As I looked at goals for this year, I looked back at the past year at the things I personally did well in but also those that I didn’t do so well in. One of those things that stuck out to me was the trend of prayer. As the year went on last year it wasn’t where I wanted it to be personally for myself. I thought about where we are as a youth group and prayer is something that all of us are working on getting better at. We are also trying to make it a better habit for us as well.
To help us on our journey, I have introduced the youth group to the “Pray Your Age Challenge”. If you look around society the last few years, there are challenges left and right. The Tide Pod Challenge, The Cinnamon Challenge, Bottle Flipping, Hot-Pepper Eating, the Mannequin Challenge, and the try not to laugh challenge are just a few of the ones that have made the rounds the last few years. If you look at these challenges you can’t help but notice that they don’t help you grow in any way, shape or form. We have introduced the Pray Your Age Challenge to help us get more serious about prayer and to really think about what we are doing.
The rules for the Pray Your Age Challenge is simple. There will be a calendar in the foyer that covers February 1st till June 30th. This morning in class the youth group kids will get the first shot at dates, followed by their families. It will be in the Youth Classroom on the table to the left of the door until just before worship. After worship you can find the calendar upstairs in the lobby. If you are up for the task you are to choose one day, and just one day to fill in on the calendar. Please don’t sign up your whole family for the same day. We want a different person on each day.
Well, what happens then? On your day your job is to pray for as many minutes as you are old. If you are 60, you will pray for a whole hour. Set a timer and try not to look at it until it goes off. You want to do this in a straight through setting, not just broken up. For this time period we are praying for the Youth and Family Ministry, all the way from soon to be born babies, up through Young Adulthood. We are praying for them, their families, their current and future teachers and volunteers, as well as any other needs you can think of. Pray for Northeast and that we can use this ministry to actively reach out to meet new people. If possible come to the church during your time and walk the halls, come sit in a classroom, or even walk the campus. If you can’t make it to the building, pray where you are.
Prayer is something that we want to take seriously. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 it says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” We want to pray without ceasing for the months of this challenge. If you are up to the challenge, please pick one open day to help us pray daily for these months. We will even send you a reminder on your day to help you remember, but we will not harass you and ask if you prayed. It will be between you and God. Later on we will have note cards in the foyer if you would like to share your experience through this challenge.