Emily Spademan – Alpha UK
When I think back to some of my most ingrained memories of being a young person in church, a few things come to mind. Firstly, let’s get out of the way some of my more interesting fashion choices, the time we broke a table that was being used for some sort of prop and I was told ‘don’t tell your Dad!’ (pastor’s kid problems), and too many games involving too much food being eaten in not a lot of time.
Honestly though, I had to scrape the barrel for those. The most poignant memories involve my friends from school. The times I invited them to events and they came. The times Christian organisations came into school and gave me the confidence to talk more about faith. The time I had honest questions sprung on me about prayer and healing during an English class and God gave me the words I needed. The separate moments when each of them told me they wanted to follow Jesus.
I knew three truths as a young person: that God loved me deeply, that he loved my friends deeply, and that he was good enough that he could show them his love through me. When I was nine years old, someone had prayed 1 Timothy 4 over me and it stuck with me: ‘Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.’
Higher Yorkshire is fast approaching, and it’s incredibly exciting to think of how it will have an impact on those who don’t yet know Jesus. But it’s equally exciting to consider how it could impact the young people who already in our churches and youth groups.
God doesn’t think less of any of us because of our age. He’s able to work through all of us, and so often it’s when he’s working through us that we grow in deeper relationship with him ourselves and our faith is expanded. My prayer today is that Higher Yorkshire would not be fuelled solely by youth workers and church leaders (although we do need you!) but that our young people would step up and play a part in seeing their friends discover and develop a relationship with Jesus.
Father, thank you so much for the young people in our churches and youth groups who already know you. We pray that they would know in a new way your deep and unconditional love for them. From this place, would they have the confidence and hunger to talk to their friends about you and the difference you make in their lives. We pray that our young people would experience that joy that comes from seeing you work through them and that you would give them a sense of vision and responsibility for the people and places around them. Would you raise up a generation who love you and who long to see others come to know and love you too. Amen.
The Higher Yorkshire team are hosting five prayer events in the next two weeks and we’d love it if you came to the event nearest you. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
16 January – Leeds & Bradford Higher Launch – Pudsey Parish Church, LS28 8BE – 7:30pm – 9:15pm
17 January – Wakefield Higher Prayer Night – New Life Church, WF1 1DL – 7:30pm – 9pm