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  • SJSL Together

Letter of Thanks - Emma James



DEAR CONGREGATION OF ST JOHN’S AND ST LUKE’S


I want to take this opportunity to say a very big thank you, on behalf of myself and all of the young people, for your over-whelming generosity and faithful support of the youth worker role at St John’s and St Luke’s. It means that everything we are doing to pass on the gospel to the next generation can continue: all those meetings, the 1:1 chats, the discussions, the games, the walks, the worship nights, the hot chocolates, the sleepless nights at camps and the mountains of donuts and pizzas!


But I want to ask you to do one more thing for our young people, which I believe is the single most important thing you could ever do for them; that is, to lift them to the Father regularly in prayer. Because I believe that God intends for our young people to have a far greater impact for good on the world than we have had. And so I ask you to pray that they will take God more seriously, follow Jesus more diligently and will be reliant more fully on the Holy Spirit.


It can be a bit of a thankless task, tucking yourself away in private to pray for people. There’s no one saying thank you, no Instagram or Facebook ‘Like’ and not nearly as many miracles as we’d like. If we’re honest, there’ve probably been times that we’ve all wondered if we are wasting our time when we pray. But let’s look at the example of Jesus: Jesus prayed all night; he prayed more than he preached. He told Peter, ‘I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.’ (Luke 22:32). The whole of John chapter 17 records a prayer that Jesus prayed for us – you and me – his disciples. The book of Hebrews says that ‘he lives to intercede.’ (Hebrews 7: 25). And Romans 8 says that the Spirit is interceding for us right now in groans beyond words.


And the amazing thing about our prayers is that they are eternal. God stacks them up; he remembers them, and when we don’t get an immediate answer, the book of Revelation says that our prayers are held in golden bowls and one day they will be poured out with a big fat ‘Amen’ from heaven.


Here is a prayer, adapted from the Church of England website, that you may like to use when praying for our young people:

Loving God,

We bring before you the children and young people of St John’s and St Luke’s as well as those in the wider community of Harrogate:

We pray for those who already know they are your children. Please protect them, bless them and keep them firm in their faith.

We pray for those who would like to find out more about you. Please provide ways for them to do that and help us all to play our part.

We pray for those who know little or nothing about Christian faith. Please stir up curiosity in them to find out more and in your mercy give them encounters with you that transform their lives.

Please give us courage, faith and hope as we continue to pray, knowing that every single prayer is heard by you; is precious to you and is answered by you. In the name of Jesus Christ,

Amen


Please be encouraged by these words from Pete Greig, the founder of the 24-7 Prayer Movement: ‘No moment spent in prayer is ever wasted: it is the most strategic, most powerful and most loving thing you can possibly give to another human being Thank you.


Emma

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