12. Pray

CORe churches pray for their young people.

Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. (James 5.16)


Additional Bible texts

Genesis 24:12-16 (Immediate answer)

Exodus 32:30-35 (Intercessory prayer)

Daniel 3:13-18 (Expectation in prayer)

Mark 1:35-39 (Jesus prayed)

Prayer is the foundation of one’s relationship with God. Ellen White calls prayer ‘the opening of the heart to God as to a friend.' Prayer is the most effective way to call upon God's power. Additionally, as you pray for someone, you allow God to change your heart regarding the person you pray for.

CORe churches recognise the power of prayer. They actively and intentionally pray for each individual young person. They pray for the relationship between the church and the young people. They pray for their mission. They pray that the young can become empowered. In doing so, they allow God to work in the lives of these young people. At the same time, God also works on the members to help them accept, care for, and serve the young people more and more.

CORe churches know the wonderful influence that prayer can have, and organise the church to pray.

CORe churches pray for their young people.

Thought

Nathan Stickland, United Kingdom

Of course churches should pray. Members should pray. This CORe principle is trying to tease out one aspect of prayer: that is, a church which prayers intentionally and openly for its young people expresses its heart for this age group, and shows by example the importance of prayer.

In his book ‘Why our teenagers leave the church’, Roger Dudley suggests eight predictors, which if evident in a teenagers life, suggest they are more likely to stay in the church. One of these is ‘prays personally regularly.’

One illustration claims Albert Einstein was once asked for his opinion of how to raise healthy, responsible children. He is reported to have said, ‘There are three. Example, example, example.’

Whether this quote is true or not, the sentiments are valid. When followers of Jesus openly pray for each other we express our love and concern for others, and we give young people the example of regular prayer.

A CORe church prays for its young people, to show by example the importance of prayer, to encourage the habit of prayer in the life of its young people, and to show that young people matter in the life of the church members.

What would it look like in your church if you adopt this principle of openly, earnestly praying for and with young people?

Discussion

  • Who do you pray for?
  • Why should you pray for your young people?
  • Give a practical definition of prayer, how does it function in our lives?
  • What is the difference between believing in God and believing in prayer?
  • How does prayer fit together with other parts of spiritual life?
  • How has someone else's prayer impacted your life?

Implementation questions

  • What do you already do to encourage prayer for young people?
  • Are there elements of your church’s culture that need changing to have more prayer in your ministry?
  • Can we implement at least 3 of the suggestions below?
  • What is achievable to get more people to pray for your young people within the next 12 months?

Suggestions for implementation

  • Create a prayer list.
  • Appoint a prayer coordinator.
  • Together with the prayer coordinator, formulate a plan and time scale and share this with your church.
  • Intentionally include elderly people in the prayer ministry.
  • Regularly include announcements about the prayer ministry.
  • Encourage the young people to pray for the older members.
  • Organise a prayer workshop (see the resources on the CORe-website).
  • Focus on the relational aspects of prayer.
A prayer stategy for CORe churches 287 kb download