Do you need a youth group lesson on prayer? Do you like tacos? Why not put these two things together? I saw this post from rnrstudents on Instagram
and decided to create my own free youth ministry lesson on prayer using T.A.C.O.S. and includes a prayer station and social media graphics.
Here’s the youth group lesson on prayer. You can download the lesson, slides and prayer stations by signing up for my newsletter The Youth Ministry Round Up.
The Point: Student will learn they can invigorate their conversations with God by practicing five principles of prayer.
Activity: Have a taco bar or order tacos from a local restaurant everyone loves.
Say: Now that we’ve had a belly full of tacos, I want to talk to you about five ways to invigorate your times with God. Let me show you the T.A.C.O.S method of prayer.
Show: T.A.C.O.S slide
Read: Psalm 103:1-5
There are many psalms dedicated to being thankful. Consider Psalm 100:1-5. The Psalmist declares his thankfulness for God just being God, for his goodness and for his love.
Consider what you are thankful for. If you were to write a psalm of thanksgiving, what would it include? Would you be thankful only for the stuff you have or would you be thankful for who God is and what He has done in your life?
Begin your conversation with God with thanksgiving. If someone you had not seen in a while had done you a favor, wouldn’t it be natural for your first words to be, “thank you” ? Being thankful is the grease that gets your tongue unstuck and you’ll suddenly realize you have a lot to be thankful for.
Read: Psalm 150
The Psalmist only lists, in this psalm, one thing we should praise the Lord for, “his excellent greatness.” The rest of the psalm encourages the people on HOW to worship, what they should use, to declare God’s excellent greatness, their instruments.
What instruments do you have?
Your voice is an instrument, so use your breath, your vocal cords, to applaud God.
Social media is an instrument. Applaud God on your social media with a post or video, to all your followers, about how great you think God is.
Your life is an instrument, seen by all, use your life, your daily conversations, your IRL social actions with friends, enemies and strangers to applaud God for who he is.
Read: Psalm 32:1-7
This is a Psalm of David, the same David who killed Goliath. David had done terrible things; he slept with another man’s wife, got her pregnant, had that man killed and then tried to cover it all up. Afterwards, his child died and he went into deep mourning and he writes this psalm as his confession to God.
You may never do as many terrible things as this, but there are two key things to remember about confession.
Don’t wait, confess sooner rather than later
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
Psalm 32: 3
The longer you wait to confess to God, or to others, the more inner turmoil and guilt you experience. God wants us to deal with our issues quickly so we can receive his forgiveness, or the forgiveness of others, so we can move forward in our faith.
Be raw and honest
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” Psalm 32:5
Don’t try to sugar coat your sin to God. Jesus died for all sin because regardless of the size of the sin, all sin effects our relationship to God.
Read: Psalm 20:1-5
Praying for others is often called intercession. Intercession is a word that means “approaching the king” In other words, you are coming before THE King, God, not to make a request for yourself, but for someone else.
Intercession also means to intervene. Think about two people arguing or fighting and you intervene to make sure no one get’s hurt.
When you pray for others you intercede on someone else’s behalf. Maybe there are people you know who are
In distress vs 1
In need of help or reinforcements vs 2
In need of answers while doing good vs 3
In need of physical or spiritual success in a venture vs 4
In need of inner victory against addiction or sickness. vs 5
In need of agreement with their prayers spoken or unspoken vs 5
Read: Psalm 119:1-10
God is not against you praying for your needs. He asks you to come to Him for all you need. Putting yourself last in prayer is an act of humility and way of denying yourself for the benefit of others.
Think of what the Psalmist is praying for. Is it riches? Gold? Success? No, they are praying that they might
- walk with God
- obey His word
- walk blamelessly
These are inner commitments that impact your outer actions.
Praying along with God’s word is a powerful way to pray because you are praying in agreement with God’s will for your life.
NOTE: Print off the T.A.C.O.S cards and have them ready to handout to students.
Say: Tonight we’ve looked at prayer as a way to not just fill time but to build our trust in God. I’ve made these card for you to help remember the T.A.C.O.S method of prayer.
Let’s take five minutes so you can practice this method.
NOTE: Put on some worship music and allow students to use their cards as a prayer guide.
Ask: How many of you found this helpful in guiding your prayer time? Good, next week we’ll take this to the next level and go even deeper.
Close in prayer.
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