Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTUDENT MINISTRY: Prayer & Student Ministry

STUDENT MINISTRY: Prayer & Student Ministry

When you think about student ministry, prayer is probably not the first thing that pops into your mind. We think of lock-ins, youth group meetings, scavenger hunts and trips, but prayer is usually overlooked. Unfortunately, that same mindset permeates those serving in student ministry.

Over the years, I know I have not prayed enough for my students or about the work we were doing with and for them. It just wasn’t a part of my “list.” If you serve with students, you know what I’m talking about. I must prepare for our youth talks and the upcoming mission trip, and attend ball games and concerts. My “list” also included the church music ministry for many years, so I was on a constant roller coaster of activity and didn’t slow down enough to pray about much at all.

With all that in mind, I can’t stress to you how important prayer is to your students and student ministry. Whether you are serving with your students on a weekly basis or just love the young people you know your church is ministering to, prayer needs to be at the heartbeat of all we are doing. I realize this article is probably number four on prayer in the last few months, but again, it is important, and many who read these articles are the prayer warriors of our churches.

As mentioned before, it is vital that we intentionally work to emphasize prayer in our student ministries. Here are a few things to consider:

• Model prayer well. We spend a great deal of time focusing in on our talks with students, but very little time thinking about how we talk to God in front of our students. I shouldn’t aim for big and flowery prayers. My aim should be to speak to God in a way our students would desire to spend time speaking to God. I would always find it weird when one of my students used a phrase that I would often use in prayer, but it should really be of no surprise. Our students are learning how to talk to God as we talk to God. Remember that and be more intentional as you pray.

• Make sure it is a part of your youth group meetings. How much time is set aside for prayer in your student ministry meetings? My guess is not much. You probably pray at the beginning of your talk and as you wrap things up, but beyond that, are there specific times of prayer? We short-change our students when we think they will just get bored praying. We need to give them opportunities to pray for their friends, family and classmates. What are you emphasizing in your meetings? Whether spoken or not, what you give time to in your meeting tells a significant story about what’s important.

• Tell stories about answered prayers. As you pray for your students and their lives, you will have stories to tell of how God has worked. Share as much as possible of those stories. God works in big ways, and it is important to share that work with your students and others. If you are going to share a specific story, be sure to check with those involved in the story before you share it online or as you teach.

One of the greatest investments you can make in the lives of the students connected with your church and community is to pray for them on a regular basis. Pray for the lost. Pray for the hurting. Pray that your church will not neglect your ministry responsibilities toward students.