About P.R.A.Y.

Programs of Religious Activities with Youth (P.R.A.Y.) is a not-for-profit organization whose national board of directors includes representatives from Protestant and Independent Christian Churches and the national youth agencies.

Vision Statement

Young people are brought closer to Christ through dynamic programs that enable adults in their ministry with youth. Our programs and resources are offered through churches and youth agencies for them to work together for the benefit of youth.

Tag Line

Building Faith in Youth

Mission Statement

P.R.A.Y.'s mission statement is to "foster the Christian growth of children, youth, and families through churches and youth serving agencies." Everything that the P.R.A.Y. national board does is centered on the two parts of this mission statement: collaborations between churches and agencies, and the P.R.A.Y. program.

Collaborations

P.R.A.Y. encourages collaborations between churches and youth agencies to benefit young people. Both organizations have unique resources in carrying out their work with children and youth, but when a congregation and a council work side-by-side sharing their resources, more young people can be served more effectively. Both organizations, working together for youth, can reach objectives not attainable by either working alone. P.R.A.Y. has developed several resources to encourage such collaborative efforts.

P.R.A.Y. Program

P.R.A.Y. is best known for the P.R.A.Y. religious awards program. The program helps young people to develop a deeper relationship with God and to understand how God is active in their lives and in the world around them. It is a Christian Education resource that uses Bible lessons paired with service projects to help young people not only to grow in Christian faith but to also express their faith by reaching out in love and in service to others. P.R.A.Y. encourages families, youth agencies, and Protestant congregations to use the P.R.A.Y. series to foster spiritual growth in children, youth and families.

What is the P.R.A.Y. Program?

The P.R.A.Y. program:

  • Is a religious emblems program created by the national church bodies cooperating with P.R.A.Y. It is a CHURCH program, approved for use by the national youth agencies.
  • Includes awards/emblems that are approved for wear on the official uniforms of the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Camp Fire USA, and American Heritage Girls.
  • Is used by members of Protestant and Independent Christian churches.
  • Is designed for boys and girls in grades one through twelve.  All church youth (whether or not they belong to a scouting group) are eligible to participate.
  • Is an interdenominational resource, which means that all denominations use the standard curriculum. The curriculum allows each church to introduce the unique characteristics of their denomination.
  • Must be taught under the auspices of the church.  Students are required to present their work to the pastor for final approval. This does not mean that the pastor is the only one who can serve as counselor or teach a class. The pastor may appoint a parent, Sunday school teacher, or other lay leader in the church to serve as a P.R.A.Y. program counselor. But it is the pastor who approves the final work.
  • Consists of four different programs based on grade level. These grade levels roughly correspond to the different ranks in the scouting programs, but since the P.R.A.Y. program is a program of the church, it goes strictly by grade level (not by rank).
  • Offers an Adult Mentor component for parents. Parents may choose to serve as Mentors and be involved in the P.R.A.Y. program alongside their children.

More than Just an Award

Young people who participate in the P.R.A.Y. programs grow stronger in faith and in service to God. True, they receive an award, but they receive many more benefits that come from studying the Bible, working with an adult Christian, getting to know their pastor, and designing their own projects to reinforce Bible lessons.

The P.R.A.Y. Programs mean…

  • Christian Education – The P.R.A.Y. programs are Bible based curriculum that require students to read scripture and answer questions about the Bible. The P.R.A.Y. program can support a congregation’s Christian Education department.
  • Family Involvement – Most church programs are very age segregated and separate the children and youth from the adults. The P.R.A.Y. programs help the family to interact together and to share their faith with each other. The P.R.A.Y. programs include an adult mentor component designed to strengthen intergenerational sharing between adult/parent and child. Families enjoy the time learning together about God. Parents are often surprised at how eager their children are to learn about God and to pray together as a family.
  • Community Outreach & Evangelism – Congregations that promote their P.R.A.Y. program classes through the scouting community are reaching out to scouting families that may not have church homes. These parents want their children to earn their award, and in the process they discover how hungry their children are for the Gospel. The P.R.A.Y. program is a friendly, non-threatening way to get families into your church building and connected with your people. It can be an additional tool for your outreach ministry.
  • Getting to Know the Pastor – Although the pastor isn’t the one necessarily teaching the class, it is the pastor who reviews the students’ work and gives final approval upon completion of the program. Students enjoy connecting with their pastor.
  • Service Projects – Students are challenged to put their faith into action. They choose or design their own projects. Service projects are often targeted toward the family, congregation, and community. Here are some sample projects: planning a game night or special night for the family, cleaning the toys in the church nursery, working in a local food pantry, serving meals for the homeless, holding a toy drive for the church day care center, etc.
  • Real results and the Potential to Change Lives – The P.R.A.Y. programs have helped families re-examine their priorities. Parents realize they need to take time for faith development, to pray with their children, to talk about God. As a result, parents also share how they have seen changes in their children and in the way family members interact with each other. Family members are closer to each other and to God.

What others have said about the P.R.A.Y. Programs

  • "We are not regular church goers, and this program has developed my daughter’s interest. I didn’t know how eager she was to learn about God." – parent
  • "I am very impressed with the material. I will likely use it as a discipleship curriculum for my church." – Pastor
  • "Through the God & Me program, my son and wife decided to be baptized into the church…Thank You!"
  • "We feel more open and confident in discussing our faith and beliefs." – parent
  • "My son was able to forgive his step-father…which has brought all of us closer." – parent
  • "Once a family or individual from our scouting ministry visits our Church, they find something that ministers to their family here. Scouting remains our main outreach ministry and we continue to develop nurturing ministries to keep those families coming back again and again." – Pastor
  • Garrett loved reading his Bible and learning more about God. We all agreed to find time for a family devotion time as a result. – Arlington, TX
  • "I learned a lot of Bible stories. I like looking things up in my Bible!" – Recipient of the God and Family award
  • What I remember best was going to the nursing home. It was fun, and I felt like I was doing something to help out." – Recipient of the God and Church award
  • I really didn’t know if I could learn the Lord’s Prayer, but I just kept saying "I think I can" and I did! I liked learning about God. – Recipient of the God and Me award