One of my favorite verses in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 14:16-17, speaking about prayer, “[if you pray] with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say "Amen" to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up.” This verse says a lot of things about a lot of subjects, but for my purposes recently I’ve realized that sometimes, “I’m praying for you…” is lacking in its ability to edify.
This has become especially true in the past weeks as many of my young friends will be making major transitions from Junior High into High School and High School into college, and me just saying, “I’m praying for you…” to them is probably not as didactic as it could and should be towards preparing them for this major leap.
So, in this blog post I would like to put to paper the outline of my prayer for these students, so that they might know that their lives and ministries have come specifically before the throne of grace this week. Those tagged in this note on facebook have been prayed for specifically by name, as well as several others who are not leaving 8th or 12th grade. If I have left you off of this note please shoot me a message and I will both pray for you and tag you in the note.
As I find myself praying I find that prayers for young men and ladies are somewhat different and somewhat the same, so please keep that in mind.
Lord God Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth, what a privilege it is to come before your throne in the name of Jesus Christ, bearing burdens, worries, and hopes to find help in mine and others’ times of need. Father, I bring these students to you that you may sanctify, prepare, and edify them for the major changes they are undergoing in their lives, that you would firmly set their affections on Heaven and that they would not be worried for what tomorrow will bring, but will be concerned with eternity and the glory of your name. Father, I humbly petition you for many specifics,
How true it is that bad company ruins good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33), so Father I ask you to surround these students with only two types of people:
First, those who are able to stir them up for good works through accountability and striving for holiness.
Second, those who are open to listen, who are impressionable, and whom your Spirit will call to yourself through the good word and works of these students. Let these students never be content with lazy or impenitent acquaintances, but give them the boldness to confront sin in every manifestation.
Concerning these young ladies, Father, you have outdone yourself in giving them the gift of beauty. I ask for mine and their sake that you would blind the eyes of every boy in their schools towards them. Let these young ladies’ adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in your sight is very precious (1 Peter 3:4-5).
Concerning these young men, that you would show them how to make a covenant with their eyes, that they would not look upon anything which they ought not, that they would be concerned with honor and wholesomeness in all of their interactions, and that they would exercise self control which will keep them, their future wives, and your Son from being ashamed.
For everyone, Father, that you would frequently remind us that your will for our life is our sanctification, starting in sexual purity (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
Just as your Son has accomplished all things well, we rejoice that we have been called to glory and excellence (2 Peter 1:3). May these students always know what is right, stand up for what is right, and stand against evil. When everyone else does wrong, equip them to do right. May they strive for perfection in everything they do, not working for men, but ultimately working for you (Colossians 3:17), so that the world would see their actions and glorify you through them (1 Peter 2:12).
Let them do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility let them consider others better than themselves. Cause each of these students to not look only to their own interests, but also to the interests of others. Just as you loved us first while we were your enemies, let us love others also without provocation. May their love be genuine, abhorring evil and holding fast to good (Romans 12:9), leaving all vengeance to you and never repaying evil for evil, instead overcoming evil with good.
May these students take every opportunity to give the world the reason for the hope that is within them, that is Christ in them, the hope of glory. Give them the boldness to speak, the words to speak, and the people to speak them to. May they never deny you before men, but let them always be ready to preach your gospel. May they never forsake the offense of the cross or the name of Jesus Christ, the only name given under Heaven by which we must be saved, but that they would proclaim this message confidently and truthfully.
Father, we could feel so abandoned in this apostate and wicked world, but we have such great and lasting promises from you that your Spirit is our helper and will be with us forever (John 14:16), and that your Son is with us to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). Who knows, perhaps you’ve sent these students into the world at just such a time as this to demonstrate your power, sufficiency, and radiance as they are clothed in your armor in this evil day, having done all, to stand against darkness.
I ask all these things in the name of our righteous and resurrected Redeemer, Jesus Christ, for his is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is his. He is exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from him, and he rules over all. In his hand is power and might, and in his hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. Amen.