Bible: Matthew 7:7; Romans 8:28; Psalms: 145:18
How do we win with prayer?
How many times do we say to our preteens they need to pray? What is the look on their faces when we say it?
If your preteens are anything like mine, I can see the look of this is useless on their faces.
So this got me thinking why do they think this? The answer was fairly simple praying can be hard.
A preteen is just beginning to understand that things don’t always happen right when they want to need them too.
In school they are learning they need to study for exams and quizzes. If they play a sport they are learning that practicing as much as possible can make them a better player.
With all of those things there is an end goal, get good grades or make the team. They put in the time and a result happens.
But for a preteen prayer can seem like a waste of time. Taking time to talk to someone who isn’t physically there and doesn’t hold conversations with them can seem useless.
We need to work hard at teaching and showing our preteens that prayer is the most important thing they can do to develop their relationship with God.
Below is an awesome game and lesson to help your preteens look at prayer in a whole new way.
OPENING GAME: ADD-EM UP
- Multiple set of dice, enough for every 2-3 preteens
- Decide on 4 different number to have teams add up too (examples; 120, 234, 343, 467)
- Paper and Pens
- Calculators for leaders to check addition
How to Play:
Put your class in groups of 2-3 preteens and have them find a place in the room to sit down. Give each team a set of dice and paper and pen. On go you will give them the first of 4 different numbers to add up too by rolling their dice. The teams need to write down each number they roll.
The object of the game is to add up their dice to the number you give them. If they go over they have to deduct 25 points from their last number and continue until they reach the number. If they go over three times, on the third time they can roll one die at a time until they reach the number without going over. They keep trying until the roll the exact number.
Once they reach that number they will bring the list to a leader who will add up a calculator and confirm they have reached it correctly. If incorrect they will have to start over. If correct they will then be given the next number to add up to.
The team who finishes all four numbers first wins.
Teach – Prayer
That was a fast a furious game; you all were rolling dice like crazy. Congratulations to the winning team, you can come up here and get your prize. When I say this game it reminded me a lot of what prayer can be like. I know that sounds crazy, what does rolling dice and adding have to do with praying to God. Let me break it down for you.
- How many times do you think you rolled the dice in your game?
- Once you got close to the number how nervous were you to not go over?
- When you went over and had to loose 25 points how did you feel?
- If you added wrong and had to start completely over how did you feel?
- When you pray can it seem like you are rolling the dice hoping for the exact number to come up?
- When that number doesn’t come up when praying do you feel like you lost and you have to start all over? Why?
- So why do we pray if we aren’t really sure what is going to happen?
Sometimes when we pray it can seem like a waste of time, right. But let me tell you that God is always listening and hearing what you are saying. In fact the bible tells us this:
Read Psalms: 145:18:
“The LORD is near to all who call upon him; to all who call on him is truth.”
See God is always there and he is always listening. Don’t ever feel like God is not listening, when you begin to think that then your faith in Him is weakened. Don’t ever feel like you did when rolling the dice in game and nothing was happening. There was a purpose for that just as there is a purpose for praying.
Now we are praying, but the things you are praying about are not happening or not going the way you want. How do you feel about that?
Read Matthew 7:7:
“Ask, and it will be given you.
Seek, and you will find.
Knock, and it will be opened for you.
Here it tells us that we only need to ask and it will be given to us. But we know that not every prayer we pray is answered like we want. But the verse here doesn’t say that, it says ask and it will be given to you. We can ask for something as many time as we want, but know that God will give us what he knows we need and when we need it.
Read Romans 8:28:
“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.’
See we are sinners and many times we are asking for things we want to make our better. God knows this and will answer our prayers according to his purpose for our lives. At the time it can seem like we just keep adding up our dice wrong and starting over.
The key is to be strong in the Lord and have faith in Him. Like in the game we continued to add up the numbers until the end or we have to start over. Never stop praying; pray until they are answered or you have to start over. God is listening and he will always do what is best for you.
Give some time for preteens to pray with each other or alone. Remind them no prayer is useless and God wants to hear from them about everything.
Written by Rob Quinn
Like this lesson? You will also enjoy this FREE lesson teaching preteens how to be salt and light.
Rob Quinn serves as the Preteen Ministry Coordinator at Community Bible Church in Brighton, MI. He has been involved with preteen ministry for almost 8 years now. Rob is married to an amazing woman Jodi, who just so happens to be the Children’s Ministry Director at his church. They have one beautiful daughter Sydni, and an 8-pound attack dog named Lilly.