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Soul Cry – Prayer For Our Younger Generation

by in Features, Formation

ManifestoA stirring has been taking place in our souls for what seems like an eternity.

For young people, they are stirred with questions like do I have any value or worth, what are the values I live by, what do I care about and why do I care, how can I live a life of significance, will my life count for anything, who’s lives can I change for the better, who will help shape me and my life, who will be there to hear my story and encourage me?

Others have been wrestling with deep-seated longings and dreams for the younger generation. Questions boil up from these people like: how can we communicate the incredible significance they hold as human beings who will shape the values of our society with the values they themselves hold and live by. Also, how can we communicate the significance they hold, as people who will make new discoveries for mankind and who as they learn personal sacrifice to take action and live their lives to love others will transform our world?

Now is the time to act on this soul cry!

Under the banner of “Innovare”, sixteen youth workers from across Canada & Bermuda gathered north of Toronto this past weekend to share the stirrings of their souls for work with youth. SendTheFire was there and we shared your stirrings, dreams & visions you sent us with these people. What emerged from the sharing of hearts, stirring of souls, dreams and visions was a beautiful “prayerful manifesto” that we believe captures in words the heart and soul of us all for young people of today.

Check it out, read this prayer!

A PRAYERFUL MANIFESTO

Sovereign Lord, we acknowledge that young people and children are precious, significant and a gift from you. We also confess that we have not always treasured this gift with love and care. With sackcloth and ashes heaped upon our heads we ask forgiveness. In humility we bow before you and in desperation we cry out.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, give us your heart and hear our prayer.

May God bless us with anger, frustration and impatience wherever youth are marginalized, exploited and diminished. With prophetic voice may we advocate for abandoned, ignored youth. May we live missionally with youth on the margins, reflecting to them the image of the invisible God. May there be no limit to our inclusion as we realistically embrace the messiness of faith communities. May we never lose sight of our social justice imperative, fighting hard for those youth who cannot fight for themselves.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, give us your heart and hear our prayer.

May God bless our desire to intentionally and purposefully invest in our youth. We are sorry that we have focused on ourselves to their neglect. Give us the courage to love, journey with, and empower younger believers. May the contagious passion that provokes radical, genuine, Jesus living speak into their lives. We know this is risky. Honour our faith in you and our faith in them.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, give us your heart and hear our prayer.

God we lament that we have lost so many that have once walked with us. We cry out to you to help us disciple, love and accept youth with the Father’s heart. May we surround younger generations with mentors that will consistently inspire, encourage and challenge them to grow in their faith. Help us to practice and pass on your disciplines so that our relationship with you might deepen, that youth might be still and hear your voice, be drenched in your Word, be strong in prayer and fasting, and living sacrificially. May our children and youth be surrounded and supported by the family of God. May we all journey together, perpetuating the cycle of discipleship and mentoring.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, give us your heart and hear our prayer.

God help us to joyfully and extravagantly love our youth while engaging and honouring them. Help us to empower them to live big kingdom dreams, so that they might discover their purpose, potential and personhood.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, give us your heart and hear our prayer.

God may we value those who have dedicated, are dedicating, and will dedicate their lives to gathering and loving your youth and children. Bless us with the commitment and willingness to invest in them, supporting and providing opportunities for generations to model faith to each other. May we see younger generations rise up and take their rightful place. May we seriously dedicate ourselves to their training and equipping so that at an early age they might be released into their calling and giftings.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, give us your heart and hear our prayer.

May God bless us with creativity, divine inspiration and humility in all we do. May God bless us with broad definitions, big ideas and Christ-like examples of youth-work. May God bless us with all of the essence he wants The Salvation Army to be and free us from the trappings of institutionalized form. And may God bless us with his unfailing love, patience and grace as we work out all that He wants youth-work to do and to be.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, give us your heart and hear our prayer.

HMMM

  • What image(s) do the words paint?
  • Does this resonate with your soul cry?
  • Do you agree with it?
  • Are there certain words/phrases or sentences that jump out for you that you really agree with? What are they?
  • What will this look like for these prayers to be reality in your world?
  • Who will begin to rally around you and help make it happen?

Comment and share your thoughts!

In using the “May God Bless” language (borrowed from St. Francis of Assisi) we do not abdicate our God-given responsibility to each of these prayers. We receive and rejoice in the fact that we can recognize and participate in God’s creative and redemptive activity in establishing His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. We pledge to do our part.

Now is the time to act on this soul cry! Will you make this prayer your own?

HOW TO USE

Soul Cry: A Prayerful Manifesto – download here
(To Download: right click & select ’save as’ or ’save link as’)

1. Download & print off the prayer.
2. Stick it on your dresser, the back of your bedroom door, in your locker at school, at work or some other space where you’ll see it and be prompted to pray it occasionally.
3. If you’re in youth work, give a copy to your leaders, pray it as a group, focus on it 2 x per year. Share it with the parents/guardians of your children and youth too.
4. If you’re connected to a larger church body, share it with them from ‘the front’ once a year.
5. Share it and make it a prayer at youth gatherings/events in your area.

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