Prayer for a Masked Youth Leader

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Oh, Father. Here we are, the youth leaders of Your Kingdom here on Earth, seeking Your Kingdom as it is in Heaven with our most beloved flocks of sheep. Oh, Lord, we know there’s nothing new under the sun, and yet, if we may, this feels like an exception. We are masked and socially distanced and dearly in need of the Savior that we know how to preach.
By your grace, may we be mighty as we are masked.

Here we are, relational beings who are working to minimize risks to the Kingdom by creating physical spaces that are very physically spaced. How we miss the packed rooms, the energy, the vibes. It’s just not the same working from home. It’s just not the same at the office with no visitors. It’s just not the same.
By your grace, may we be mighty as we are masked.

Here we are, expressive beings who give two-thirds of our faces to a mask in the care of others. How we miss using our faces to better color our words and feelings! Oh, the smiles and the smirks, the grimaces and the grins. Bless our brows and eyes as they carry more than their fair share these days. And the glasses wearers, oh God. Have mercy upon the lenses that fog.
By your grace, may we be mighty as we are masked.

Here we are, compassionate beings who are working to speak and share our compassion and care via screens and texts. How we miss sitting with. Sitting with and using our posture and presence to communicate our care. That squeeze of a shoulder to say, “I believe in you.” The high five that says, “You’re here and that makes me glad.” That side hug that is legitimately cliched, and yet so dearly missed.
By your grace, may we be mighty as we are masked.

Here we are, busy beings and looking at calendars that have been brought back to a stop-and-go traffic kind of crawl from the thrilling Autobahn speeds that we had come to love and live off of. There’s a surprising jolt to acclimating to such new speeds, though slower seems like it should be easier. All that time to ponder. “How can I serve and protect them in this season?” “Am I who they need?” “What can I give them when it feels like everything has changed?” Help. Help. Help.
By your grace, may we be mighty as we are masked.

Here we are, planning beings and no longer with our beloved standards planned out. How we miss the lock-ins, the kick offs, the summer projects, the summer project fundraisers, the youth services, the pizza nights, the games, the teachings, the worship, the rhythms that build out our days, our weeks, our seasons, our years. Well, used to. This vista is new to us. May it be full of opportunities, of creativity, of hope, and ever of new joys…and may we confess that it often actually feels defeating, overwhelming, paralyzing.
By your grace, may we be mighty as we are masked.

Here we are, visionary beings and harbingers of the peace and unity of Your already/not yet Kingdom. Oy vey. We are challenging youth to navigate their lives and world with clear eyes locked on eternity and some moments it feels like we’re begging them to operate as aliens. If aliens we must be, may we wear the mantle well. And may these beloved alien youth lead us all.
By your grace, may we be mighty as we are masked.

Here we are, discipling beings always inviting youth we love to follow us as we follow You. We never arrive as disciples, but at least we had plays to call and routes to run! As we face the unprecedented, usually anew every week and sometimes a few times in a day, our disciplines and rootedness are tested! We are facing fears we didn’t see coming. We are facing challenges we didn’t anticipate. Yet, how we long to be faithful!
By your grace, may we be mighty as we are masked.

Here we are, oh Father.
In your grace.
Of your grace.
By your grace.
May we be mighty as we are masked.

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