If you buy a packet of varied types or shapes of sweets, you can tie prayers to the individual sweets. For example a packet of dolly mixtures or some liquorice allsorts have a range of varied sweets and can represent different kinds of praying. Below are just some ideas from using a packet of liquorice allsorts. Testing is allowed of course (being careful of any allegies!)
These have many varied colours, so we can pray for various nations, tribes and people groups. We’re all human beings created in God’s image but we’re also different and unique. Are there any places or people groups you want to pray for specifically?
One of the allsorts has black liquorice on the outside and a white centre. You can link this to the fact that we all do things that are wrong in God’s eyes but when we say yes to Jesus being in charge of our lives, he renews us on the inside part we call our ‘spirits’. He makes us pure in our spirit part. So we can pray around knowing who we are through Jesus (children of God, we are who God says we are). We can thank God for helping us.
Many of the allsorts have a dark bit of liquorice between different layers. This can remind us that we all have a ‘dark side’ of sin inside us. Often when we watch TV or see sports stars we think that it’s very colourful and exciting. But we don’t often see the true person or the bad stuff on the inside. Ask God to forgive you for the things you do wrong.
One of the allsorts has coconut in it. Coconut as a plant is very good for you (without all the added sugar found in sweets!) It can be a refreshing drink for people and you can eat it. God tells us that what gives us life is ‘drinking’ from Him and his Word (the Bible). When we say ‘drinking’ we mean that we get the Bible (God’s written truth) on the inside of us so that when we speak and live life, the character of God comes out of us. Write down any Bible verses you can think of and pray Bible verses. So for example the Bible says that it is medicine for you (Proverbs 4), so you can pray “God I take your Word as medicine.” Or you may have a financial need so you can pray (from Philippians 4.19) that God would supply your needs according to his resources. or you can pray Psalm 23.1, “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.”
Take some prayer verses from the Bible (like the ones included above) and cut them up. Give them out to people to pray for things using the verses.
The Bible tells us that Jesus is the High Priest of our confession so when we confess the Word out loud, it’s like releasing Jesus in his priestly calling of standing before God and interceding for us (which he does anyway I know!!) But confessing the Word of God releases the power of God, because the Word has within it, to make happen what the Word says! (I hope that makes sense!!)
So basically pray the Word over situations. For example, “Lord, your Word says that I should pray at all times with all kinds of prayers and requests, according to Ephesians 6.18. So I ask you to strengthen and help ‘Bob’ at this time.”
Then swap around the prayer verses and get the next person / group to pray using those verses!
This idea from Nicola Reeve – Everyone makes a paper airplane then writes their prayer on the wings, on a given signal, they all throw the planes around. Then after 20 seconds, stop, pick up the nearest plane and pray for what’s on it.
Prayer Brick Wall
This idea from RCC Exeter. What you need to do is to construct / paint a ‘wall’. So, just get someone good at art (or use an image off google etc) to create a brick wall. Make this at least A2 size, by printing off A4 bits and attaching them together, or getting it professionally printed. Then attach this to a wall in the youth room / church, or to a board / divider etc. You will also need some blue tack (or similar) and some envelopes, paper and pens.
What happens is that people take a pen and paper and write up a prayer request. They then put it in the envelope, with their name on if they want to – and attach it to the brick wall by the blue tack. Everyone does this and then everyone prays for at least one other person on that wall.
If you need to be more sensitive, you can say that leaders will pray for the prayer requests. After the prayer time / meeting / service has finished, people can take their own prayer request away, or the envelopes will be completely destroyed by the youth team. I burn them (the envelopes that is, not the youth group or leaders..)!
Idea from Simon D. This involves getting an old vinyl record. You will also need some post-it notes. Encourage young people to write stuff on the post-it that they want rid of in their lives. For example this may be things said or done by them or to them, sins etc. Then affix the notes to the record. Then, away from the young people (to protect them, eg with yourself between them and the record), smash up the record. If you are strong enough you can smash it into pieces with your hands. Warning: watch your eyes, by shutting them or turning your head away as you smash the record. This symbolises smashing up those things written on the post-its from their lives, getting rid of them.
Pick a state, a county, a place, or a country. Maybe pick more than one of any of these. Find a bunch of churches online. Check them out, then print off their home page / make a note of the church. Take it along to your group and get people to start praying for the churches. They will be in places you don’t know, people you don’t know. But every little helps. Also, you can go to the 24/7 prayer website and take off a few of the latest prayer requests on there, and pray for those people. They may be anonymous, but God knows who they are.
Get a list of prayer requests for people and write them on sheets of paper on the floor. With dimmed lights and chilled out tunes, get people to lay hands on the pieces of paper (representing laying hands on people who they are praying for). If there’s anyone there who physically wants prayer, people could lay hands then and there too.
