To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth—…Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it—Proverbs 1:2-4; 22:6
I think if I hear one more news story of violence: shootings, stabbings, robberies I will collapse in sorrow! The level of violence in this world is astonishing. I could say I don’t understand what’s going on, but that would not be true. As a Christian I do understand completely: if we do not have You, if we are not filled with Your Holy Spirit whom brings peace and causes us to love others; we are filled with and controlled by the spirit of Satan whom is evil and takes delight in violence and chaos.
I am thinking of that song; “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” And that love begins and ends with You, Jesus! I want, and need to do my part to reduce the level of violence in this world and it doesn’t begin with whether or not I own a gun or believe in retaliation: it starts with my sharing my Jesus with others.
As I go about my day help me to pay more attention. Help me to put my best listening ears on and walk every moment with a discerning spirit so I can [really] hear what others are saying. What our young people are grappling with…
On the evening news I see that young man or woman standing in the courtroom before the judge awaiting sentencing and I realize somewhere along the road of their short life there were countless opportunities missed to bring them to Christ and Christ to them: to introduce them to the way of non-violence. And I’m grieved for these missed opportunities. I’m grieved their future now includes chains and bars and an even more intense level of violence. I am grieved that the church has failed them. I am grieved that I have failed them!
Let us no longer be more concerned about entertaining an d more concerned about healing them, and leading them in a good way and helping them in their confusion and making sure they are fed spiritually as well as physically. Lord, we grieve our sin of neglect and blindness and busyness and allowing the world to educate and now we pay the price! Heal our land, Lord, heal our homes and families! Heal our church! Heal our youth!
Lord Jesus, how do I help the young person of today whose very existence is saturated with violence from the cradle up? How do I help the young person who cannot show him or herself weak in a world filled with harshness and brutality? How do I witness to them in such a way that they actually hear what I am saying and do not shut me out? Help me love them, even the most hardened, to Christ! Take away my fear and apprehension and judgment and help me reach them with the Gospel which will save them!
I know there are no easy answers, and at the same time it is easy! It’s as easy as my being willing to talk with and pray with and for the young person who has no godly influence in his or her life. If I stop worrying about what others will think of me; how that young person will receive my words then I’ll walk and talk with them about the love of Christ who covers all wrong and forgives all sin.
I pray for the youth of our day. I pray for their safety. Be a fence of protection all around them Lord ! I pray for them to have godly influences. That they will have parents who take time with them and teach them about You from the time they are in the womb! Rescue them from the enemy Lord for he is gaining ground through them. Help me to not only pray for them but intercede on their behalf! Today, Lord I pray for…..
I also pray for that young man and young woman who occupies the prison cell. I cannot change their past but I can pray for their future. I can ask you to minister to them right where they are, to occupy that cell with them, to walk with them by day and be with them at night. What I know is that you are able to enter in where no one else has been able to penetrate. You are able to convert and convince even the most stubborn minded and hard-hearted. You are able to address the pain of their past and shatter the hardened veneer. In Your wisdom you are able to give second chances to those who have barely had a first! Lord Jesus, hear my prayer for our youth today…
Lord Jesus, I pray for that young person today who is considering picking up that gun, jacking that car, committing that crime of rape, murdering the innocent, robbing the unsuspecting, carrying out that home invasion, doing that drive by… Enter into that situation, mind and heart right now Jesus and point them in a new direction. Send Your servant to counsel the misdirected and help the hopeless. Do not leave them or forsake them in their confusion. Do not abandon them in their hardness but pour out your love and mercy, turn them around in their tracks of violence and shed light on their darkness! Lord bind up the influences of evil in our land that have taken possession of our young people and pour out a mighty Spirit of peace and love and wisdom in our land!
Finally, Lord, I pray for those who know You. For those who have been claimed by You and who claim You! I pray protect them; send Your holy angels to guard and keep them. May their influence among their peers be great and they never doubt Your love, presence or power to overcome all things in this dark world. Do not let anything, any force of evil, or anyone, steal them away from You. May Your name be great in their lives and may they be made great in You to succeed in all they do! May they always know Your plans for them and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your Name! Lord hear my prayer for……………………….today.
Lord Jesus, lead our children and youth in the way they should go so when they are old they will not depart from it! In the name of Jesus that is above every name and the power that is greater than any other. I pray for the youth of today. Amen