“Prayer of Salvation” With Teens

Right now, I’m wrapping up a project I’ve been working on for the past three or four months. I’m putting together a resource for my adult volunteers that will hopefully be their cheat sheet for ministry when they serve with FSM. It’s got our ministry purpose, their expectations, their goals, FSM’s schedule, random thoughts, and all sorts of things. One section that is included is a “What if” section (big shout out to Elle Campbell for the idea) where our adults can turn to if they’re in a situation they’re not sure how to handle. A small group leader suggested that we have a page on “What if a student wants to pray for salvation?”

I’d never thought about including that, but I’m SO glad he did! I felt like this was important enough that I wanted to share this section from the upcoming resource. This assumes a basic knowledge on the part of the reader, and isn’t a “magic potion prayer” or an all-inclusive guide. It’s more of a starting point for our leaders to refresh their mind on some key points.

WHAT IF A STUDENT WANTS TO PRAY FOR SALVATION?!

First off, what an amazing opportunity! There are few things more rewarding than when a student seeks surrender and pursues Christ! Here are a few things to keep in mind as you walk through that conversation!

CELEBRATION
It’s a huge deal that a student would come to you and even bring up this topic! Make sure you communicate that this is huge, that you are proud of them, and that you are excited for them.

INTERROGATION
That may have the wrong connotation, but ask them questions. What do you think it means to surrender your life to Christ? What made you decide that this was something you wanted to do? Tell me, in your own words, what Christ did. Have you ever prayed and submitted your life to Christ before? Ask any other questions that may come up, but these are some key ones that can provide some points of clarity on their thought processes.

EXPLANATION
Usually, I’ll start this part with a simple, “Hey, I want to go over a few things before we pray or anything. I’m not trying to treat you like you’re dumb, but just going back to square one to make sure we’re on the same page okay?” Feel free to use the Roman Road or any other helpful tool to walk the student through Scripture.

KEY POINTS TO HIT

  • God is Perfect. He cannot be near unrighteousness. (Isaiah 59:2).
  • We are messed up. (Romans 3:23).
  • God can’t be near unrighteousness. We’re nasty. Therefore, God can’t be with us.
  • God loves us, and WANTS to be near us. But our sin prevents that.
  • We deserve to die for our sin. (Romans 6:23, Hebrews 9:22)
  • Jesus, God’s son, lived a life without sin, and didn’t deserve to die. He was perfect, but died to pay our price. (Colossians 1:13, Isaiah 53:3-12)
  • In order for God’s righteousness to be satisfied, Christ (who was perfect (1 Peter 1:18-19)) took the penalty for our sins. (1 Corinthians 13:3, 2 Corinthians 5:21, John 3:16, Romans 6:23, 1 Peter 2:21-24).
  • Salvation is free to us, we just have to ask for and accept it. (Romans 10:9-10).
  • In “Asking Christ into your heart,” you are accepting His sacrifice for you, and in turn, you are giving your life over to Him and you are able to know God. (Ephesians 2:13)
  • Following Christ doesn’t stop at the moment of salvation. (Philippians 2:12, 1 Corinthians 7:23).
INTERROGATION
Ask if they have any questions. This is a huge moment in their life. If they ask questions you don’t know how to field, ask if it’s okay for you both to go talk to Austin.
INVOCATION
Pray. Ask the student to repeat out loud, to themselves, in however way you’d like, but lead them in prayer. You know the drill by now. Confessing your sin, admitting you’re messed up, thanking God for sending His son, who was perfect and died to take my sin’s penalty, asking God to be Lord of your life, submitting to him, confessing belief, and thanking him. Here’s a note. After one of my student leaders led a friend in this prayer one time, I got a text that said, “I lead John Jingleheimersmith in the sinner’s prayer…but I’m worried I didn’t say it right and that it didn’t work.” Take a deep breath, because we serve a powerful and intelligent God. God is not confused if you don’t use just the right words. He knows the heart. This could open up an entirely different conversation on “The Sinner’s Prayer” as it is, but we’ll leave that for another time.
CELEBRATION
It is a HUGE deal what they just did. DO NOT LET THEM LEAVE THAT CONVERSATION WITHOUT MAKING SURE THEY REALIZE IT. Remind them how proud you are of them, and how excited you are that God has made them a knew being.
Again, do not freak out that you won’t use the right syntax or grammar. Be excited, and be sure to thank God for using you in that situation. After the conversation, tell them you’re going to let me know of their decision, and we’ll work out next steps after that.
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2 Comments

  1. This is an awesome idea/thought. Seems like an invaluable resource for your team and I’m sure its a slick package. Would love to see it sometime if possible.

    Reply
  1. Round Up – January 20th | Youth Min.org – Community For Youth Pastors & Ministry Volunteers

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