Goal: To encourage youth to not only talk about spirituality, but practice living it out together.
One of my good friends, who is also a parent of some of the teenagers at my church, hosted a Friday night sleepover for over 30 teenagers at their house. The desire was to get teenagers together from different towns for spiritual encouragement with one another. We wanted to have a mostly unstructured event but to guide them toward spiritual conversations in their every day interactions with each other. The only structured event for the evening was 12 hours of prayer.
The event began by having a conversation with the teenagers about the power of prayer. The students filled out prayer cards (3×5 notecards) and signed up to pray for 15 minute time slots on a sign up sheet to pray throughout the night.
One of the rooms in the house was then set up as a prayer room. A simple desk with a basket containing the filled out prayer cards, a bible, a journal so teens could write out verses or prayers, and a song book. It was emphasized to the students that prayer is not always the bow your head routine we think of.
It was a full evening of laughter, games, deep conversations, food, and prayer. The teenagers did a great job of reminding one another when their time for prayer had come. Many of the teens shared that although they thought 15 minutes was a long time to pray, once they began, they were interrupted by a knock that their time was up and it was someone else’s prayer slot. When the 12 hours was up, we discussed James 5:13-16.