Bible: James 5:16

Bottom Line: Prayer is two-way communication with God, not a monologue.


  • 2 different brands of bottled water
  • 2 cones
  • Masking tape


Use masking tape to create a 3 ft. X 3 ft. (or larger) Tic-Tac-Toe board on the floor.

Place two cones about 6 ft. away from the Tic-Tac-Toe board and assign each team to a cone.

Divide your group into two equal teams.

You will need one brand of water bottle for each team.

Give each student a water bottle from their team’s brand.

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Say: For our game today, you have been given a water bottle.

You may drink as much of your water as you need for it to flip the way you want during our game.

When I say GO, one person from each team will walk up to their team’s cone and flip their water bottle into one of the nine spaces on the Tic-Tac-Toe board.

You only get one flip per turn, so flip wisely.

If your bottle lands upright, either right side up or upside down, your team’s bottle wins the space, and that student leaves the bottle in its place and steps to the side.

If your team’s bottle does not land upright, you will retrieve your bottle from the board and go to the back of the line quickly so the next team member may go.

The first team to get three in a row up and down, across, or diagonally, wins.

You can also use your turn to take over a space that the other team has filled.

If you can knock the other’s team’s bottle over, while at the same time, leaving your bottle upright in the space, your team will win that space.

Note: Tell students to maintain a distance of 6 feet from those on their team to maintain proper social distance.


Say: Raise your hand if you were hoping that your bottle would stand straight up.

Raise your hand if you said a quick prayer that it would stand up.

Today we’re going to talk about prayer, which goes beyond just hoping something would happen. It’s bigger than a quick one way prayer or request that we make of God.

Prayer is really interesting because people in many religions and cultures pray.

That’s not what makes it interesting, but as a Christian, we know that God hears our prayers.

Other religions don’t have that assurance.

They hope that someone hears them, but they have no guarantees about it.

Ask: What makes the prayers of a Christian different?

Allow a few responses from students.

For those religions that don’t follow Christ, prayer is often a tool that calms their inner self and brings them into quiet meditation.

For a Christian, prayer is something that changes our hearts and minds to align with the thoughts and desires of God.

So, what do we need to know about prayer?

First, we need to understand that prayer is simply communicating with God.

We don’t have to say some set of phrases in Old English for God to hear us because He is always listening.

Another part of prayer and one that we often overlook is listening when God speaks to us.

There are times when our parents, and even our friends, are talking to us and we hear them, but we are not listening because maybe we were too busy talking first.

Or sometimes we weren’t paying attention.

Ask: How would you feel if God didn’t pay attention to us when we were talking with Him?

Allow a few responses from students.

We pray for lots of different things: good grades, a victory for your school team, and family and friends.

Here’s what happens when we pray to God.

Read James 5:16.

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

What do you think would happen, if you went to a restaurant, walked in the door, sat down at a table and didn’t talk to anyone?

Would food magically appear?

You see, unless you talk to someone from the restaurant who can take your order, the food won’t come.

The restaurant has the ability and capability and willingness to bring what you need, but without communicating that, it won’t happen.

God desires that we pray to him, not so that we can get stuff from Him, but so that our relationship with Him would grow into a more mature fellowship.

And if prayer indeed does produce wonderful results, as it says in James, why wouldn’t we want to pray at all times?

Today, I want you to remember that prayer is two-way communication between you and the Creator of the Universe.

It’s not a monologue of wants, requests, and demands that we give to God.

Open your heart and ears to hear what God has to say to you.

What happens in times of prayer has the potential to change the entire course of your life as you seek open communication with God.

End lesson.

Looking for youth ministry curriculum? Check out the…

2024 SUMMER BUNDLE – Save 78% on $450 worth of youth ministry lessons and games for the summer and beyond!


  1. Lucy
    • October 7, 2020

    I think this is wonderful and relevant to the scripture of James! Good job and thank you for sharing!

    Reply 1 Response
    1. Kate Forkel
      • October 8, 2020

      Thank you for your feedback.
      We are glad that you enjoyed this lesson. ๐Ÿ™‚
      – Kate Forkel, Ministry to Youth

      Reply 1 Response
      1. Diane Cooper
        • July 14, 2022

        Great lesson

        Thank you forsharing

  2. Greg Stanford
    • October 14, 2020

    This is a perfect addition to an upcoming children’s church lesson. Thanks!

  3. Katherine Spratt
    • October 14, 2020

    I liked the stress on prayer being a two way conversation. I liked this explanation about prayer “For a Christian, prayer is something that changes our hearts and minds to align with the thoughts and desires of God.” And I thought the restaurant was a good illustration concerning the need to pray.
    Over all I thought this was a unique and clear way of teaching teens about prayer

  4. Abigail Valle
    • January 27, 2021

    This is amazing, Excellent lesson to teach.

    Reply 1 Response
    1. Kate Forkel
      • January 29, 2021

      Hi Abigail.
      Thank you so much for your comment! We are so glad that you enjoyed this lesson. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Have a great week!
      – Kate Forkel, Ministry to Youth

  5. Angelica
    • June 7, 2021

    Just amazing thank you so much for yโ€™all work! God bless yโ€™all ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. grace
    • April 29, 2023

    Thank you for this great activity on prayer.
    It works well with all ages. Kids, Tweens and Teens.

  7. Diana
    • May 1, 2023

    Agreed with everyone! Excellent activity for so important topic. Now I got a better way to explain them when they ask: โ€œBut there are other religiones who pray too!โ€

    Thank you

  8. Tori
    • April 16, 2024

    Would love the PDF Version! ๐Ÿ™‚


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