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?