Monday, February 23, 2009

    Ideas for Lent '09 #4: Let's Pray

    Is prayer a regular part of your youth ministry gatherings? Lent is a season that particularly lends itself to invite youth to begin exploring the spiritual practice of prayer or to offer them new ways to experience prayer. Below are several online resources that might be helpful:

    12 Ways to Pray During Lent - From the excellent Beliefnet site, here is a set of brief descriptions of simple but thoughtful prayer practices ranging from lighting a candle to "yelling like heck." This list could easily be adapted into a prayer journal for youth. Or perhaps pass out the list and invite youth, as an experiment, to try each practice during the week and share their experiences at your next gathering.

    Pray Without Ceasing - That was Paul's suggestion. But you can't go around all day with your head bowed and your hands folded, so here is a wide variety of suggested prayer practices that can be incorporated into your youth ministry during Lent. Need more? Many of these ideas could be incorporated into prayer exercises. These would be cool too.

    Create a Space - Some teens like the idea of creating a sacred space that can either be set up in their bedroom or even taken with them "on the go" as a sort of prayer altar. This Lenten idea invites you to collect 7 items you would take with you if you tried to duplicate Jesus' 40 day spiritual journey into the wilderness. Why not challenge your youth to take up the challenge?

    Seeds for Lent
    - Check out this set of Flickr images of Lenten reflection cards created by Mark Pierson.

    A Breathing Prayer
    - So simple.

    Free Lenten Prayer Guide
    - Here's a nifty prayer guide you can download right now and adapt for your youth to carry with them throughout the 40 days, complete with scripture texts, prayer suggestions, meditations, and ideas for different ways to "fast" throughout the season.
    See more Lent ideas: #1, #2, #3.