Before the Session
Facilitator: In advance of the session
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Have available a clean trashcan or bucket, as well as several soft items suitable for throwing. (See Context)
- Listen to the FaithElement podcast for this session.
- Use the social media prompts on this session’s webpage to help youth begin engaging the session them ahead of their gathering.
Play the Bruce Almighty clip (You’ll want to stop at the 3:00 mark), and use these questions to facilitate your discussion:
- What do you think the world would be like if God answered every prayer with “yes” and why?
- Why might someone think that God answers, or does not answer, every prayer?
- What types of prayers might God answer with a “no” and why?
Show this video blog from Adam Carpenter:
And then ask:
- What do you think of how Adam describes prayer?
- Is his sketch about prayer helpful? Why or why not?
- Do we really all have our own ways of praying? What is yours?
Form teams of three to five people and give each team a soft ball or other object that can be tossed into a bucket. If you do not have such things available, consider paper wads. At the other end of your meeting space, place a bucket, garbage can, or some other object big enough to hold the thrown object. Tell the group:
In a little bit, I’m going to say ‘go,’ and when I do, I want each member of your team to, in turn, try to toss your item into the bucket. If you make it, your team gets a point. Even if you miss, retrieve the ball and hand it to the next person in line on your team. The teams will compete to throw the ball into the bucket as many times as possible within two minutes. You cannot toss anything to your team members, but have to hand items to them and no one can throw anything while they have a team member beyond the starting line.
Once everyone has heard and understood the rules, start the activity. Once time has expired, determine a winner and ask::
- What is the secret of making a good toss?
- In what way was tossing he ball into the bucket similar to tossing a prayer to God?
- What would you say is the right or wrong way to pray and why?
- What do you think prayer accomplishes and why?
Read 1 Timothy 2:1-7, then watch the Bible Background Video.
Ask your group:
- Why does the writer tell the readers to pray for the kings and rulers?
- According to this passage, why do we pray in the name of Jesus?
- What kind of emphasis does your congregation place on prayer and why?
- Why does the way someone prays seem to matter to people?
- Why do you think the writer of this passage thought it was important to pray for other people?
Form two teams and place them on opposite sides of the room. Have one team stand still with their heads down and instruct them not to say anything while each person on the other team prays for the person opposite them, plus one other person. After they have finished, switch roles and have the second team pray for the first one. When everyone is finished, re-gather and ask questions like:
- How did it feel to be prayed for by someone else?
- How did it feel to pray for someone else?
- (Volunteers only) Who do you pray for, who do you think prays for you, and why?
- Why does it make some of us nervous to pray for others or know that they are praying for us?
- How might we get more comfortable doing it?
Encourage the group members to remember the people for whom they prayed this morning and continue praying for them throughout the coming week, then close this session in prayer.
Writer: Don Breeden