It may be that I’m exposed to a particularly extraordinary group of young people, but I am sometimes awed by the level of spiritual development and faith commitment I see in young men and women under the age of 20 (sometime referred to as “kids”). My own 18 year old daughter is far more intentional about her faith than I was at her age and she recently asked for some recommendations for books that would help her work through some issues relating to her Catholicism. My friend Mark’s eighth grader writes blog posts exploring various religious topics with a level of insight that makes his blog one I check regularly.
More recently, my friend Joel’s ten year old daughter was the children’s prayer leader for her church’s “All-In” stewardship campaign. For five weeks, she has been composing prayers for the children relating to the campaign focus for that week. (For example, one week the focus was Generosity Explosion; another it was Leadership Expedition.)
With Natalie’s permission, I share some excerpts from her prayers. You might want to pray them yourself. Or you might just, like me, find in them evidence of the hope for our future that are our children.
…Lord, I pray that you would make us people who bring comfort to those in hard times, who bring food and clean water to the people who are hungry and thirsty, who bring hope to the depressed, who bring the good news to the burdened, who bring forgiveness, and who bring joy to all people.
But Lord, most importantly, let us bring people to you. Let us be your messengers here on Earth, and help us to see that you heal hurt through us, and love others through us. I pray that we will be like Jesus, and all will see the Fruits of the Spirit in our lives. Lord, please let others see us, and draw to you…
(focus: Community, Connection, and Spiritual Invasion)
…Let us develop hearts for serving, so that we may want to serve you, not feel like we have to. Help us to understand that serving others is like serving you Lord, and let us have a passion for serving….Let our leadership shine like stars, showing everyone that we serve the Kingdom of Heaven and we like it. Thank you for everyone here today, and help them see that they are wanted and needed here, and their gifts will be fully appreciated if they choose to use them to serve you. Help us to see we are all leaders and we get to influence people in your name. Thank you God for Jesus. Amen.
(focus: Leadership Expedition)
Heavenly Father, Thank you for providing us with everything we need. Help us to learn to give up things that we want, and to give to you instead. Give us courage to hold out our hands and say, “No, I’ll serve the Lord instead.” Let us see that you give us everything, and we can’t out-give you. Fill us with joy, so that we may be examples, showing everyone that you are with us…Help us give more and more, knowing it all ends up in Your hands. I pray that our giving will move people to know you. Let us be Your hands here on earth. Thank you God for Jesus. Amen.
(focus: Generosity Explosion)
Thanks for Natalie for allowing me to share her prayers. And thanks to her and to all of the other wonderful young people I encounter.