Every aspect of life feels like an adventure for young people right now. Unclear, unpredictable and unfamiliar. The ordinary things of life have become rather extraordinary. Those things that would have been seen as extraordinary have become almost impossible. As we pray for children and young people this summer, we long to see them recapture the spirit of youth and of adventure as well as catching the wind of the Spirit too.
So, what does that mean and how might we pray?
For some young people, the pandemic has encouraged them to refocus and adopt a fresh perspective on what matters to them. This perspective has often drawn them deeper into God’s adventure for their lives. However, many have spent the last months held back, restricted and disconnected – with each other, with the world and with the Father. Their experiences have become restrained and regimented and ultimately dissatisfying.
All young people have learned to become far too comfortable with disappointment – whether that is long- awaited experiences or exams cancelled, communities and opportunities disrupted or futures called into question. For all those who have discovered new and exciting opportunities, it would be understandable if many young people chose not to hope for good things to come. To abandon dreams. To lose their grip on faith. That is not the adventure we know God has in store for them – it is safety and self-preservation.
Coming through a global pandemic, safety and self-preservation makes sense. For many young people, the restrictions they have experienced have been less about self-preservation and more about playing their part in protecting others. Doing the right thing for the good of those they love and for those they will never meet. It is admirable and honourable but ultimately, it is not adventure. For others, adventure has become twisted into risky and destructive rebellion rather than the inspiring and energising experience God made it to be.
When young people set out to find adventure, the experiences they seek can often seem less satisfying than imagined or just that little bit out of reach. But in setting out, it is then they discover the adventure that is already there – it is not what they pictured it would be, but if they strip away those unmet expectations, the adventure can be even more exciting and fulfilling than they hoped or imagined.
That is what we need to pray for children and young people across the UK and Ireland. To seek the adventure that God has for them rather than the one they expected or imagined. To resist the instinct in these uncertain and changing times, to insulate themselves from steps of faith for fear of disappointment and disillusionment. To chase after the wild, unpredictable and extraordinary Jesus revealed in the Gospels – who hangs out with the kids, builds a following, defies his critics, walks on water, shuts down the storms, heals the sick and conquers death itself.
We believe the adventure of following Christ and responding to the leading of the Holy Spirit is the best adventure a young person – or any person for that matter – can seek. Jesus was well- known for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary or even the impossible. How we long to see more of that today and more young people following in His footsteps!
As the ordinary becomes extraordinary, and extraordinary seems almost impossible, let us pray that all young people will discover and know the love of the God of the impossible.
- Pray that many young people will meet Jesus for the first time this summer.
- Pray for young people to be bold as they live out their faith in Him.
- Pray that God will restore their dreams and visions of a better future.
- Pray that young people will recapture their spirit of adventure and their passion for Christ
Paul Windo - Communications Manager
For more ways to support children and young people in prayer through Urban Saints (including our Summer Prayer Diary), visit our Prayer website: