This prayer lesson plan will help youth understand the importance of taking time from our busy schedules to spend time with God. Prayer brings us closer to God and refreshes us.
Game for Prayer Lesson Plan
Have several stations for doing “tasks”:
- Have some laundry which must be folded
- Have some books which must be put in a backpack
- Have a soft basketball which must be shot in a hoop
- Have some dirty dishes and a tub of soapy water to wash them in
- Come up with your own additional ideas
Divide the group into two or more teams. The game is run relay style. The first person on each team must fold one piece of laundry, put one book in the backpack, shoot one basket, wash one dish, and do any other stations you provide. Then they tag the next person in line who does the set of tasks. The first team to have all of their members complete the tasks wins.
Follow up with a few questions:
- Did that game make you feel busy?
- Do you like being busy all the time?
- What do you like to do when you are not busy?
Bible Reading about Taking Time Away
Rest is important in our lives. Jesus understood this. During his ministry, he was often surrounded by crowds. They could be demanding, either wanting him to work a miracle for them or wanting to challenge him with their questions. He would often go away to a quiet place to pray.
Mark 6:30-34 (Jesus invites his apostles to rest) – the for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B
The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught.
He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.Mark 6:30-34
Discussion for Prayer Lesson Plan
So Jesus knew he could not spend all of his time curing people and preaching. He understands that he can’t be busy all of the time.
Jesus frequently stole away from the crowds to pray. The catechism tells us
Jesus often draws apart to pray in solitude, on a mountain, preferably at night. … His words and works are the visible manifestation of his prayer in secret.Catechism of the Catholic Church: 2602
He knew what he was doing was important. But being connected to the Father in prayer was even more important.
- Why does Jesus go to a deserted place?
- He also invites his friends to get away from what they were doing. What does this tell us?
We have so many distractions in our lives and things to do. Prayer can sometimes seem like another item on our to-do list. And since it doesn’t seem urgent, it might end up at the bottom of that list.
But prayer is important. When we are overwhelmed, as Jesus often was by the crowds, we need it more, not less. Many saints knew this also. Consider this quote from St. Francis de Sales:
Every one of us needs half an hour of prayer a day, except when we are busy – then we need an hour.St. Francis de Sales
So prayer must really be a priority in our lives.
- What are some things which keep you from praying every day?
- How can you develop a regular daily prayer habit?
There are a few things which can help us with praying every day.
First, have a set time to pray. Include it in your daily schedule, just like other things you need and want to do each day.
Second, take an example from Jesus and have a quiet place to pray. Don’t try to pray in a room where others are talking or where there are distractions like the TV or your phone.
Third, try some new ways to pray. Some people find meaning in praying the rosary. Others like to read scripture and reflect on it. The daily examen is a good method of daily prayer.
Fourth, stick with it. If you are trying a new type of prayer, you need to give it a couple of weeks at least. And don’t give up if it doesn’t seem to be “helping”. Like developing any relationship, it takes time to grow in relationship with God.
Challenge for Prayer Lesson Plan
If you already have a daily prayer habit, then keep it up! Don’t change a prayer habit which is working for you. If you aren’t praying regularly, use the tips we talked about to develop one. If you feel you need accountability, choose a prayer partner. You can check in with each other every day to remind each other to pray.
If possible, end by spending some time in adoration or praying before the tabernacle.
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