Friday, February 26, 2010
WARFARE PRAYER AMONG YOUTHS
THE PLACE OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE IN THE YOUTH MINISTRY
2 Corinthians 10:2-6; 1 Timothy 1:18, 19.
“The story of your life is the story of a long and brutal assault on your heart by the one who knows what you could be and fears it” - John Eldredge “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12).
Every aspect of life has battles – the physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological etc. But in all these, the spiritual battle is the most important, most dangerous, decides destinies, determines progress, actualizes actions but can’t be seen and yet so real. People, knowingly and unknowingly, are involved in these battles – youths, adults, aged, toddlers etc. These unseen battles can be termed “spiritual warfare”. Spiritual warfare is a strong merciless fight between two spiritual kingdoms – Heaven and Hell. People have to show up or get involved in just one camp whether they like it, are prepared for it, are opposed to it or not. Because this cuts across all ages, the youth is not exempted in this fierce and furious battle. Invariably, the battle rages more severely in the youthful age. That is why the youth and youth leaders must know the position spiritual warfare occupies in their lives and ministry.
Let’s look at the place of spiritual warfare in youth ministry under three sub titles: 1. The Principles of Spiritual Warfare in the Youth Ministry 2. The Place of Spiritual Warfare in the Youth Ministry 3. The Price of Spiritual Warfare in the Youth Ministry
1. THE PRINCIPLES OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE IN THE YOUTH MINISTRY
The youth ministry in any assembly is an arm that moulds and builds young minds into what they should be especially to achieve targeted aims and objectives. Before the youth ministry can be said to attain success, there must be some set principles that guide both the leader and the led.
Firstly, there must be a clear cut salvation experience in the leaders – those handling one position or the other; and a strong passion to know more of God. This experience is supposed to be deepened everyday in Christ. A novice can’t occupy any position with success or else these spiritual unseen forces will cause a shipwreck of such an individual’s convictions. Such novices will require sincerity and training to acquire knowledge first, so that God will not forget the children they are trying to bring up. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” (Hosea 4:6).
Secondly, there should be continuous holy living to sustain oneself and others around us. Youths are people that believe more in practical than in theory. They learn faster when they see it done than when they only hear of it. In other words, the principle of holiness that is strictly adhered to by anyone in the youth circle – whether their colleagues or leaders will be creating a strong positive foundation for a victorious spiritual battle.
Thirdly, the word “DISCIPLINE” cannot be relegated to the background. Especially among youths, if there is no discipline, the enemy will strive easier and faster like a ferocious fiery serpent. The following areas require discipline: (i) What you look at. (ii) Temptation to be in the company of the opposite sex – peer pressure (iii) Restlessness in youths that leads to insubordination and laziness to duties; in school, at home and even in the church. (iv) Quick desire for freedom that leads to stubbornness, disobedience and rebellion and (v) Fashion. Even the leaders in the youth ministry should be mindful of these in their very lives.
2. THE PLACE OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE IN THE YOUTH MINISTRY
Prayer takes the first place in any ministry; the youth ministry cannot be otherwise. Prayer has various aspects, but the aspect of warfare is paramount in the youth ministry. It should occupy the very first place for success to be attained. Why is warfare essential in the youth ministry? Where does it fit – its position? Well, it must be noted that the youth ministry as earlier stated is part of the main church that helps to build young minds for a targeted future. If the youth ministry fails, then the present church has failed and there will be no future church. This, the hordes of hell are aware of and will do anything to stop the youths and their leaders. They can hurl any type of stone at us, throw different sizes of javelin, arrows, pestilences etc., whether by day or by night without batting an eyelid. They wouldn’t mind using even respected people to carry out their mischievous plans.
Knowing all these, as real as it sounds, you and I know that we can’t afford to sleep. Spiritual warfare should take the first place in our prayer life and in the intercessory session in the church at large. These young minds, especially those ones just coming from the children church have a lot to learn, a life to live, a future to behold and a promise to keep. Satan will be the very last person to keep mute and watch these young ones attain their divine destinies.
Because of these, the youth ministry must wake up to the challenge and fight for the course of the youths, their siblings, parents, the church and the society at large. I am very much convinced that Christ who shed his blood for all will be glad we kept spiritual warfare in its appropriate place to pluck these youths from hell to heaven and to cause them to achieve their God ordained goals. In this race, you can’t get anything by folding your hands and wishing. Crying, resentment, grumbling and complaining will be an insult to the Captain of our salvation. There is only one way, “spiritual warfare” – NO WAR NO WAY. To achieve this, there must be some sacrifice, this will lead us to the last point.
3. THE PRICE OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE IN THE YOUTH MINISTRY
Daniel 6:10; Ephesians 6:16-18.
The price of spiritual warfare in the youth ministry is very high. Only those who love the ministry and are called into it can actually attain success. There is a price to pay for any spiritual warfare session.
There is the need to pray, not just the normal kind of prayer but the warfare kind of prayer. This will require denying oneself of some legitimate things like sleep, food, rest, visitation and leisure to actually challenge the forces of hell that are not relenting in their effort to swallow up the youths of this generation.
If you discover that you don’t have the love, passion and compassion for the youth ministry, the first thing to do is to leave the youth ministry right away. This is so because when insults, assaults and all forms of prejudices start appearing, such a person will do more harm than good to the youths and the ministry in general. Such a person cannot fight a good fight of faith. You may be long forgotten before you are remembered.
Also, if you think there is no need to “do battle”, then you are going to pay another type of price. The results will actually be fatal and unimaginable – a case study is the Niger Delta Menace. So pay a price to receive a prize or receive a prize to pay a price. I advise you to choose paying the price now with strong perseverance for all youths and the youth ministry at large, challenging and binding anything that will want to stand against the knowledge of God. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18).