So how can we practically encourage our young people to engage in prayer in a noisy world which favours instant answers and self-reliance?
As young people gain independence, they like to understand the reasons why so they can make their own decisions. By explaining why and how we pray, young people can understand and choose to engage with prayer, rather than feeling like they “should” pray, but not knowing where to start. I’d highly recommend using 24-7 Prayer’s Origins course to help young people explore prayer.
Often when young people think of prayer, they think of sitting quietly and perhaps being a bit bored, but we know prayer is so much more than that! You could organise a prayer walk, write a letter to God, create artwork which reflects the cries of your heart, set-up a Prayer Room or explore ideas on how to pray creatively.
Each young person is unique and passionate about different things. Take time to chat to them and find out what makes them tick. Perhaps you know a young person who wants to see a real change in the climate emergency. Maybe you know a teenager who has experienced bullying and wants to see breakthrough for other young people. Let’s encourage young people to share these hopes and desires with God in prayer.
Seeing answers to prayer can encourage us all to pray more! By tracking our prayers, we can see the moments where God moves and develop a hunger to see more. Recently, I was praying with a group of young people who saw physical healing first hand and now they can’t wait to pray with others!
At its core, prayer is a conversation between us and God. We don’t need to use fancy words. We don’t need to use a special formula. We don’t even need to say words out loud. By reminding our young people of the simplicity of prayer, we can remove invisible barriers which may prevent them praying.
A free prayer course to help 11- to 16-year-olds explore prayer, and learn how to pray.