From the President

A favorite request that I’ve appreciated during worship is when the pastor says, “Would you join me in prayer?” And then he or she leads the congregation as we come before the Lord. I appreciate the fact that I am being invited to join with the pastor and the congregation in this very important part of the service.

So let me present the same invitation: Would you join me in prayer for all the lost kids — that we, as a mission, might introduce them to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith, which is something we’ve been doing since our inception 68 years ago.

I don’t know if you heard about or participated in Young Life’s Day of Prayer on Tuesday, Oct. 6 this year.  Thousands of staff, leaders, friends of the mission and committed kids gathered across the United States and around the world to pray. These groups included areas, regions, and divisions from every state and country where we have Young Life. People at the Service Center and our camps prayed as well. We began by praising the Lord for His attributes, His work and for His many blessings. Then we interceded. We prayed for kids by name, for leaders and staff, for opportunities, for schools and communities, and for specific needs of the mission.

While Oct. 6 was special, it was not unusual. Prayer has been an integral part of the history of Young Life since our beginning; Young Life has always been a place of prayer. In fact, prayer led to the start of our mission. When our founder, Jim Rayburn, was encouraged to begin his ministry at a Texas high school, there already existed a group of women who had been praying for that school and asking God to send someone to help kids meet Christ. Rayburn was the answer to their prayers. Prayer set the stage. Prayer prepared the ground for a fruitful ministry that expanded over time.

The stories of prayer throughout our 68-year history are legendary. Miracles occurred as this fledgling movement began and continued. Camps were purchased even when we had few resources. Hearts were changed. Tough places became receptive to the Gospel. Passionate people joined staff as people prayed. Prayer has been at the very fabric of all we have done and all that we are.

So whether or not you participated on Oct. 6, I am inviting you to join me in prayer in the hours, days, weeks, months and years ahead. We believe God has given us the vision and the desire to increase the number of kids we reach from one million to two million a year — our Reaching a World of Kids initiative. So we are coming together as followers of Jesus who love kids and want them to know the abundant and eternal life Christ can bring. We are praying that the Lord of the harvest will raise up workers to meet the millions of lost kids around the world.

Would you join me in this endeavor? Would you make a note to yourself and put it in your Bible, in your journal, on your computer or wherever you can be reminded to pray for kids and the mission? And then would you covenant to pray, pray, pray? In the book of James, we are told, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16, TNIV). We know we are not righteous in ourselves but that Christ has made us righteous. So, acknowledging that righteousness, and remembering the promise that your prayers and the prayers of God’s people are powerful and effective, would you join me in prayer?