5 Things I Pray At Every Youth Program

There are five things I try to make sure I pray almost every time at our youth programs. Not only I am genuinely wanting to pray these things every week, it helps to give our students a prayer focus, I find it also helps to continue to cast the vision of why we meet each week. Prayer is powerful, life changing, and focuses us on the things of God.

Here’s what I pray regularly at our weekly programs: 

“Thanks so much for the new faces here tonight, and thanks for the students who call this place home” – It’s imperative to communicate care to the new students as we pray for them and thank God for them. It’s also imperative that I thank God new people while also reminding our regular students that there are new faces here to look out for.

“Thanks to these incredible youth leaders who show up week after week to love students” – I have some of the most fantastic youth leaders a youth pastor could ask for! I realize this, but students don’t always consider the sacrifice their small group leaders make to show up week after week. In addition, it’s my job to help the small group leaders become ‘ministry heroes’ to the students. Praying for adult leaders every week truly helps students to see how much they are loved by these brilliant people!

“Thanks for this incredible place called ‘The Warehouse” – Our student ministry center is a converted warehouse on an industrial park. (It’s pretty sweet to see what we’ve done in there). Although new students think it’s awesome, our regulars can easily take this place for granted. But, here’s the biggest point: Whether or not we have a sweet place to meet or not, it’s important to help students give thanks for a place they can call their own.

“Help us to walk away tonight completely changed” – It’s paramount that we ask God to do the amazing in our lives and expect Him to show up in incredible ways. In some ways, this prayer sets the standard and expectations for the night. As a leader I must pray boldly and pray that students will be open to life change.

“Help me to be used powerfully tonight” – This is the prayer I pray privately as I get ready to deliver my weekly messages. No matter whether my preparation time has been great, or whether it has been a challenging week, I believe that God can and will work through my humble efforts. I need to remember that God can work in spite of my efforts too. It’s not about me, it’s about Him working through me. I know this might be a given for many of us, but it’s easy to think that God’s work totally depends on us when it is not…

What are some of the things you pray on a regular basis with your students at your weekly programs? How does prayer teach students students each week? What are you modeling through prayer?

7 Responses to 5 Things I Pray At Every Youth Program

  1. Darren Sutton February 15, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    1. Please don’t let anyone spill their soda on the sanctuary carpet.
    2. Please don’t let anyone’s cell phone go off during my message – and if it does, help me not to lose my train of thought.
    3. Please let everyone bring their deposits on time.
    4. Please don’t let the senior pastor come in here.
    5. Please let me survive this night to fight another day.


  2. Phil Bell February 15, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    Darren, I think I am going to repost this tomorrow! Brilliant! It’s true though isn’t it. I pray #2 every week!

    Phil <

  3. david bartosik February 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    love your first two and the power of empowering our staff and encouraging our students! thanks dude, ps: why the last one private instead of aloud? Do you feel like it is arrogant to pray that or secret option 2?

  4. Phil Bell February 16, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    David, great question!

    It’s partly to ensure I appear humble to the students. I have met a lot of speakers who pray boldly in front of the students like that, and sometimes it can come across as somewhat arrogant. Keep in mind I am British and we Brits don’t always put ourselves out there like that 🙂

    What is most important to me is that I am in the right frame of mind and that I humbly ask God to work powerfully through me.

    Thanks for your question, and thanks for reading youthworktalk.com!

  5. david bartosik February 16, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    ha! nice i think my favorite part was “appear humble” but I understand what you meant 🙂 Also, not sure if you got a chance to check this out, but DA Carson gave a response to Mark Driscolls analysis of the british church here (http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/01/29/reflections-on-the-church-in-great-britain/) just curious what you might have thought or if you haven’t read it yet- an interesting piece…..not quite related to students though…but all good nonetheless 🙂

  6. Phil Bell February 16, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

    David, just read it. Interesting read and full of some depressing and encouraging things that are happening in the church in the UK. I did originally hear the interview with Mark Driscoll, and although he is correct in many ways, he knows little about how it is to be a pastor in the UK full-time. Unfortunately for me, he did not “appear humble” in the way he challenged the church leaders in the UK.

    I have many good friends in ministry in the UK who are doing some incredible things and have bridged the gap between families who have been missing from church for 3-4 generations. Here in the States, many people are familiar with church and Jesus to certain degree.

    When Mark Driscoll throws rocks at the church in the UK and asks “when was the last time someone came to faith in your church” in the arrogant manner he did, he shows that he truly does not understand how challenging it is for churches to reach the average person in the UK….

    This of course is just my opinion… 🙂


  7. david bartosik February 17, 2012 at 5:40 am #

    yeah dude-the shock and awe factor with driscoll doesn’t always appear to be humble, but I don’t know the dude….always good to hear it from someone who has a better perspective on the ground! thanks phil look forward to checking your blog out for good stuff in the future!

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