Thank you for this opportunity to connect tonight, Lord, even in these busy and chaotic days that are upon us. Thank you, also, for the chance to focus our energy and prayer towards young people – who are truly gifts and blessings from above. We are grateful for the gifts of creativity, and energy, and joy that you have given them. They carry in their hearts a great hope, an innocence, a pure light. We pray they feel our love and thoughts this evening, Lord, and that you would touch them divinely as we lift their bodies, minds, and spirits up to you. Thank you, Great Healer, Divine Companion, Giver of Life, Friend to All.
Lord, before we come to you with our requests, we place in your care the negative thoughts that have entered our minds, the hurtful words that have left our mouths, and the impurities that have filled our spirits. Forgive us for ways we have contributed to creating an unsteady and confusing world for young people. We confess that we do not always set good examples for them; we say one thing but do another. We demand obedience from them, yet we act defiant ourselves. We ask for truth from them, yet we participate in slander and gossip. We demand respect from them, but we act in shameful ways. We ask for patience from them, yet we ourselves cannot sit still and wait on the Lord. We say to them, “follow the Lord”, yet we chase after selfish goals. We tell them to love the downtrodden, but we cast out those who are different. We break their trust, and we crush their vulnerable spirits. Forgive us, we pray, Lord. Create in us, O Lord, a pure heart, and renew a strong spirit in our conscience.
Turn your loving gaze, O God, upon young people. Make them strong and pure, so that they can build their tomorrows with confidence. Let them receive freely the gift of the faith, accept it with gratitude, and develop it with generosity. Give them the desire and ability to see You, hear You, talk to You, and give thanks to You. Lead them in truth. Build Your hope into their lives.
Lord, we ask that they not be distracted by new idols, such as consumerism, well-being at any cost, moral permissiveness, violent protest. Let them live Your message with joy, the message of love for God and for one’s neighbor, the message of moral commitment to the genuine transformation of society.
Loving God, please protect our youth from the dangers present in our world today. Be with them through sickness and health, sorrow and joy, loneliness, and friendship, success and failure. Help them to take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance for a new start.
Sow Your wisdom into the hearts and minds of those being confirmed during this season, as they read the bible and discuss deeper issues of life. Weave Your love into their dreams as they find vision in their interests, opportunities for their talents, and aspirations for their abilities. Fill their hearts with the certainty that You have chosen them to love, to praise, and to serve. We pray for their teachers and mentors – that they are undergirded with the Holy Spirit to love on them and help them to ignite their God-given passions.
Lord, help our young people to find faith amid the chaos. We pray especially for the end-of-year stress they are facing with tests and exams and college choices; We pray for the anxiety and depression that accompanies the stress, Lord. Give them the courage to face the challenges of our time and to ask for help to navigate life’s ups and downs.
Lord, guide us, as we continue to grow in appreciation of the many gifts of young people, in the ministry opportunities we offer to them, in the journey of faith we walk with them, in our shared mission as a community called to discipleship in the world. May we work to create a world in which every child has access to food, clean water, shelter, education, health care, and all other basic rights. Help us to offer God’s mercy to young people who feel abandoned or outcast. May we teach youth about their role in working for peace, justice and the common good and help them to find peaceful and constructive ways to raise their voices to build a community of love. Help us to be worthy examples of the Christian life. Give us strength daily to navigate all of this with them. We ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayer written by Kim Moser