Reflection

Encouraging young people to pray

The fact that Jesus taught us to pray this implies that the will of God is not being done on earth as it is in heaven. In other words – without prayer the kingdom of God is not manifest, and without prayer his will is not done.
Many times we pray without seeing ourselves as answers to the very prayers we are praying.

We asked James Aladiran, founder of the Prayer Storm movement, for his top tips on encouraging young people in missional prayer…

Teaching
Jesus asked us to pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.

The fact that Jesus taught us to pray this implies that the will of God is not being done on earth as it is in heaven.

Helping young people to fill their minds with truth on the subject of prayer will enable them to pray with faith, even when they don’t feel like it.

Be an Example
The heart for prayer is more caught than taught. There’s nothing wrong with teaching young people how to pray, but I believe that the Church at large needs to become more passionate about prayer if we really want young people to pray regularly for their unsaved friends. Passion is contagious.

Testimonies
Sharing stories of answered prayer is a great way to build faith in people’s hearts to pray for the lost. When we begin to celebrate what God has done and is doing, we prepare the way for what he will do. We need to expose our young people to testimonies from other young people, sharing how they came to faith or how God has impacted their lives. Testimonies stir up faith!

The Word/Prophecy
Joel 2:28 reads: “And afterwards, I will pour our My Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and daughters will prophecy, your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.”

This is a prophetic word which I believe applies more than ever to this day and age. We are yet the see the fullness of the fulfillment of this promise.

This prophetic word has a double emphasis on the youth, mentioning firstly ‘sons and daughters’, and then ‘young men’.

I believe that the youth are going to be at the forefront greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit the earth has ever seen! Believing these prophetic words demand participation from us – prayer!

Many times prophecy is an invitation to intercession. Helping young people to see that they are a major part of this prophecy will increase their faith when they pray for their friends.

Accountability
Getting young people to share with each other, in accountability groups (of twos or threes), the names of friends they would like to see come to faith can be very effective. These groups can commit to meet regularly to pray for their unsaved friends, or hold each other accountable for praying for their friends regularly, or both.

Boldness
We need to encourage young people to pray for boldness to be able to share their faith. Praying for unsaved friends is great, but there also needs to be the willingness and the heart to share the gospel with them.

For instance, imagine my friend is in desperate need of £10 and I have £10 in my pocket that can be used to meet that need, yet I keep praying day after day for God to provide £10 for my friend.

Many times we pray without seeing ourselves as answers to the very prayers we are praying.

We need to be able to encourage young people to not only pray for their unsaved friends, but pray for opportunities to share their faith and not be ashamed of the gospel when those opportunities arise.

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The Great Commission’s all about inspiring a passion for evangelism in our communities, empowering each one of us, and our churches, to be talking about Jesus – showing God's love in words as well as deeds.
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