7 Simple Ways to Help Teens Build a Prayer Life

These are important days for prayer. Here are 7 simple says to help teens build a prayer life.

7 Simple Ways to Help Teens Build a Prayer Life

The world is full of anxiety over the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be challenging for teens who are sometimes more prone to anxiety about things they cannot control.

  • Prayers of Gratitude

    • God created us for gratitude. While He is quite sufficient in himself so does not need our gratitude, He created us to be healthiest- spirit, soul and body- when we are living a life of gratitude.
    • Teens often feel comfortable praying by journaling. A gratitude journa is a practical way to pray. It is so cool because there is no way to do it wrong! They simply list the things they can think of that they are grateful for, large or small.
    • Here is a post with tips to get a gratitude journal going.
    • Here is link to a freebie from my coaching website that teens can use for gratitude journaling.
  • Prayers for the Nation

    • We are instructed in I Timothy 2:2 to pray for our leaders and humankind:
      • I Timothy 2:1-2
        I exhort therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercession, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. KJV
    • This can be a daily prayer for teens (and a good enrichment activity for Civics courses). One way they could do this is to pray for the
      • One day each week, pray for the leaders in each branch of the federal government
      • One day each week, pray for the leaders in each branch of the state government
      • One day each week, pray for local leaders
    • One thing that can be helpful to teach teens is to pray with humility. We can tend to tell God how to run our country, state or local politics, but He knows best. Thus, it is wise to:
      • Pray first asking that God give you the fruit of the Spirit- Galatians 5:22-23: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control- Vicki’s version 😉
      • Why not pray the same for the leaders?
  • Prayers to Know God Better

When life feels out of control, prayer gives teens something real they CAN do. 7 simple ways teens can pray.

  • Formal Prayers

    • Teens sometimes get bored with the formal prayers that they have memorized and prayed since childhood.
      • This is a good age to have discussions about the history and meaning of each prayer.
      • Is there a fresh way to look at that prayer?
        • For instance you and your teens could discuss The Lord’s Prayer:
          • Read the Gospel passage that tell its story: Matthew 6:9-13
          • Suggest using The Lord’s Prayer as a structure for daily prayer:
            • Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed by thy name (say the verse then add a praise of your own)
            • Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven (say the verse then pray for the nation and it’s leaders, the work of the church and other needs)
            • Give us this day our daily bread (say the verse then add requests for personal needs and the needs of family and friends)
            • And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors (say the verse, then ask for forgiveness of your slip-ups and forgive the slip-ups of others)
            • And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil (say the verse and ask for God’s help in your weakness)
            • For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (say the verse and end with a praise or gratitude to God)
  • Spontaneous Prayers

    • Keep in touch with God, like you would text a friend, spontaneously and randomly.
      • Once a day, at random times, stop and tell God what you are thinking and/or feeling and why. Sometimes teens do not feel like this is prayer, but we can talk with God in many ways, just like we would our friends.
      • You can even get digital with the prayer life. Check out Leah Nieman’s post on Best Bible Apps for ideas.
  • Prayers of Forgiveness

    • The Lord’s Prayer reminds us that we can ask God’s forgiveness of our sins but we should do that in the same way that we forgive the trespasses of others. This can be a daily practice for teens.
    • Teens will feel better if they know they can take hurts and offenses to God and leave them there. This prevents the formation of bitterness and the anxiety that comes from holding unforgiveness. A prayer of forgiveness can look like:
      • Admitting to God things you wish you had not done, thought or said. Then accepting His forgiveness.
      • Admitting to God things others have done that hurt you or caused damage. Then with His help, forgiving them.
  • Prayers of Praise

    • We are instructed at least 250 times in the Bible to “Praise the Lord”. That is a LOT. If God tells us to praise Him that many times, we should.
    • Teens need to know that praise is not necessarily a showy thing. It is not a feeling, or a shout, or loud singing. These things could be part of praise but there are as many ways to praise God as there are people.

These are simple ways to pray that many teens could incorporate in some form into their day. What would you add to this list? Here are suggestions from our friends:

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7 Simple Ways to Help Teens Build a Prayer Life

 

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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