What one thing would you pray for young people during this COVID-19 pandemic? If you had to choose the most important thing right now to pray for young people, what would it be?
- Safety? Is the idea of keeping our kids safe the very top thing on our prayer list for them? The safety of young people is important and includes more than just protection from the tough times out in the world around them. Sadly for many young people, our prayers for safety are for protection from the circumstances they are now trapped in too - damaging home environments, mindsets and a sense of being imprisoned in their own lives.
- Health? It's all about beating the virus right now and so perhaps our prayers should begin with avoiding COVID itself and the range of other illnesses and injuries that could put their health at greater risk. Remaining healthy is broader than physical and our prayers should be that they can still flourish in all aspects of life - staying healthy in body, mind and spirt too.
- Loved? Young people are searching for love and acceptance and social distancing can make those things feel equally distant. Our prayers might focus on young people knowing they belong and they are part of a community that knows and loves them. Perhaps it is just one person they can turn to and know they will not be held at a damaging distance?
- Hope? Dare we pray that all young people will be able to hold on to hope and a future for their lives? We know that they should put their hope in Christ - and our prayers would reflect this - but many of them would settle for knowing that there is a hope of a future beyond COVID. A future that includes good health, prospects, a career and a chance to be with loved ones again too.
- Impact? Perhaps top of our list of things to pray for young people would be that they grab opportunities to make a difference? To continue to live with purpose and not be tempted to become victims. To grab life with both hands and look for opportunities to make the world around them better for others. Just think what might happen if we prayed that into their lives!
- Boldness? What if we prayed that young people would embrace boldness and live with adventurous spirits? We'd love to see young people standing up for what they believe in, living deliberately different lives and sharing the Good News of Jesus with their friends, their families and the communities they are part of. Young people who are willing to take on the adventure of faith, whatever is going on all around them.
- Just-living? Young people continue to demonstrate their instinctive desire to champion the underdog. Perhaps your primary prayer for them would be that they see every opportunity to prioritise justice? Putting others first in what they do, what they say, the choices they make, the products they buy and not just in the causes they promote.
- Identity? What one thing would we pray for young people right now? That they would know their identity in Christ as sons and daughters of the Most High God. Loved for who they are and not based on what they do or don't do. We believe that this is the key fundamental that young people need to know and in their hearts not just hearing the words in their heads. It's out of this that all other things flow and what better place to start praying for them too...
However you choose to pray for young people during this time - and perhaps you have other things to add to the list above - commit to make time to stand with us on their behalf. One movement of passionate individuals who care deeply about the lives, futures and eternal destinies of young people in the UK and Ireland. Bring it on!
During our recent 24/2 Prayer time, we asked for 'one word prayers' for young people and we've shared some of them on our Facebook page (see below):
We'd love you to join us in praying for young people during this challenging season and if you feel inspired to share your 'one word', please add it as a comment on the Facebook post above or share it on your social media pages using the hashtag #prayonething.
Create or find a picture that sums up the word - write the word on a bit of paper or card, draw or paint something, take a photo or find a GIF or meme - and share it too.
Let's get as many people sharing simple but profound prayers for young people right now as we continue to go through tighter COVID-19 restrictions. These are challenging times for young people and for those who support them - it's time to pray all the more for young people to know a hope and a future found in Christ Jesus.