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Young teenagers develop and learn quickly. Besides getting to know the love of God, we want to teach them a living relationship with Him.

Open Up is a programme of interactive and creative teaching materials. It is a course of 10 months with weekly sessions of one hour. A session starts with a Bible story, told, played or drawn. There is discussion, as well as time to pray, fill in the prayer card and a creative activity.

In the first month, in the story of Jesus healing the paralysed man, all the aspects of prayer are introduced to explain the Prayer Hand: Praise, Forgiveness, Thanksgiving, praying for Others, and praying for Yourself.

After this, one aspect of prayer is presented each month. Each prayer aspect is sup­ported by an animation and visualised by an icon.

A session has a fixed structure, in which the poster of the Prayer Hand is the starting point. In the weekly programme the components are indicated with a pictogram. The youth leader can divide the hour among the activities as desired.

Prayer during the meetings

At each meeting there is time for collective prayer, with attention paid to the input from the teens. We focus on the practice of prayer in Bible story­telling, in discussion, in creative activities and in contact with the prayer parents.  The connection with the teenagers is important in every activity, to get in touch with their world and their knowledge of God.

To encourage teens to practice prayer, they receive an Open Up Prayer Diary: a peculiar wordless cloth book with the icons of the five prayer aspects.


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Contact with the prayer parents

The bond between a prayer parent and a teenager is precious and needs to be carefully built, from a basis of trust and security. When a close relationship develops, it can last for more than a year or even the entire teenage years. That is why girls are paired with women and boys preferably with men.

In the first month of Open Up, each teen fills in an Open Up card with personal information and a picture of themselves. At each meeting, the teens fill out a prayer card with their questions and thanks to God. These cards are given to the prayer parents. They can collect the cards throughout the year. In this way they can empathize with the teen and follow how God uses their prayers.

Prayer parents receive a Prayer Hand poster at the start of Open Up. Each month they are informed about the program through the Open Up Newsletter.

Ways to pray for a teenager

In general, prayer parents can pray for all areas of a teenager’s life, taking into account their personal situation.

In the monthly Newsletter several suggestions are made that fit with the program the teenagers are following. More personally, prayer parents can pray and give thanks for the items on the weekly prayer card.

The role of the prayer coordinator

The prayer coordinator invites, encourages and equips Church members to become prayer parents and to ‘adopt’ a teenager in prayer to ensure that each has a prayer parent. She is the link between the prayer parents and the teenagers.

Each month, when a new aspect of prayer is starting in Open Up, the coordinator organises a meeting. This is a time for Scripture, for testimonies and to encourage one another. The video of Open Up can be watched and the Newsletter is handed out and discussed.