For Youth Workers Post
“In the Habit” session for devozine meditations for June 23–30, 2014.
MAKING THE CONNECTION
“Truth be told, Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens, by Dorothy Bass, the book and the leader’s guide are great resources for discussing prayer. I’ve used them as a basis for many gatherings and discussions about prayer.
“Prayer is probably one aspect of our lives that we don’t fully explore with youth. As a result, it remains a mystery for many young people. For others, prayer is something we do to get a parking place or better grades at school.
“This session uses a series of prayer stations, based on the Lord’s Prayer, that I put together as an alternative way to worship. Feel free to use one or more of the stations to engage group members in prayer.” —Darren
MEET THE WRITER
Darren Wright is a Uniting Church Youth Worker, serving in the Riverina Presbytery in New South Wales, Australia, as the Presbytery Youth and Children’s Ministry Worker. Darren has previously worked in congregational ministry, high school chaplaincy, and local government as a youth worker. He has also been a petrol station attendant, supermarket employee, dairy manager, and furniture salesperson. His interests include music (Moby, Radiohead, Ben Harper, The National, Muse, All India Radio), film (MegaMind, Harry Potter, How to Train your Dragon, Scott Pilgrim, The Avengers), TV (Chuck, Doctor Who, Big Bang Theory, Community), theology, pop-culture, and working with young people in at-risk areas. He is particularly interested in how the church and theology connect with pop culture. Check out Darren’s blog.
STUFF YOU WILL NEED
- Print-Friendly Version of this Session
- The “When You Pray” kit (Download the kit for scripture, instructions, and a list of resources needed for each of the prayer stations.)
- For STATION 1: “Our Father in Heaven”
- images of parents and their children (downloaded from Internet to the “When You Pray” kit)—babies in arms of parents, older parents with their older kids, and so on
- “Our Father in Heaven” readings to post in station (from “When You Pray” kit)
- For STATION 2: “Hallowed Be Your Name”
- a plastic tarp on the floor
- a sheet of thick white cotton cloth
- wet wipes
- “Hallowed Be Your Name” readings to post in station (from “When You Pray” kit)
- Place on the tarp a couple of paper plates filled with colored paint. People will step in the paint and then walk the paint onto the cloth.
- For STATION 3: “Your Kingdom Come”
- gravel, dry grit, stones in a bowl
- candles, one of them lit
- a map of the world
- “Your Kingdom Come” readings to post in station (from “When You Pray” kit)
[“May We Speak of Remarkable Things,” included in the “When You Pray” kit, is from Mucky Paws, by Roddy Hamilton; Volume 01, 2004, page 42.]
- For STATION 4: “Your Will Be Done”
- clay fire pot and hot coals or a shredder
- “Your Will Be Done” readings to post in station (from “When You Pray” kit)
- For STATION 5: “On Earth as it is in Heaven”
- craft material
- “On Earth as it is in Heaven” readings to post in station (from “When You Pray” kit)
- For STATION 6: “Give Us Today Our Daily Bread”
- fresh crispy bread (the crispier, the better)
- “Give Us Today Our Daily Bread” readings to post in station (from “When You Pray” kit)
[“In the Company,” included in the “When You Pray” kit, is from Mucky Paws, by Roddy Hamilton, Volume 01, 2004, page 14.]
- For STATION 7: “Forgive Our Sins”
- post-it notes
- a room or space to use as a confession booth (I’ve used a tent!)
- “Forgive Our Sins” readings to post in station (from “When You Pray” kit)
- For STATION 8: “As We Forgive Others”
- some broken tiles
- tile grout or glue
- a piece of wood or something to stick the broken tiles to
- “As We Forgive Those Who Have Sinned Against Us” readings to post in station (from “When You Pray” kit)
- For STATION 9: “Lead Us Not into Temptation”
- For STATION 10: “Deliver Us from Evil”
- a bird cage
- several folded origami birds
- pens or markers
- “Deliver Us from Evil” readings to post in station (from “When You Pray” kit)
[The words for “We Believe in a Word,” included in the “When You Pray” kit, are from Mucky Paws, by Roddy Hamilton, Volume 6.]
