I just had the privilege of preaching at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference in Indianapolis. Well, preaching may be an overstatement. It was more of a interactive prayer exercise with me leading the "teaching part", Propaganda doing spoken word, Shane and Shane leading worship and 3,000 youth leaders actually praying.
If you were there I thought this quick blog would give you some ideas to help prayer become a bigger priority in your life and ministry. If you weren't there you could glean a point or two to improve your prayer life as well.
1. Learn how to pray in spurts throughout the day.
Spontaneous prayers throughout the day can keep us going. Learn how to talk to God like he's there all the time (because he is!) If Peter had a long prayer when walking, then sinking, on the water instead of "Lord save me!" he would have been sleeping with the fishes. Short prayers have their place.
2. Choose a prayer path to walk once a week or so.
This practice really helps me. Some people can't walk and chew gum at the same time. I can't sit down and pray at the same time (for a long period anyway.) No, for me, I have to walk and pray if I really want to work it out with God.
3. Start key meetings with an extended time of prayer.
If you want to chop a tree down then spend more time sharpening your axe. If you want to tackle an important subject sharpen your prayers in the presence of the Father.
4. Get your teens to use "THE Cause Circle" to pray for their friends.
THE Cause Circle is a tool from Dare 2 Share that equips teenagers to pray for their lost friends, pursue them with love and persuade them with the truth of the gospel. It's a great tool to get teens praying and sharing their faith.
5. Write out your prayers.
For over a decade I have kept a prayer journal because sometimes I don't feel like talking. On these days (usually when I have something pressing to bring before the Father) I just sit down and type out my prayer to God.
6. Have a prayer meeting before, during or after youth group.
You program what you prioritize so if prayer is truly a priority it will be reflected somewhere in your youth ministry program. Why not make this the main thrust of what you do in your student leader meetings? It will bring energy, wisdom and impact!
7. Read some killer stuff on prayer.
E.M. Bounds, Andrew Murray and Charles Spurgeon all have great stuff that will stretch your thinking and rend your heart when it comes to prayer. Some of their books are free on Kindle but they are priceless in content. Philip Yancey also wrote a killer book on prayer called, well, Prayer.
What are some other ways to make prayer a bigger priority in your life and ministry?