Matthew 6:9-10 - “Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
I love how Jesus began His teaching on prayer, it strikes straight to the core when He says, “Our Father.” Jesus is teaching us that prayer is personal and inclusive, respectful and relational. He is making sure we understand that God is His Father and our Father. We were created for relationship first and foremost with our Lord and then with others. God said, “it is not good for man to be alone,” even though He was with Adam. Jesus never sent one of His disciples out alone, and He promised in Matthew 28:20 “… I am with you always, to the end of the age." Even in a world plagued with loss, loneliness, and abandonment I don’t know if we will ever fully comprehend the power of this promise before we get to heaven.
There is incredible power in “WITH!” Realize that there are thousands, if not millions of people who go to work, school or even to church every week praying that someone will notice them; yearning to not be invisible or alone. Please allow me to challenge you to look around, look for the person sitting alone, the person who seems to go unnoticed or unappreciated. I challenged you in August to cover campuses in prayer and earlier in September to pray for the workplace. In continuing with these prayer prompts it is time to go deeper, pray that everyone would have someone that connects with them where they work, learn, worship and play that will help start or strengthen their relationship with Jesus. Pray specifically that God will show you at least one other person that you should acknowledge, affirm, appreciate and pray with.
This coming Sunday September 22nd is Pray With Youth Sunday. I hope that you will not only take time in your worship service to pray WITH youth but that you will personally pray with youth that you have a relationship with, or even ones you have never connected with before. Introduce yourself and tell them a little about yourself. Ask them to tell you a little about themselves, and ask if they would be willing to pray for you and let you pray for them. It may seem awkward at first but that is because the enemy hates prayer – your flesh may resist but your faith should persevere. My prayer is that you might even make this a routine part of your Sunday worship, building a relationship with these young people and making them ongoing prayer partners.
There is power in “WITH” and extraordinary power in praying WITH someone. Imagine packing that extraordinary power in their backpacks and sending them off to school each week! Imagine them packing extraordinary power in your briefcase (or whatever you carry to work) every week! Isolation and silence are the enemy’s tools; breakthrough and be determined that no one will “go it alone” on your watch.