As a former youth leader, I’m always looking for ways to bring in fun activities for youth that also help them grow in their walk with Christ, so I decided to come up with a list of Christian youth prayer activities for fellow youth leaders incorporate into their ministry.
What are Christian youth prayer activities? Christian youth prayer activities have prayer at the center of each game. They vary depending on what you are wanting for your youth students. Incorporating Christian youth prayer activities helps teach your students to apply 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 into their daily lives.
Whether you’re a youth leader or a parent of some teens and you want to help them increase their prayer life this article is for you.
What’s a Christian Youth Prayer Activity?
Christian youth prayer activities are where you plan a game/activity with the focus being on prayer. It can involve praying for each other, praying for a country, or learning prayer habits.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Taking these activities to your youth group will have amazing benefits for your student’s prayer lives by helping them apply the verse above to their daily lives.
It will help them learn prayer habits that will stick with them, assist them with learning how to effectively pray for others, to understand the importance of prayer, and to grow in their prayer lives overall.
1) Airplane Prayers (Easy)
Materials: Paper and pencils Time: 30-40 mins
Airplane prayers is a super easy activity to incorporate into any youth event because it’s super-fast to set up because, and shouldn’t take too much time
To begin have each student grab a piece of paper and a pencil, then go to a quiet area by themselves and write down their prayer request on the piece of paper. After this have each student fold their papers into an airplane, and throw them around the room once they’re finished. Finally have each student pick up the airplane closest to them, open it, and then pray over that person.
Variations: You can do this outside and students stand in a circle then throw their airplanes, and quickly run to catch the prayers before they land.
2) Prayer Charades (Easy)
Materials: Paper and pen Time: 20-30 mins
Prayer charades is a twist on the classic game charades with all of the topics being related to prayer.
Before running this game come up with different prayer topics for your kids to act out. here are a few examples: Praying for unreached people groups (UPG’s), praying for a friend, praying over the bible, praying for a goldfish, and praying for forgiveness.
To run this game separate your students into two teams, and have two students act out the same topic at a time. You can use this to lead to an open discussion about prayer with your students as a great segue to your sermon.
Variations: You can get your leaders more involved by having them judge each group and giving them points accordingly.
3) Prayer Scavenger Hunt (Medium)
Materials: written out prayer requests on folded pieces of paper Time: 25- 30
The goal of this activity is to teach your students to pray for people outside of their immediate circle, and how important it is for us in order to strengthen us as a family united in Christ.
To prepare for this game you will need to contact the head pastor and see if you can get the public prayer requests submitted to the church, or reach out to your student’s families and ask them what their prayer requests are as well as asking if you can have the students pray for them.
After you gather your prayer requests either put them in an Easter egg or have something attached to it so that it stands out and doesn’t get lost.
About 10 -15 minutes before youth group begins or during another game, hide all of the prayers around the church and then prep the students on how to pray for their community. After let the students go crazy trying to find at least one prayer request each, then have them go to their own quiet spot and pray.
Variations: to get the whole family involved send the prayer request home with the student and have them pray for over their request daily. For the students who prayed daily come up with a small initiative to reinforce this new habit, they’re building.
4) Prayer wall (Easy)
Materials: A wall, string, duct tape, clothes pin, paper, and pens. Time:10- 15 minutes
A prayer wall is not necessarily an activity but a weekly commitment to making prayer a focus of your ministry.
To get this going you can set it up in whatever way flows best with your overall theme in your youth room. I suggest creating a duct tape cross on one of the walls in your room, taping up some rope across, and then when students have a prayer request they can pin it on the wall.
In order to make this a commitment have each student weekly, and when they pin one up they must take one to pray for that request throughout the week. This helps not only make prayer a focus but also gets students praying for others and not just themselves.
Variations: To help students feel more comfortable making personal prayer requests you could have a private prayer box for only the youth leaders to pray over during the week.
5) Fire Of Forgiveness (Easy)
Materials: a campfire/ safe area for a fire, paper, and pens Time:30 -40 minutes
This activity is more so to do as a visual and application activity after a sermon.
For this activity talk about how we all struggle with different sins, but we must willing to ask for forgiveness for them from Christ in order to fully lay them down. Then have them write down something they need forgiveness for, pray over it, and then put it in the fire as a symbol of fully releasing it to God and being committed to actively fighting that sin in their life.
6) Count Your Blessings (Medium)
Materials: Paper, markers, scissors, and glues Time: 20-30 minutes
This art activity will help students focus on all the blessings God has placed in their life, and teach them to not only make requests from God but to also praise him for all he’s done.
For this activity, the students can get creative with their layout, and all they have to do is write all of their blessings on their piece of paper. After have them spend time in prayer thanking God for all that he has done.
Variations: Have them do this same type of craft but with I am statements and magazines to help students see who God has created them to be.
7) Splat Map (Medium)
Materials:Plastic map or tapestry, water balloons, prayer points for each country and water Time: 30 mins
This game kills two birds with one stone by helping your students stay cool, and teaches them the importance of world prayer by having them pray for countries all around the world.
There are two different ways you can have your students pray for each country. The first way is by having them pray for the country as a whole, you can look up prayer requests for this country via google or by going on Operation World’s website (click here).
The second way is by having them pray for unreached people groups (UPG’s) by googling unreached people groups in each country, then going to the Joshua Project (click here) and typing in each unreached people group’s name. After you choose which route you’re going to go write prayer requests on a piece of paper for each country so that you can hand them out to students when running this game.
To set up this activity lay your map out anywhere outside, have your pre-filled water balloons in a bucket ready to go, and have your prayer lists on hand. To run this activity have one kid throw their balloon one at a time while a leader is within a water-free distance of the map to see where it splatters.
Once every student has gone have them pray over their country/UPG and then discuss after.
Variations: To add some difficulty to this game you add in some hula hoops that leaders hold for the students to throw their balloon through.
I hope this list not only gives you new ideas to incorporate in your ministry to strengthen your student’s prayer life but also sparks new creativity to help you come up with your own Christian youth prayer activities to bring to your ministry.