Connecting Youth To God

Recently, I led a group of Jr. High and Sr. High students in a communal conversation with God. In doing so, I made the following observations. 1) We have emphasized to our students over the years the idea that they can say anything they want to God that they are now unable to talk to God about anything outside of themselves or converse with God in a way that is tranformational. Prayer has become a tool for “venting” rather than a true conversation. 2) People talk way too much when they come before God. We live in such a noisy, fast-paced society. My students were completely amazed that they were still before God for an entire 40 minutes– communing with Him in guided meditation and prayer together. The stillness and the silence alone were gifts unimaginable for these students. 3) We have not taught our youth to truly engage God about their world. We have taught our students to ask God “to help” Jane, “to bless” John, etc. In this experience, I asked students to end in groups of 3-4, look one another in the eyes and tell God “what you see in that person, what you want God to do with this person’s life, and how you can see this person changing the world.” It was fascinating to listen to the students pray differently. The majority of these students loved this experience. Many of them later asked me if we could do this more often. We have become so arrogant to think our weekly teachings are better than guiding our people through simple prayer and meditation.

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