Supplies for this Youth Bible Study
You’ll need copies of Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) on sheets of paper and a pen for each student. You’ll also need a video display and Internet connection. Preview the following YouTube clips:
• Pre-Blessed Food: http://youtu.be/j9JUqS4Q2A0
• The Holy Hand Grenade”: http://youtu.be/xOrgLj9lOwk
• The Campaign Movie: http://youtu.be/jhl1cnmOZ0Y
• Bruce Almighty: http://youtu.be/yOgdjlPRWMg
Say something like: Let’s take a look at one of the most obvious (but perhaps one of the hardest and most misunderstood) practices that helps us grow closer to Jesus. You’ve probably heard of it—it’s called prayer. Conversation with Jesus, just like conversation with your best friends, is critical to making our relationship with him the center of our lives. But conversation, just like in real life, doesn’t always have to feel amazing. And it doesn’t always have to be perfect.
Play the Pre-Blessed Food clip, then say something like:
Say something like: Sometimes the only time people think about praying is before a meal.
• When and why do you pray?
• Why do people sometimes feel inadequate to pray? Or why do some people feel like they need someone else to do it for them?
Play the Monty Python and the Holy Grail clip, then ask:
• What are all the things that were odd about that prayer?
• Why do some people think prayer involves extravagant language?
• How would it impact your relationships if you had conversations like this? What expectations would your flowery language communicate to your friends?
Ask someone to read aloud Matthew 6:9-13, then play The Campaign Movie clip. Ask:
• Why do we feel like we need to say the right words when we pray?
• When Jesus said “Pray like this,” what did he want us to learn about prayer?
Play the Bruce Almighty clip, then ask:
• What is it about this prayer that makes it so real and personal?
• How does this prayer communicate closeness between Bruce and God?
Give each student a pen and a copy of Philippians 4:6-7. Invite a volunteer to read the verses aloud, then have students jot down notes and mark up these verses as the group goes through the key words.
Key Word: Petition
• Why would you petition something? Who is a petition ultimately given to?
• Give some examples of things that need to be petitioned in our society.
• What things in our lives could we petition Jesus to change?
Have kids take a few minutes quietly to write down their petitions, then bring them before Jesus in prayer.
Key Word: Thanksgiving
• What’s the purpose of offering thanks?
• What creative way have you said “thank you” to someone?
• Why is an attitude of thanksgiving so important?
Again, have your students take a few minutes quietly to write down things they’re thankful for, then give thanks to God in prayer.
Key Word: Requests
Ask a volunteer to read aloud John 14:13-14, then ask:
• If you could meet Jesus face to face, and he told you to ask him for anything, what would you ask for? Explain.
• What does it mean to ask for something “in his name”?
Have your kids take a few minutes quietly write down some things they’d like to ask Jesus for, then to lift those requests to God in prayer.
Key Word: Peace
• What does it mean to have peace that ‘transcends all understanding’?
• What sorts of things cause your heart and mind to worry?
• How has prayer brought you peace?
Have your students take a few minutes quietly to write down their worries, then hand them over to Jesus in prayer.
Encourage your teenagers to practice this type of praying every day for the next month. Wrap up by praying a blessing over your teenagers, using Numbers 6:24-26 as the basis for your blessing.
Co-authored by Zach Castor. This is the second in a series of Youth Bible Studies that explains what it looks like to get closer to Jesus. Click on the titles below for individual studies in the series.