Somebody at the Door
There are many deliveries in and out of our house – for example we still get milk delivered. We also order stuff off the internet and sell stuff via ebay. So people are coming and going. How about your house or your street? Why not make it a habit to pray for the people that come to your door: from the postman – to the double glazing salesmen – to the paper boy/girl – to the guy doing a leaflet drop.
So each number on the dart board has a prayer attached to it. Throw a dart and that’s your prayer. If you hit a number that’s already been prayed for no problems. If you want to make it easier then divide the board up into fewer sections (say 5 for example). So starting from the top of the darts board going clockwise:
Prayer Section 1 – numbers 20, 1, 18, 4
Prayer Section 2 – numbers 13, 6, 10, 15
Prayer Section 3 – numbers 2, 17, 3, 19
Prayer Section 4 – numbers 7, 16, 8, 11
Prayer Section 5 – numbers 14, 9, 12, 5
I realise you have to be careful, that you don’t want to lose focus on the prayers, but hey, it’s just an idea so chill.
Play a song in the background and get young people to pray over it. Or get them to write musical songs of prayer. Maybe as part of worship lead into a time of praying by singing for general things over a well known tune with words that the Holy Spirit brings to mind. Or plan them. For example, instead of ‘I will offer up my life in spirit and in truth’ sing ‘I will pray to you my God for all my mates’ etc. though be more creative and/or specific than this!!
Video Prayer Diary
Get a clip of a whole bunch of the week’s news and edit it together. Play it back and pray for each news item as it replays.
Encourage a Friend
We have people in our church who are ill or away as missionaries. Maybe get the young people to sit in front of the camera and send them a whole much of encouragement, fun and Bible verses etc. Edit it together and send it to the person.
Prayers as background/wallpaper on the computer and/or on a screensaver you may have
Have a prayer wall
In the young people’s room at church, put up prayer needs, answered prayers etc as a visual reference to needs and God’s faithfulness. Remove and edit frequently.
When you meet with your young people, why not get those who have ‘reminders’ on their mobile to set a reminder each morning they’re at school or college to pray for certain people, perhaps their mates who aren’t Christians. Or use an app.
Prayer ‘business’ cards
‘Power’, ‘Prayer’, ‘Purity’ and ‘Praise’. Some key words to invigorate your youth ministry! Especially prayer! So design something and get it printed (or use an online print service and use one of their templates).
We have done little prayer cards for the young people at our youth service. The prayer cards are the same size as business cards and fit in your wallet quite nicely. The size is 85 x 45 mm. They are also quite ‘cool’ in design.
A prayer box
There are occasions when people specifically need prayer or need extra prayer when in a difficult situation or needing to make an important decision etc. Why not have a prayer box in the church where people can leave a request for prayer and others can pray for that request. Other options may be having a page on an internet site doing this, or having a telephone line/e-mail address to do this. Or maybe have a prayer board at the back of the church if people don’t mind others seeing the prayer request
Give out copies of that day’s newspapers (check them first for suitability and edit as required!) Then get the young people to cut out or make a note of certain stories in the news to pray for – regarding suffering, crime, violence, politics etc.
We used this once when looking at homelessness and once when looking at the suffering church. Set up different tables/displays around the room and theme each place. You can divide by region if you’re doing the suffering church i.e. Europe, Asia, Africa etc. At each table/display have a range of images, stories, maps etc. to enable accurate and specific prayer
Pray for God’s people
Why not get hold of a missionary prayer journal and pray for them daily. People in the UK who I know do this are Echoes of Service, Release International, Tearfund, Barnabas Fund, CARE for the family, FEBA Radio, The Message Trust – and many many more! Uphold them in prayer, get your kids praying for them!
The Trash Bin
This is kind of interactive as it involves a device. It’s another twist on the ‘dealing with sin’ idea. Get the young people to write notes about what they want to clear out of their lives and write it into text documents, word documents etc. Then, save them on the desktop and when everyone is finished, delete them all by sending them to the trash bin and delete them on the computer or equivalent on phone or other device.
Prayer Messages (or emails)
Want to keep young people informed with prayer points regularly? Set up a messaging group for those who give permission or other software will send out text messages (my church uses ‘Church Suite’ – as of March 2019).
If you have access to a laptop or easily movable computer (ie. not necessarily the senior pastor’s..) and have PowerPoint or a video editing guru within your ranks, get a series of images, photos etc, relevant to what you’re praying about and have very clear words popup on screen giving guidance in prayer. Obviously this depends on the reading ability of your young people, I’m very aware not all can read well