In amongst all our doing we must take time to step back and reflect and pray about all the work we undertake in the name of Jesus.
This week I am on retreat and am praying for each and every one of you involved in ministry with children and young people in the Diocese of St Davids.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has started a campaign called ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ calling on Christians and churches everywhere to pray in the lead up to Pentecost
The website states:
“Jesus Christ calls every person to follow him. As Christians it’s our duty and joy to share that invitation. That’s why the Archbishops of Canterbury and York are inviting every church to join a week of prayer this Pentecost, from 8-15th May — let’s pray for every Christian to receive new confidence and joy in sharing this life-transforming faith.”
It is only through that confidence and joy in our own faith that we will be able to share it with others. So I ask that we too should take up this call to prayer and should join in this campaign in preparation for the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost and in union with Christians everywhere praying for God’s kingdom to come on earth.
I ask that all of us who are involved in this work should set aside time to pray on 8th May after our main service (as well as within it). Prayer specifically for confidence and joy in our own faith, the ability to share that faith with others and particularly of course that, through that sharing, children and young people may come to know Jesus.
There are many ideas for what your prayer time or event might look like on the website.
But here are some suggestions;
After the main service the congregation spends an hour in prayer specifically for the aims as mentioned above
- Silent prayer for these intentions
- Prayer stations leading through each part of the Lord’s Prayer – the prayer we are especially encouraged to pray during this time
- People can lead the praying of the Lord’s Prayer aloud with silence or short reflections in between each line
- A continuous reading of the Lord’s Prayer for the hour by different voices
- Different ways to express and engage with the prayer – creative prayer stations involving writing, drawing, singing, listening, reading, touching, looking, making
- An opportunity to add your own personal prayer interwoven within the Lord’s Prayer using each line and thoughts to encourage prayers, thoughts and petitions e.g. Give us this day our daily bread – what are the things that you need each day? Ask God for them.
- Finally – use the structure as suggested on the website to pray specifically for young people
“The majority of Christians come to know Jesus as young people; this is something to be celebrated and excited about. However, there are less young people in the Church than ever before. Young people living in the UK today need our prayer.”
Here are five ways to pray for young people:
- Pray for jesus to be known
Pray for the message of the Bible to reach young people across the UK; for Churches working with young people and organisations who support young people. Pray that Jesus would be known and for God’s love to be understood by young people across our nation; who He is and who He has made them to be. Pray specifically for young people you know in your community.
- Pray that the bible will be shared
Engaging with young people is a challenge that many Churches struggle with. Pray that whole churches will be equipped and passionate to reach young people; that God would bless the work of vicars, youth and school workers. Pray that each church in your area will see sharing the message of the Bible to the next generation as an essential part of their work.
- Pray god would call young leaders:
Jesus’ disciples were probably teenagers or in their early twenties when they were called by Him. Pray that God would raise up young leaders who can reach their peers; that they will build and grow the future church in our nation.
- Pray for the pressures young people face
Today, young people are crippled by the pressures of our increasingly digital culture, where pornography, cyber-bulling and online relationships are increasing. Huge numbers of young people come from broken families; there has been a rise in anxiety, depression and eating disorders among young people. Pray against these pressures, and for spiritual guidance from older Christians who can communicate God’s love to them.
- Pray for one young person you know
Committing to pray for one person by name can bring transformation. Take a moment to ask God to bring one young person to mind. Commit to praying for them for the next three months.”