- For STATION 11: “Amen”
- pens or markers
- copies of the Lord’s Prayer
- “Amen” reading to post in station (from “When You Pray” kit)
If you want to develop this session in other ways, here are a few resources that may be of assistance.
- Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens, by Dorothy Bass; Upper Room Books, 2002 and the associated leader’s guide
- These books by Mark Yaconelli:
> Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus
> Growing Souls: Experiments in Contemplative Youth Ministry
> Downtime: Helping Teenagers Pray
> Wonder, Fear, and Longing: A Book of Prayers
- Praying the Pattern, by Andii Bowsher, is a great book exploring ways to engage with the Lord’s Prayer.
- Uncommon Prayer and Worship, a new book by Kara Powell, includes six sections on prayer.
- Tune in Tune Out: Using Contemplative Prayer in Youth Work, by Jenny Baker and Moya Ratnayake is a beautiful book on alternative worship and the place of contemplative prayer in youth ministry.
- These books offer a selection of resources for people who want to explore multi-sensory prayer and alternative worship. They offer ideas for use in youth ministry and congregational worship:
> Heart, Soul, Mind, Strength: 50 Creative Worship Ideas for Youth Groups, by Jenny Baker
> Transforming Prayers: 40 Unique Experiences for Youth Ministry, by Jenny Baker
> Multi-Sensory Prayer: Over 60 Innovative Ready-to-Use Ideas, by Sue Wallace
- The Lord and His Prayer, by N. T. Wright is an easy-to-read reflection on the Lord’s Prayer, great for more in-depth study.
- “The Lord’s Prayer as a Paradigm of Christian Prayer,” by N. T. Wright was originally published in Into God’s Presence: Prayer in the New Testament (ed. R. L. Longenecker. Eerdmans, 2001; pages 132–54) and shows the direction of Wright’s further work on the Lord’s Prayer.
- Soul Tending; Life Forming Practices for Older Youth and Young Adults was inspired by Kenda Creasy Dean’s book, A Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry, and offers practical ways to study spiritual disciplines and apply them to life.
- “Prayer: Heart of Pilgrimage,” the third volume in the great youth ministry study resource The Way of Pilgrimage, focuses on prayer and pilgrimage.
- “Just Prayers” are short-film prayers to encourage Christian communities and individuals to engage with injustice.
- Re:form, by We Are Sparkhouse, encourages young people to struggle with deep questions of faith, worship, prayer, and scripture. Search for “Why Should I Pray the Lord’s Prayer?” and “Why Should I Pray When God Doesn’t Answer All My Prayers?”
- These videos on The Work of the People website are about the meaning and practice of prayer:
> “Contemplative Spirituality”
> “Hearing the Voice of Love”
> “Prayer: A State of Communion”
> “Prayer & Surrender”
- These videos from Worship House Media are funny takes on how we pray:
> “The Skinny on Prayer,” by Skit Guys Studios
> “Killer Prayer Tips,” by Igniter Media
- “Basic 6 Prayer”—In the sixth film in the Basic series, Francis Chan challenges us to align our prayers with God’s mission so that we might just see how God answers our prayers in ways beyond our imagination.
EXPLORING THE WORD IN PRAYER
Set up the prayer stations in your meeting space. The “When You Pray” kit includes scripture, instructions, and a list of resources needed for each of the prayer stations.
Play some ambient music in the background to add to the mood.
Begin the session, using material in the file “Alternative Worship – Playground – Introduction.” Encourage group members to spend some time in the prayer stations. Allow plenty of time.
When you feel the need to bring the session to a close, bring group members together and invite them to talk about their experience.
Conclude the session by showing the video “The Lord’s Prayer” from Just Prayers and inviting the group to join in saying the prayer. (“The Lord’s Prayer” is the second prayer on the page.)
TAKING IT FURTHER
Read through Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens, by Dorothy Bass; Uncommon Prayer and Worship, by Kara Powell; or Tune in Tune Out: Using Contemplative Prayer in Youth Work, by Jenny Baker and Moya Ratnayake; and use the experiences and resources they suggest.