Music Discussions

I Pray for You

i-pray-for-you

I Pray for You – Jaron and the Long Road to Love

Main Point: If we want God to answer our prayers, we must pray in Jesus’ name according to God’s will.

Vital Info Before You Get Started: The following info will help you contextualize this song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.

IMPORTANT NOTE TO PARENTS: We at The Source for Youth Ministry believe that certain elements in our youth culture can serve as good discussion jump starters with students. At the same time, we would never hope to introduce teens to a negative influence that they haven’t already encountered. This balance is a delicate one. In our experience most teens, churched and unchurched, keep pretty current with music and music videos like this one. Thanks to YouTube, MTV.com, Spotify, and iTunes, the most popular music videos and songs are free to access only a click away. If you decide to use this, do so by catering it to fit your family’s needs.

  • Jaron Lowenstein is the center of the country music band called Jaron and the Long Road to Love. He began making music in 2009 and sometimes records with his identical twin brother, Evan.
  • Joran is far from being country music’s biggest name, but in his career, he’s had an album peak at the #2 position and has been nominated for various awards in his musical genre.

Introducing the Song – You Say This:
I want to play you a song from the country music genre entitled “I Pray for You.” It’s by the group Jaron and the Long Road to Love…and if you pay attention to the lyrics of this song, you know it’s gonna be a long road to love for this guy! The song picks up right after the latest break up with his girlfriend. He gets some advice from his pastor…but take a look at how he puts that advice into action.

The Music Video:
Click the following link for the online video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atBg9zLI2bA

Song Lyrics: I Pray for You

I haven’t been to church since I don’t remember when
Things were going great til they fell apart again
So I listened to the preacher as he told me what to do
He said you can’t go hatin’ others who have done wrong to you
Sometimes we get angry but we must not condemn
Let the good Lord do his job, you just pray for them

I pray your brakes go out runnin’ down a hill
I pray a flower pot falls from a window sill
And knocks you in the head like I’d like to
I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls
I pray you’re flyin’ high when your engine stalls
I pray all your dreams never come true
Just know wherever you are, honey, I pray for you 

I’m really glad I found my way to church
Cause I’m already feelin’ better and I thank God for the words
Yeah, I’m gonna take the high road and do what the preacher told me to do
You keep messin’ up, and I’ll keep prayin’ for you

I pray your tire blows out at 110
I pray you pass out drunk with your best friend
And wake up with his and her tattoos
I pray your brakes go out runnin’ down a hill
I pray a flower pot falls from a window sill
And knocks you in the head like I’d like to
I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls
I pray you’re flyin’ high when your engine stalls
I pray all your dreams never come true
Just know wherever you are, near or far

In your house or in your car
Wherever you are, honey, I pray for you
I pray for you

Three Questions to Ask in the Car (with thoughts to dive deeper with your kids): 

Q: OK, I know this wasn’t a real scenario, but what were some of the things that Jaron was praying would happen to his ex?
A: He kept praying really bad things would happen to her, including tragedies that would end up killing her.

Q: What words would you use to describe Jaron’s “prayer” in this song?
A: Let’s see…selfish, angry, vengeful, and definitely misguided.

Q: Does God answer every prayer we pray? Why or why not?
A: Definitely not! God tends to answer the prayers that are focused on His glory and His will…not our glory or our will.

Where to Take It from Here: Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful!  (There is a guide just after this paragraph that helps you do just that.) If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged – the next time it feels right, try out another song. Keep engaging them.

For Deeper Discussion:
(If your kids seem into diving in deeper and looking at what the Bible has to say on the subject, the following discussion guide can help take you there.)

Want help getting your teenager engaged in conversation? CLICK HERE for a helpful article from our “Parenting Help” page providing you with 3 Essentials to Talking with Today’s Teens.

Transition Statement – You Say This:
OK, so that wasn’t the most theologically accurate music video of all time…. But I wanted to show it to you because, whether we’re willing to admit it or not, we can struggle with unanswered prayers and never realize the reason why is because we’re praying prayers that God doesn’t want to answer. If we want God to answer our prayers, we must pray in Jesus’ name according to God’s will. That’s what the Bible teaches from beginning to end so let’s talk about it.

Discussion Questions:

  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and our favorite song right now.
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Have you ever prayed a similar prayer to Jaron’s? If so, can you briefly share?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Have you ever prayed to God about something…and nothing happened? Or worse, the opposite happened? If so, why do you think that was?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How do we typically view prayer…and does God share that view?

Read the following passage:

John 14:12-14 (NIV)

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What does it mean to pray in Jesus’ name? What’s He talking about? (Parents – This is a key question for this discussion. To pray in Jesus’ name means to pray according to His will. We are supposed to pray for things that Jesus would want…not necessarily what we want.)
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Praying in Jesus’ name means praying according to His will…not our will. Why is God more willing to answer a prayer that is in line with His will than answering a prayer that is only in line with our will?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Jesus said He would do whatever we ask in His name so that He could bring glory to His Father in Heaven. Why is it such a big deal to bring glory to God?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: So, does this mean we can’t ever ask God for things for ourselves? Why or why not? (Parents – No, we can certainly ask God to help us and in lots of ways. We just need to make sure that our larger focus is on God getting His way instead of us getting what we want.)
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Overall, how do you think God feels about your prayers? How do you know?
  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Do you need to make some changes in the way you pray? If so, what are they?

Wrap Up – You Say This:
I’m glad we had a chance to hang out together. I hope you enjoyed the funny little song we used to kick start this discussion on prayer. And I hope you never ever pray a prayer like he prayed! 

If I could help you understand just one very important reality, it’s that we need to pray in the name of Jesus. A lot of times we might hear other people pray some sort of prayer and at the end they simply say, “In Jesus’ name, Amen.” I’m not saying that’s a bad thing to do; I’m just not sure that’s what Jesus had in mind when He taught us to pray in His name. 

For example, can we pray for something bad to happen to an enemy “in Jesus’ name”? After all, Jesus loves our enemy, too. Or, can we pray to win the lottery “in Jesus’ name” so we can buy a nicer car for ourselves, or nicer clothes, or nicer fill-in-the-blank? 

I think what Jesus was teaching us is this: praying in His name means praying according to His will. We need to ask God to give us the things He wants to give us…and then we’ll see a lot more of our prayers get answered. If our prayer is selfish, it’s not in God’s will. Saying “in Jesus’ name” a million times isn’t going to help us! If our prayer is vengeful, it’s not in God’s will. Again, throwing a couple of “in Jesus’ names” at it won’t help us at all!

Once we realize what Jesus was teaching us about prayer, we can know how He wants us to pray. Why don’t we take a few moments to pray silently asking God to show us how to pray in Jesus’ name and according to His will? Afterwards, I’ll close us in prayer.

Close in Prayer

Written by David R. Smith

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David R. Smith

David R. Smith

David R. Smith is the author of several books including Christianity... It's Like This and speaks to parents and leaders across the U.S. David is a 15-year youth ministry veteran, now a senior pastor, who specializes in sharing the gospel, and equipping others do the same. David provides free resources to anyone who works with teenagers on his website, DavidRSmith.org David resides with his wife and son in Tampa, Florida.

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