The Prayer Board

16 09 2010

by Elaine A. Canaday
Springfield, Oregon, USA

When our kids were younger, on any given day, it was common to have an extra youth or two at our house.

By the time our boys were in their mid teens and early 20s, I had learned a thing or two about ministering to youth and how to address their needs, especially when they come from diverse backgrounds.

It started a few years ago on Halloween, with 20 girls and guys hanging out, coming by for snacks, watching TV, and talking. On that night, several shared about significant pressures and problems. As I listened, I wondered how I could help them in a tangible way and show my support and encouragement.

I have always prayed for our sons. As their struggles increased, so did my prayers. I began praying for their friends as I learned of their needs. On a whim, I wrote a couple of their names on a dry-erase board in our hall under the caption, “Lord, today I will pray for….” This helped me to be mindful of those teens each time I passed the board.

Little did I realize how powerful this tool would become. One night a boy who visited our house saw his name on the board. Emotion overwhelmed him. He hugged me and asked, “You would pray for me?” I answered, “Yeah, I love and care about you.”

From then on our sons began adding names to the board—a classmate with cancer, a friend’s brother, and so on. Now when a youth visits our home, the kids automatically add their name to the board.

The board serves many purposes. It strengthens the awareness of God in the kids who come into our home, even if they don’t have a practicing faith. It creates a sense of community between the people on the list and those who placed their names there. And it helps me to understand the needs of their generation.

Our prayer board is a tangible way of showing how God and prayer can touch lives in a powerful way. I challenge you today to begin praying for our youth, reaching out to them, and letting them know you care.

As Community of Christ members we are called to share the good news about God. We need to come up with creative ways of making this happen. You may be surprised about where your journey takes you.



One response

17 09 2010
Leigh Anne

Totally cool! I am SO glad these kids have someone to be real with!

After a school shooting in our school, we met with a bunch of the kids at our local skatepark with some other youth ministers. When asked most of these nervous kids said they had no one to talk to and be real with…and these were “churched” kids. I am SO glad YOU are making a difference!

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