Accountability: The Praying Youth Worker
It’s been said that when we work, we work; however, when we pray, God works.
The Scriptures are clear: our battle is not against flesh and bone, but against supernatural forces who seek to sidetrack our mission. Every time we meet with our students, our desire to reach them for Christ is only equal to Satan’s desire to pull them from the loving arms of Jesus.
It is noteworthy that the disciples, upon returning from a befuddling failed attempt to cast out some demons, were instructed by their Master that “these kind only come out through prayer.” Prayer is the most powerful weapon in the Christian’s arsenal; yet, we often fail to draw that particular sword.
As a leader of students, we have the obligation to pray for them. As teachers, we have the responsibility to pray that our times of instruction can be meaningful milestones in a young person’s life. Always, we have the privilege of begging God for life change in our midst.
If you’re like me, you often feel like a failure in this area. Whether you find yourself struggling with praying for your ministry or you are just looking for some fresh approaches, consider these creative ideas:
• Recruit Prayer Partners
Does your church have a ministry to senior citizens? Tap into that resource for people who are willing to commit to praying for you and your ministry every single day.
• Make a Prayer Photo Gallery
Take digital pictures of all your students, compile them, and print them out. Distribute them to everyone who works in youth ministry in your church and commit to praying for the students inside.
• Use the Computer
E-mail pictures to friends in your church. Ask them to put a student's picture on their desktop. Use a different kid each week. Each time someone sees his or her desktop background, it will be a reminder to pray for that student. Get the whole church involved.
• Pray for Your Teaching
Before you sit down to prepare a lesson, ask God to give you boldness and truth. Before you teach, bathe your time in prayer. Recruit others to pray for you, too.
• Prayer Room
Use a room in your church or meeting place for a person or a team of people to go and pray during your meeting. Supply them with specific things to pray for, needs of students, or even your lesson outline. This will guide their thoughts and prayers.
• Soak the Room
It might sound hokey, but just soak your meeting room in prayer. Sit in each chair and pray for the kid who will sit there. Play worship music in the room in the time leading up to your meeting. Invite the Holy Spirit to join you there.
Get together with some like-minded friends and brainstorm more ideas. Better yet, get together with them and pray. Share a meal and pray for one another, your students, their families, and their unique problems.
It’s been said that when we work, we work; however, when we pray, God works. I think that is pretty true. God hears and answers our prayers. If you’re not praying much in your ministry, start! If you are, keep going! It’s an important—yet often overlooked—aspect of teaching and leading students.