Teaching the Art and Value of Prayer

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The Greatest Thing We Can Do


We exist and were created for three reasons: to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ. The Creator made us in his image (see Genesis 1:27) to be in relationship with him (see 1 John 3:1). I certainly don’t mean to say that living out faith in Christ is easy, but its success is simply rooted in relationship and encounter.

A relationship with Christ develops through an encounter with Christ. Encountering Christ happens in numerous ways, but primarily in and through prayer.

The Necessity of Prayer

Prayer is vital. Prayer and life cannot be separated (see CCC, 2742–2745, 2757). One could argue that praying is more important than food, clothing, and shelter.

St. Gregory Nazianzen (330– 390) said, “One should remember God more frequently than one breathes.”

St. Teresa of Calcutta (1910– 1997) so beautifully shared:

“My secret is quite simple: I pray. And through my prayer I become one with the love of Christ and see that praying is loving him, that praying is living with him, and that means making his words come true. … For me, praying means being one with the will of Jesus 24 hours a day, living for him, through him, and with him.”

Think of that: 24/7.

What would our world, let alone our personal lives, be like if God was always on our mind and heart? If we were in constant conversation with him? In our ministry to and with teens, it is important that we present the Gospel in creative and relevant ways; that we teach the tenets of our beautiful faith; that we provide opportunities for youth to reach beyond themselves by reaching out to others.

But the greatest thing we can do is teach them to value prayer. The ways to pray are countless.

What matters is that the person praying connects and prays in ways that foster intimate connection with Jesus Christ.

Stepping into Prayer

Here are four practical steps to help your teens encounter Christ in prayer:

TIME — Prayer can and should happen any time and all the time, but choosing a time of day when you are most alert and least distracted is best.

PLACE — Choose a location that is convenient, conducive, quiet, and free from distractions.

DURATION — Be practical and realistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Fifteen minutes of prayer each day adds up to almost four days of prayer in a year!

METHODS — Choose a prayer or style of prayer that works best for you — one that is most in line with your personality. Explore!


ERIC GROTH is president and CEO of ODB Films. See ODBFilms.com.


This article was originally published in Catechist magazine, March 2018.

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