In a week and a half I will fly to Minneapolis to attend training for my job this summer as Area Director with YouthWorks. (Woohoo!) This evening on my walk home back from the grocery store I was thinking about the kinds of things I want to tell my Site Directors this summer. I was thinking about the things I learned as a Site Director and the wisdom and advice I liked to pass along as a Starter. None of these terms really matter; all you need to know is that my job this summer will basically be leading leaders. My job is to equip and train and hold accountable and support.
This evening on my walk home from the grocery store I thought about how I definitely want to tell my Site Directors about prayer. The most transformative part of my first summer with YouthWorks was prayer. Every evening we would sit together as a staff team and pray. We would pray for each other, for the teenagers and adults on our site that week, for the community, and for the other YouthWorks staff around the country. We would pray out loud and we would pray while touching. Arm around the shoulders, hand holding, hand on shoulder, hand on knee.. that kind of thing. And that kind of intentional, connected, out loud prayer is very powerful.
This year for Lent I’m not living in a church with three other people and I’m not daily praying out loud with others while they put their hand on my shoulder. But this year for Lent I want to call upon that powerful prayer. I want to tap into its transformative power. I want to be made new.
Here are some of the things I’ve prayed in the past few days:
We are all in and we are all set. Praise You. Thank You. Hallelujah. Even if we follow You to the grave, we are bought and paid for, safe and sound, loved and found. Even if this is her last stupid round of cancer, even if she loses this time, You win. You win every time! And even if we lose this time, your love for us is still very, very deep. Your blood still counts and You still win.
Lord, I recognize now that without Jesus I am hopeless! Without Jesus we cannot get to You. We cannot bridge the gap on our own and without Jesus, without being able to get to You, we are just floundering here in the center of our own little universes, lonely and alone and hurt and hurting. I pray that she would see that truth, that You would use me as You would to share that truth, Lord.
Man, Lord, you work in mysterious ways, I know you do, and sometimes someone is on my heart and it turns out to be nothing but I hope, for more than just selfish reasons, that he really does love you and that he is seeking your wisdom every day through Scripture and through prayer to be more like you and to lead his life with integrity.
Lord, thank You for all of the wonderful people in my life. For my San Pedro family and my Jarabacoa family and my Michigan family. My life is so full. So full. Thank you for my dogs, too. I love them and am grateful for them and Lord, please protect them while I’m in the States. Please!
Thank you, Lord, for not leaving us in our grossness. Thank You for Your never ending patience. For forgiving us, rather than condemning us. Every. Single. Time. Thank you for the example you set forth in Your Word. For the clarity with which You spoke. For the beautiful and life-wrecking truth of who You are and what You came to do. I pray for those who have been blinded to the truth. Who are living half lives. Who are living condemned. I pray that You would open their eyes to see your truth. That they themselves would wipe the scales from their eyes and open them wide to what You have been trying to tell them all along. I pray that You would use my mouth for Your glory and to further Your kingdom.