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Most students know that we should pray. Some joyfully raise their hands when we ask for a volunteer to pray before a youth group meal. Others sit there anxious at the end of a small group hoping they aren’t forced to pray out loud. However, there might still be another group of students who would love to know how to pray, but have never been properly taught.

One reason that students don’t pray more than they currently do is that they don’t know how to pray for extended amounts of time because they run out of things to pray about. The minds of teenagers wonder, just like the minds of adults, and they are discouraged that they cannot focus while talking to the God of the universe. This is why it’s important to teach students how to pray the Bible.

Praying the Bible includes picking a biblical passage. A good place to start would be selecting one Psalm. Have the students read one verse at a time. After they read each verse, they can pray anything that comes to mind. This lets the Bible set the agenda for our prayers. Another benefit is that we will pray about things that we usually wouldn’t pray about perhaps. Once the students cannot think through anything else to pray based on the specific verse, then they can move onto the next verse. Some verses may lead to having much to pray about, but others might not. Students can set their own pace and work through a passage in as fast or as slow of a time as it takes.

This method of praying can be done individually or in a group. I have taught this method to middle school, high school, and college students. Each group can apply this to whatever level they are currently at in terms of Bible knowledge and their relationship with God. Another benefit of this prayer method is that it helps students pray while having them study the Bible at the same time. It is a real benefit for them to read the Bible and pray simultaneously.

I recommend using this blog post as a framework to teach your students more about prayer. You can change what is necessary to make it fit your individual students. A lot of this information comes from Donald Whitney’s great book “Praying the Bible”. This is a good resource to use as a youth worker and also to get into the hands of parents of our students.

– Kyle Hoffsmith

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