Young Life was built on prayer.
You’ve likely heard the story about how, almost 90 years ago, a woman named Clara Frasher gathered with a group of her friends to pray for teenagers at a Texas high school. Through a series of divinely orchestrated events, Young Life began in that very community less than ten years later.
When people pray, God listens.
He does not always answer in ways we’d hoped. He does not always answer in ways that are obvious. He does not always answer in ways that align with our dreams and plans.
But he always listens. And he is always good.
On October 1st, our global mission will join together in prayer. Like Clara Frasher and her friends did almost 90 years ago, we will gather together in person (in offices, homes, schools) and also in spirit (across miles and mountains and oceans and continents) to speak and listen to our Father.
We will do this together as a global mission because God is our Father.
Yes, he is my Father and your Father and his Father and her Father. But he is first and foremost our Father.
Except in the narrative context of private conversations, the bulk of New Testament yous should really be translated as all y’alls.
God’s Word is written to his children. To his followers. To his kingdom — a collective noun comprised of many.
Young Life staff, leaders, supporters, and friends are often self-starters, people with visionary drive, individuals with a sense of entrepreneurial-can-do spirit.
But at our core, we are a family of God’s children, desperately in need of their Father’s loving-kindness, grace, strength, and direction.
Even as we speak to adolescents about discovering and pursuing a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” we must never forget that nothing about Christian faith is personally singular.
Even as we encourage those around us to be sure “for themselves” about what they believe, we must never lose sight of the fact that Christian belief is communal and collective, bound as it is to the Savior of us all.
Even as we pray from the depths of our invisible and individual souls, we must never presuppose an invisible or individual faith. Neither of those would be true faith at all.
On October 1st as we pray for our mission, let us also be people who are praying as a mission.
May we sense the kingdom’s diverse unity.
May we posture ourselves as one-among-many.
And may be embrace our mission’s identity as just one of the many parts of Christ’s body.
Our mission will be stronger if those within it are knit together as one, praying in unison to our Father.
And our mission will be brighter if as a whole we are knit together with the countless other missions and congregations of Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Here is a link to a prayer guide for the day, which offers us an opportunity to pray in unison prayers of adoration and thanksgiving as well as lift up local and global requests for the mission. The theme for the day, Our Father, is based upon the Lord’s Prayer in Matt. 6:9-13, and can be divided up into eight segments which you and your team can offer up on the hour. Thanks for spending this coming Tuesday in focused prayer to Our Father.