How do you get kids to pray?
Jonathan, How do you get a group of older churchy teenagers to get into praying and really see how important it is?
Rachel McCaffery, NZ
(Actually a FEEBLE ATTEMPT AT AN ANSWER)
Rachel, Good question. That's not an easy one – and I won't claim to know all the answers.
But let me offer this. How do you convince a boy to write a love letter every day to some girl that lives across the country. It doesn't sound possible- but if a kid falls in love with a girl at summer camp- it just happens. He WANTS to write her every day.
I guess teaching kids to pray might be hard, because first they have to want Him. That starts with realizing what they are without Him … how much they NEED Him. They have to dig into who Jesus is, how much they desperately need Him … they need to fall in love with him. They need to depend on him in every moment so they can not HELP but to talk to him. (sometimes hard in this materialistic world).
So if that is the trick, how do you get students to fall in love with Jesus?
I focus on Him. On our web site I have a sermon series on our TALKS/SERMONS page called JESUS FACE TO FACE. It digs a little into who Jesus is. Then small groups can go through the Gospels, studying Him, getting to know Him, getting to depend on Him.
Then you could try actual assignments where kids commit to seek to get to know this Jesus. Maybe journaling, maybe commiting to pray a certain amount of times per day, or maybe meeting with others to pray together. There is no right answer – but those are a few ideas.
Hope that helps.
The Source for Youth Ministry
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.