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Adapted from an article written by Kit Sublet
“Prayer is surely one of the most spoken about and written about subjects in Christianity. Unfortunately, it is not the most acted upon subject in all Christianity. We constantly emphasize the importance of prayer but seldom heed our own words. The quality of the staff (volunteer) reflects the quality of the individual’s time in his/her closet with the Saviour” From Back to the Basics by John Miller
I am sure all of us pray for our Young Life club. Without prayer, club is no more than an entertaining evening with some friends (if it is even that), and you are no more than a neat guy or gal who has an attractive personality. The power of prayer cannot be overstated. It powers our lives and empowers our ministry. When we are prayed up, we are instruments of the Holy Spirit finely sharpened and ready for spiritual warfare.
We all have a picture in our mind of what great Young Life ministry is supposed to look like ‑ energetic singing, amusing skits, winsome club talks and, of course, lots of contact work. It is possible, however, for all of these things to be taking place ineffectively, because it lacks the power of having even one person pouring his or her heart out to Christ, asking for the salvation of the kids that are involved. Andrew Murray says, “God seeks intercessors. God has need of intercessors. God wonders at the lack of intercessors. Rest not till God see that you are one.”
What I am trying to say here is that we must be sure that prayer is every bit as much a priority as the rest of the program. Young Life has become so program-oriented and so specialized that we have a tremendous amount of gifted people. It is possible, and likely, to pull off what would technically be described as good ministry without ever praying. Something that has the appearance of godliness, but lacks the power.
So, what is the importance of prayer?
Prayer ‑ secret, fervent, believing prayer ‑ lies at the root of all personal godliness.” (William, Carey)
It is the key ingredient to the recipe for a successful ministry.
Has anything new been said about prayer? Of course not! However, is it possible to begin new prayer practices that will empower our ministry and help produce eternal fruit for the kingdom? Yes, definitely. But, like everything in Young Life, we need a plan. We plan certain talks for certain times of the year; we plan our music to bring kids out of their shell and enhance the message; we plan skits to show that Christianity can be fun; and we even have three levels of contact work. Doesn’t it make sense then, that if prayer is the most important element of our ministry, it should have a plan as well?
Following are some possible plans and strategies you might be led to try:
Pray for a manageable number. Whether this means separating the names on your club list throughout the week or throughout the leadership team ‑ keep it reasonable and specific.
Pray them through these basic lists:
Kids you don’t know: Start with a list of kids you would like to meet. Pray. Hopefully, they do not stay on this list too long.
Kids you’ve met: Pray for an opportunity to get together.
Kids you spend time with: Pray that the conversations will eventually reach beyond the surface level of getting ‑to know one another.
Intimate relationships: Pray for an opportunity to share your life with them.
Meeting Christ: Pray for them to give their lives to Christ.
Assemble a group of committed mums and dads who are sold out to the idea of praying daily for a list of kids that you give them, and to meeting once a week together for prayer. (Preferably during the hour your club is meeting.)
Keep a prayer notebook.
Don’t casually promise to pray for someone or something. Make a serious commitment and record the requests and results.
The blessing in prayer is to be able to look back and recognize how God chose to answer the requests.
Have a prayer partner. Meet weekly with another person to pray solely for the team and for kids. The partnership will keep you accountable and comes with a promise, “for where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst,” Matthew 18:20.
Keep kids’ names in front of you: on bookmarks, on the back of the visor in your car, on the refrigerator. Create constant reminders to be an intercessor.
Don’t forget to pray during club and have others pray on the night at home.
Remember, your prayer strategy need not consist of all, or even any, of these suggestions, but you need a systematic plan by which you lift up the individuals which God has placed in your care.