Jesus and Mary out loud.
4. Opening Prayer: Dear Jesus, we praise and thank you for your love and for calling us to your Merciful Heart. We place our self into your loving presence and ask you to come into our hearts and fill us with your peace. We ask that you would send your spirit of healing into the brokenness of our hearts and fill us with your tender mercy. Sweet Jesus, we thank you for all your good gifts especially for the gift of your Mother Mary. Dear Lady, our Mother, we invite you to be with us now and to pray with us and for us. Help us to pray more and more with all of our hearts, and always lead us closer to your son Jesus. We also invite the heavenly angels, saints, and Holy souls to pray with us and for us.
5. Prayer – How to Prayer the Chaplet of Divine Mercy on the Rosary beads: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Say One Our Father: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name: Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread: and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation: but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Say One Hail Mary: Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. And.
Say The Apostles’ Creed : I believe in God , the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, Our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell.
On the third day, he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting, Amen.
Then, on the large bead before each decade say: Eternal Father, I offer you, the body and blood, the soul and divinity of your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins, and those of the whole world.
On the ten small beads of each decade, say: For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Conclude with: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world. (Repeat three times)
Keep in mind, that Jesus Christ has died for us, and is risen from the dead. He is our saving Lord. He is joy for all ages.
Father, we adore you, lay our lives before you. How we love you. Jesus, we adore you, lay our lives before you. How we love you. Spirit, we adore you, lay our lives before you. How we love you.
(Repeat three times) Jesus I trust in you.
(Optional – Prayer for Conversion, for a love one)
“O Blood and Water, which gushed fourth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in you”.
Divine Mercy Prayer Cenacle
Outline (Part 2)
6. Begin Praying the Holy Rosary
Begin each decade of the rosary by announcing each mystery so as to help everyone meditate on the mysteries of the rosary.
(Then on the large bead for each decade say the Our Father)
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name: Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread: and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation: but deliver us from evil. Amen.
(On the ten small beads of each decade, say the Hail Mary)
Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
(Then on the large bead at the end of each decade say the Glory be) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
(Optional -then after each Glory be say)
Oh God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love you. I beg pardon of you for all those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love you.
(Optional then after each Glory be sing…)
Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria. Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria.
(In conclusion)The Hail, Holy Queen: Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee we do cry, poor banished children of Eve, to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley, of tears. Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb,
Jesus, O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries in the most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise; through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. May the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
7. (Shared Prayer)
Petitions to Jesus and Mary are offered aloud while all hold hands
8. (Ending Prayer)
We end by praying for our Holy Father the Pope and for the Holy Church. Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be
9. (After concluding with the prayers, renew your act of total consecration to Jesus through Mary. (See in the following pages for consecration prayer)
ACT OF TOTAL CONSECRATION TO JESUS OF MERCY THROUGH MARY, OUR LADY OF MERCY
O Merciful, Jesus, you have opened your Heart as a living fountain of mercy, so that we may draw life from it. You ask us to approach this sea of mercy with great trust.
Dear Jesus of Mercy, I, your loving and trusting child, come to you now to consecrate my heart and entrust my life to you through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Lady of Mercy.
O Mary, loving Mother of Jesus, and our Mother, I consecrate my heart, soul, mind, and body – all of who I am, and all that I have to Jesus through your Immaculate Heart, dear Mother.
By making this act of total consecration, I place myself into your loving hands, dear Mother. I promise to love and serve God, to live my Catholic Faith as a Young Apostle of Divine Mercy under your protective care and loving guidance.
In doing so, I promise to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, to celebrate the sacraments, and to exercise the ministry of charity, for the conversion of hearts and the salvation of all.
I promise to work in building up the Kingdom of God and promise to work in renewing His Church by leading every individual, through your intercession, to the Merciful Heart of Jesus.
Divine Mercy Prayer Cenacle
Outline (Part 3 Optional)
Time to enrich the young hearts with Divine Mercy Jesus appeared to Sister Faustina in a vision with rays of mercy streaming from His Heart. Jesus called her to be the secretary and apostle of His mercy. Jesus told her to record His message of mercy in a Diary. Her mission was to share that mercy with the whole world.
• We recommend using the Diary of Saint Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul.
• We also recommend using books, films, and materials on Divine Mercy from the National Shrine of Divine Mercy.
Time to deepen and strengthen our faith through Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5
We offer the fullness of faith through the catechesis of the Catholic Church, which is to say to educate and instruct our youth into the faith through the teachings of the Catholic Church. “The source of catechesis is found in the word of God revealed by Jesus Christ. Catechesis will always draw its content from the living source of the word of God transmitted in Tradition and the Scriptures, for ‘sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture make up the single sacred deposit of the word of God, which is entrusted to the Church.” (National Directory for Catechesis)
Invite your youth to learn about God’s saving love for us through the teaching of the Catholic Church.
We recommend using the Catholic Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
We recommend one hour and thirty minutes for the Divine Mercy Prayer Cenacle.