Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
I want to share something with you which was placed on my desk a while back. It is called “The Teenager’s Prayer,” however, I believe that when you read it, you can easily find yourself in it.
I find it rather difficult to talk to someone I can’t see. As a matter of fact, if anyone saw me, I’m sure I’d feel rather foolish. I don’t mean to offend you when I say that. I hear Mom and Dad say that it is typical of my age to doubt. But between you and me, I think they must have times when they doubt too, but they are just too proud to admit.
I don’t know what is happening to me, but I seem to be doing stupid things lately. Today I snapped back at Mom when she was only trying to be kind. I knew I hurt her feelings, but I just couldn’t help it. There seems to be something going on inside of me. One part of me wants to do right, and the other part wants to do the opposite of what my parents tell me to do. I don’t mean to be hateful to my parents. Deep down I love them, but it’s just hard for me to show them how much I care.
Another thing … I know that I should love you and show my faith. To be very truthful, sometimes I’m a real coward. In my heart I love you, but it’s sure hard to tell the kids at school just what you mean to me. Just one more thing God
… You know that guy at school who offered me the drugs today? Well, he’s really a nice guy, but he has a rough time at home. Maybe you could speak to him and show him that you love him too …. I just thought of something Lord … that’s my job too, isn’t it?
Thanks so much for everything, I feel much better now. Good night Lord. See you in the morning.
Even though this entitled “The Teenager’s Prayer,” I find myself saying the same prayer and I’m sure you catch yourself saying it too. Talking about our faith can be a tough thing. We often think we have to have the right words to say. The thing is, we are trusting in our own ability. Jesus says to his disciples to not fear when being questioned about their faith, for he will give them “words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict” (Luke 21:15). Peter even tells us, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). As hard as it can be, you can do it because of the One who is in You, who gives you the strength and courage … our good and ever present God.
As much as we may want to tell others about God and give a good defense of the faith we have in Him … we don’t always. If that part of this prayer describes you … you are not alone. Each of us at some point in time or another have expressed the same thoughts Paul does. “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15). Because God is living in us, we all try to avoid sin, we all try to avoid doing what it is that God doesn’t want us to do, but we inevitably fail. We cannot overcome sin. No matter how hard we try, we will fail. So with Paul we ask, “Who will rescue me from this body of death?” The answer, “Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 7:24-25).
Reading through this letter which is suppose to be a teenager’s prayer, I find myself. I find myself because as a child of God, I am very much find myself as a teenager in my spiritual journey. Each of us need our Heavenly Father! We need Him to help us with the little battles of life as well as the monstrous battles. Many times we think we can do it on our own … but the sad reality is that we can’t.
The awesome thing is that when we need help, no matter what it is which we need help for … we can turn to our Heavenly Father in prayer, knowing that He is with me. He leads and guides me through the day. He gives me the strength I need to face the struggles and blessings of the day. He does all of it out of His Fatherly divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness found in me, but through the sacrificial love of His one and only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that God gives you the strength to turn to Him, to trust Him, and to follow Him through the amazing places which God leads you.