11 Oct 2018

Measuring UP

This past weekend the Esther by Design staff and I were immensely blessed to host our 6th Annual Fall Conference. Our message for the weekend was so appropriately themed for this space in time as “LIFE in the FAST LANE”. I give God all the praise for His direction as I followed His instructions as to who the speakers should be and the format of the weekend. Our speakers were phenomenal to say the least, and just as I desired they were open and transparent in sharing their wisdom and anointed knowledge with the delegation of attendees.

For the past couple of years, the Lord has urged me to have separate sessions on Friday and Saturday for young ladies ages 12 – 19. Each year it has become more and more apparent that this age group requires more of our focused attention. Admittedly I was surprised by the number in attendance because I know that is a hard audience to captivate! First you must get them to even WANT to come. Sure, you can put your foot down as an adult and insist that they attend, but you certainly cannot control their attitudes or force them to be actively engaged once they are present! Yet again, God’s spirit moved amongst these young girls in the activities that were presented, and the lively conversation generated by our excellent presenters.

We wanted the girls to feel that the session was truly their own, and that the parents and adults were not breathing down their necks. With the exception of the presenters and facilitators we asked the adults that were present in the building to just relax, converse with each other and enjoy refreshments in a separate area. It was during that time that I had the pleasure of engaging in conversation with one of the mothers who not only brought two of her daughters but furnished transportation for the group of girls who came from the church she attends. Somehow the conversation began to turn in the direction of prayer and how adults seem to want young people to pray in the manner in which they do. We both agreed that this puts an unnecessary amount of pressure on our children.

To be very truthful, some adults shy away from prayer and struggle to establish a solid relationship with the Lord because they feel their prayers simply don’t measure up. Hmmm, let’s look at what that really means. Measure up . . .?? Measure up to what, measure up to whose standards?? Aren’t our prayers going to God anyway, not to man? Well, that says to me that man should not be the designated instructor or barometer as to how one prays. After all prayer is simply sincere, honest, direct communication with the Father. I love what Romans 8: 26 (NLT) speaks to us about prayer . . .

“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”

God knows our hearts and our innermost intentions, so therefore the mastery of the verbiage of prayer lacks significance. I have come to understand after raising children and attempting to guide them through the various stages of life; and now having grandchildren, that they experience so many challenges. We are quick to label how complex our adult lives are, but their lives aren’t a piece of cake either! I am finding it more and more crucial that we must first of all listen to what they are saying as well as what they are not saying! That’s a separate blog all by itself!! But the one who listens best and has all the answers is the One who created us.

So, we should encourage our young people not just to pray but to talk to God in their OWN WAY – because He’s always listening. Whenever prayer happens, however it comes about, it should be a “judgement free zone”. No criticisms as to how long they pray, how they pray, or what is said! You need not worry because when prayer becomes part of one’s lifestyle, its effectiveness will be evidenced by the outcomes that are seen.

Source: First Lady Denise