Friday, October 14, 2011

Perspectives from the Field: Bended-knee Service

1 Timothy 2:1-7
A Call to Prayer
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men . . . Continue reading 1 Timothy 2:1-7.

Service takes many shapes in a youth ministry and church and it should. Many times, however, I have experienced service in a singular way: primarily the hands-on, mission trip or local service day. This kind of service is important and formational for youth and those who work with them. Often mission trips bring scripture to life. They unify groups, even if and especially when there is the drama and there is often drama when we go on these trips! Mission trips have a way of magnifying our heart for God through the work we do. Let’s face it, when we come back, we are amped up! I love that feeling.

I offer, however, another type of service integral in a youth ministry and church. This service is the outward-focused service of praying for those unconnected, disconnected, hurting and longing for something but can’t put a finger on it. Pray for hearts to be open to receive God’s grace. Pray for lives to be changed by the renewing Holy Spirit. Pray by name for those we know desire yet struggle with faith and Christ. Together, in our youth ministries, we can impact the reign of God through a service of prayer. For it is in prayer that hearts and lives change; ours and those for whom we pray.

For some it is easier and more exciting to do a mission trip than it is to pray. I get that. I encourage you to expand your service to include praying for those who have a desire to belong and believe.

In what ways do you incorporate outward-focused prayer (intercession) in your youth ministry?

By Charity Goodwin-Rosario
Blue Ridge UMC, Kansas City, MO
Loving God, Loving Neighbor

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