Like many things, it started during the pandemic. Born out of necessity and a deep desire for the church to stay connected while we were apart, the Prayer Partner Ministry began matching adult members of the congregation with groups of six to eight students. Prayer Partners simply committed to pray for their students throughout the year. Some built connections through cards and notes. Others found connection in surprising moments during committee meetings and church activities. Some never met or exchanged a word.
It’s been an exercise to see the ministry grow and change. After all, with almost 70 adult volunteers praying for the 500 children and youth on the church rolls, there are many pieces to this unique ministry.For our partners, it’s a challenge to know what to ask for, or sometimes even how to pray — do I say the students on “my list?” Do I craft a prayer for each one? Do I sit in silence listening for God to guide my words?
I think of the list of 10th and 11th graders who I prayed for last year, and I often found myself wondering about classes, sports, and the ups and downs of high school. I’ll admit that while I was driving I also prayed for those earning their licenses and for safety as they took to the road. Some of the students I could recall from their years in the Education Building, and some of the names I didn’t recognize. Regardless of what I know or do not know, I knew that I was called to pray for them, to think about them, and to trust and sometimes demand that God be at work in their lives.
This year the ministry continues to grow. Our hope this year is to better connect Prayer Partners and their students. With cards, class visits, and a few opportunities to share donuts together, our hope is to build stronger connections as a congregation and help children, youth, and adults see the role that prayer can have in shaping our corporate life.
So, I invite you to consider joining this ministry. It doesn’t require a huge amount of time, but it does require you to stretch your heart just a little, to add a little time to your prayer life, and to embrace the wonderful mystery that connects us as a multigenerational church.
Let us know if there is an age group you would be excited to work with and what questions we can help answer.