Evangelistic Prayer

The aim is to pray for people you know who aren’t Christian (yet!).
Read out one or more of the sentences of Scripture below and then get the group to write down on a piece of paper at least 3 evangelistic things they can pray for (ie. for non-Christian friends/family or enemies, for missionaries, for governments etc). Then get them into small groups of about 3 and get them to pray for the points they have.

Scripture passages (NIV 84):
Colossians 4:2-4
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.

1 Timothy 2:1-4
1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

2 Thessalonians 3:1
Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honoured, just as it was with you.

Ephesians 6:19-20
19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

One Point Prayer Tree

This is a simple one point prayer segment that helps people think deeply about what they are actually praying for.

Ask the group to suggest one specific point to pray for (eg. war in Iraq, etc…). Write the prayer point at the top of a white board and then ask the question “What do we actually want to pray for (eg. the war in Iraq)?”. Then begin to write on the board the sub-points that people suggest we should pray for (ie. we want peace) and link the sub-point to the heading by drawing a line. Further still, ask a question about the sub-point (eg. “What do we want peace to look like?”) and then write those sub-points under the previous sub-point.

In the end you should have a kind of diagram that looks something like a tree with many specific sub-points to pray about the original prayer point.

This activity should help people really think about what they want to ask God for. It’s all very well to say “dear God I pray for the war in Iraq.” But are you praying for the war in Iraq to get worse, get better, or what? This prayer segment will help us to pray even more thoughtful prayers.

Psalms

Praying through the Psalms. Using the psalms to teach us how to express ourselves to God in prayer. Pick a Psalm (or a few of different types) and in small groups use the parts of the Psalm to create your own prayer to God.

Here is a useful psalm chart which is a guide for the different types of psalms:

Book of Psalms

AAPB

The good old Australian Anglican Prayer Book (AAPB) has some great prayers written in it for various things on pages 91-97 (also p.120). Doing some of these every now and again is a good way to be trained in WHAT to pray and different things to pray for. The leader of the prayer time can print some off (or photocopy) a few of the different prayers and choose some of the youth group to pray them out. Some of the language might need to be adjusted and updated so the youth group understand it.

Here is a word document of the AAPB prayers with language adjusted to be gender inclusive.

Confession

To remind us of our sinfulness and the salvation we have through Christ Jesus. The first 2 orders of confession are taken from the AAPB.

#1: Take a moment for people to reflect on their lives and pray this confession silently using the singular personal pronouns “I” and “me” and “my”. Then after a few minutes pray this confession together as a group using the plural personal pronouns “we” and “our” and “us”.

Most merciful God, we humbly admit that we have wandered from your way: we have done wrong, and we have failed to do what is right. You alone can save us.
Have mercy on us: wipe out our sins and teach us to forgive others. Bring forth in us the fruit of the Spirit that we may live as disciples of Christ. This we ask in the name of Jesus our Saviour. Amen.

Have someone declare God’s forgiveness:

God wills that all people be saved and in response to his call we acknowledge our sins. He pardons those who humbly repent and truly believe the gospel. Therefore we have peace with God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be all blessing and honour forever. Amen.

#2: Read out Mark 12:28-33 (the greatest commandments) and give people time to reflect on how they have kept or rather, no kept these great commands. Then confess together:

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, maker of all things, judge of all people, we acknowledge with shame the sins we have committed, by thought, word, and deed, against your divine majesty, provoking most justly your wrath and indignation against us. We earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for all our misdoings. Have mercy on us, most merciful Father. For your Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake forgive us all that is past, and grant that from this time forward we may serve and please you in newness of life, to the honour and glory of your name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Have someone declare God’s forgiveness:

Almighty God our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy has promised forgiveness of sins to all who with hearty repentance and true faith turn to him: have mercy on you; pardon and deliver you from all your sins; confirm and strengthen you in all goodness; and keep you in eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

#3: Use the psalms of confession: Psalm 6, 32, 38, 51, 103, 130, 143. Perhaps read one and then have each person write a confession of their sins on paper and then burn them up in a fireplace as symbolic of how God has dealt with our sin, or even write them in the sand at a beach and let the ocean wash them away…

Popcorn Prayer

This is just random free flowing prayer time! Just get people to pray out loud in no particular order. Can be about anything people want to pray for. This segment gives people the freedom to pray spontaneously and without any regimented structure, it teaches them that prayer doesn’t need to be orderly.

Target Prayer

Draw 3 circles on a white board with the circles representing world issues, local issues, and individual issues respectively. After the group comes up with some prayer points for each category, pray one point each out loud as a group.

target_icon 40+ Note: If there’s more than 40 people, then select just 1 person per category to pray the prayer points in each circle.

Prayer Barrel

(We made a lucky dip barrel for this at our youth group)

Ask the kids to each come up with a prayer topic (eg. Youth group, government, Africa, non Christian friends, war, etc.) Write the topics on pieces of paper and put them in the barrel (or on the wheel). Choose someone to come and spin the barrel and then pick out a topic. Repeat the process till you have 3 or 4 prayer topics and then ask the group for prayer points under those topics. When there is enough prayer points, pray through them as a whole group out loud.

40+ Note: If there’s more than 40 people, you can either: 1) limit the to just 2 topics; 2) select just a few of people (maybe 1 for each category) to pray the prayer points on the board; or 3) split into small groups to pray.

Bite Size Prayer

Bite size is designed to help people who don’t usually pray (or have never prayed), to pray out loud. Bite size prayer works by writing up two categories on the white board (usually ‘thanks’ and ‘ask’) and when the group has enough prayer points on the board for each person in the group to pray one, delegate the prayer points to everyone in the group. Go around the group and pray one bite sized prayer each – that means short i.e. “Thanks God for the rain, amen.”

30+ Note: If there’s more than 30 people, then select just a few of people (maybe 5) to pray the prayer points in both columns.

Prayer Card Shuffle

Prayer card shuffle is designed to help people who don’t usually pray (or have never prayed), to pray out loud. Give everyone a card and ask them to write a prayer for themselves in the 3rd person (eg. Mike writes on his card “dear God please help Mike…” etc). Then shuffle the cards and redistribute them. Pray out loud by going around the group one after the other, so that everyone ends up praying for another person. Ask the youth group to hold onto the cards and prayer for that person during the week.

40+ Note: If there’s more than 40 people then after the cards have been shuffles and given out, just allow 5 minutes for people to pray through their card in silence rather than out loud.

World Map

Split everyone up into groups. Give each group a massive round weather balloon (preferably filled with helium for some extra excitement!) and a couple of textas. In a time frame of about 5 minutes, each group needs to draw (and label) a world map on their balloon as accurately as possible. The group with the most accurate world map is the winner.

Important! Have information sheets prepared before hand that focus on a particular country and perhaps a missionary there. Give an information sheet to each group to discuss the country, find out about its environment, politics, issues, religion, and then pray for that country.