I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day. 2 Timothy 1:3
Like most people in church, teenagers are willing to share prayer requests. While it is difficult at times to get teens to share a testimony or witness to a friend, it seems that they are willing to share prayer requests. And your reaction to such requests is probably positive—that is, at least outwardly.
“I’ll be praying for you!” Or, “I’ll remember that in prayer.” But do we actually follow through on such promises? How prone we are to forget such spur-of-the-moment answers! And if we have trouble praying for our young people when they ask for us to do so, how much more negligent are we when it comes to praying for them when they don’t ask?
Paul encouraged Timothy by reminding him that every time he spent time in regular prayer (morning and night), Timothy was one of the subjects of that prayer time. Unlike Paul, many youth leaders tend to say that they are praying for their teens… when sadly they are not. Leaders simply must rededicate themselves to the discipline of prayer!
Prayer goes places that you cannot go and influences in ways that you simply cannot. It is the royal invitation for God to work on the behalf of another. It is the indispensable weapon of every believer, and without it, victory is an utter impossibility.
In the context of Peter’s impending denial of Christ, our Lord promised him that he would be restored. Satan desired to sift the disciples as wheat. He intended to destroy them and thereby eradicate Christianity in its seminal form. “But I have prayed for thee,” said the Lord Jesus. Prayer is as strong as God is!
When our teens fail, we have failed. I’m afraid that most often that failure takes the form of prayerlessness. Prayer is the tacit acknowledgement that I do not have the answers or the ability that others need of me. No, only God possesses those assets.
Pray for wisdom! Pray for power! Pray for grace! Ask in faith. Programs, activities, methodologies, camps, conferences, and after-glows certainly have their place in a youth program, but they should never replace the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man (or woman) who intercedes on the behalf of his teenagers.
Not only did Paul pray for Timothy, he let him know that he was praying for him. I remember receiving a call from a ministry acquaintance whom I had not seen in years. I did not know the man well and, quite honestly, was pleased that I remembered his name! How humbled I was when he inquired about each of my family members by name! In fact, I complimented him on his amazing memory. His reply? “I don’t have a good memory; it’s just hard to forget people that you pray for every day!” Needless to say, I was both convicted and encouraged.
Let’s be convicted to pray more for our young people. “Lord, bless each reader who reads these words. Please instill in him the urgency to pray more. Save our generation for your glory! Amen.”