Why Don't Teens Pray More?
Why don't teens pray more? And why is that teens are more scared to praise God when their friends are around?
This is a question that is easy to answer but difficult to hear.
I've been blessed enough to meet and speak to hundreds of thousands of teens over the past few years, and this fear you are talking about exists everywhere, in every state and on every continent, it seems.
Now, that is not to say that this fear exists in everyone...again, i said every"where".
People will give you other opinions and "takes" on this issue. They'll blame it on geography saying that "our teens don't pray like that in this part of the country". Others will blame it on the lack of "leadership" from musicians to priests to youth ministers. Still others blame it all on the parents. Some people choose to point the finger at the Church in Rome, some at their local Bishop, and some at the parish (for lack of opportunities, programs or concern).
Any one of those people or situations might influence the manner in which God is presented to teenagers, but none of them can keep a teen from prayer.
Prayer is a turning of the heart to God, and no one can stop a humble heart from seeking, finding, knowing and loving God. Worship is a response to God's love and greatness. Again, no one can stop you (or any teen for that matter) from worshipping.
The truth is that teens are scared to praise God when their friends are around because deep down most people really do care about what others think, more than what God thinks.
That's why, in my opinion, at the beginning of a youth conference, for instance, only about five or ten percent of the teens might have their hands raised in worship, but by the end probably almost ninety percent do. Peer pressure always has an effect, it can be both positive and negative.
We look at those peers on our left and on our right and let those people influence our behavior. That is a way of life here on earth. Praise and worship, however, aren't about life on earth, it's about entering into the throne room of Heaven, it's not about the left and right, it's about the up and the down.
Prayer is where Heaven and earth collide...you turn your heart, mouth, eyes and ears to heaven, to better enable yourself to life (and survive) on earth.
Let me give you an example of God's hope and expectation of us when it comes to praise and worship - one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament:
Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all who dwell in the world show reverance." - Psalm 33:8
"...at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." - Philippians 2:10-11
The sooner that any of us (teens or adults) can start thinking and living more for God than others in our lives and prayer, the sooner we will resemble and exemplify the kind of children of God we were created, designed and called to become.
Keep praying and, if it helps, close your eyes when you pray. (That's what i do). Not only does it eliminate distractions of those around you, but it offers example of how to quiet yourself amidst a world of chaos. Heaven is only a prayer away.
Thanks for the question!
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