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Posted by Nick Diliberto on




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.


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.


Say: Raise your hand if at any point you were praying that your bottle would land straight up.

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.

AskHow 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.


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