I often hear people end conversations, “I’ll pray for you!” I’ve done it. You’ve done it. And sometimes we actually remember to do it. I used to say it to teens at the end of a conversation, too. Then one day I actually began praying with teens right at those moments and everything changed.
You might worry that those immediate moments are not the “right time.” It might make you (both) feel a little awkward. You might not think “they’re ready” or fear praying with them because you “don’t want to overwhelm them or scare them off.”
As valid as those concerns may be they can just as easily become excuses. God ordains opportunities, every day, not only for us to point people to Christ but for us to offer Christ.
If you want to change a teenager’s life than don’t just pray for them…pray with them. It doesn’t have to be a long prayer. It doesn’t have to be eloquent. It doesn’t have to be pre-prepared (Lk 21:15). You don’t have the perfect words (Rom. 8:26). Just draw near to God and watch what happens (James 4:8).
Many of you reading this already pray with teens in these spontaneous moments. But just maybe some of you reading this are like I used to be…overwhelmed with the fear or awkwardness of the situation to go that next step and actually pray in that moment. If that’s the case, I’m glad I shared my failures to take advantage of the moments God provided for me. Perhaps there is a teen sitting on cold linoleum at your next Life Night or dropping by a youth room one mundane Wednesday afternoon who not only needs your promise but who also needs your prayer – right in that moment.
Grace builds on grace (Jn 1:16).
I’ll pray for you (and I mean it)!