An Open Letter to Church Members/Pastors

Overheard at  any church this week: “I’ll pray for you.”

Praying for others is awesome…

But what if?

What if more often we changed the word for to with?

My friend Timothy Eldred, President of Christian Endeavor is spearheading an effort (pray with youth) that I believe can change the very makeup of YOUR church. I encourage you to continue to pray for the youth, but what if we had many actually pray with youth?

Please take the time to read-up on this movement because there are so many additional components that can/should be explored and included as to how you and your church incorporate praying with youth. However, the movement launch date is coming up next week, September 11, 2011. I suggest you talk to your Pastor, Youth Pastor, Worship Leader, or whomever you need to make something simple but significant happen!

This simple and significant cause is to get an adult to commit to praying with a youth (students approximately 12-20 years old). Though many will commit to praying for the youth, what would it look like to have the seasoned saints in your congregation praying with the youth.

In your church services on 9.11 invite any/all teens who are in attendance to come to the platform (or just stand where they are if you want to honor the shy ones). Start by praying for this group of teens.  Thank God for them, plead with God to use them as missionaries on their campuses, in their clubs, within the community and even at your church.

Now, do something even more bold…

Explain that praying for the students is great and needed, but let the adults know that we want to move from just praying for to praying with them!

Invite any adult (or several) who would like to commit to partnering in prayer with one of these standing to go and stand by them, speak with them and pray with them (perhaps have a worship song led for all others?)

It’s small, but five minutes set aside for partnering in prayer can lead to something that becomes very significant. Ultimately I believe you should do the entire Pray21 program (which partners adults with youth for the purpose of prayer for 21 days… please note that they’ve thought through all the liability issues, please follow their lead).

I believe that the youth can and should be the best missionaries we have in the United States (and beyond). But they need not just our prayers, they need our partnership. Praying with them will lead to greater intimacy in the church. Students will sense their significance and the church (the one body) will unify. I firmly believe we’ll see more and more students stay in our churches and we’ll see a significant missional movement in the lives of our students. Such a movement that we’ll actually see the hearts of our adults melt and our congregation members will become missional as the youth are unleashed to do ministry!

At Youthmark we’re committed to Mission51, the 51 weeks beyond a mission week, a retreat or even a pray with youth Sunday! I believe this Pray With Youth movement will FUEL mission51!

Will you take this to your people?



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