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Praying Teens

VIEWS: 15 PAGES: 24

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Change your family
   through prayer
             Praying teens
         [VOLUME 1/2010]
                                                                                                                          2
GUIDELINES FOR PRAYER FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
Praying teens

                                             Table of Contents

Introduction ..............................................................................................................1

THINGS TEENS SHOULD PRAY ........................................................................2
1. What to pray for myself? .....................................................................................2
2. Difficult parents and frustrated teens! .................................................................3
3. Open the Window to the nations ..........................................................................5
4. Gain your balance in groups ................................................................................6
5. How to pray when my friends face Anorexia .....................................................9
6. Revive your quiet time – seriously!...................................................................11
7. Dating, in or out? ...............................................................................................12
8. Internet 'red-bots' – pray and watch out.............................................................14
9. Want your parents to change? ...........................................................................19
10. Prayer is too difficult – help! ...........................................................................20
11. How to keep a Prayer Journal ..........................................................................21
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Introduction
The purpose of this booklet is to provide some guidelines in leading
groups of young people or individuals in prayer on different issues of
concern to their peer group.

This booklet is a compilation of articles that were published the past 5
years in the Jericho Walls Prayer Guide. Its aim is to serve as a guideline
and to set the Christian on a road of praying Scripture for and over
different issues such as their interpersonal relationships, families, our
country, its people and everything to do with South Africa. When we learn
the language of the Bible, we can pray with much more confidence, since
we know that the words we use are from Scripture and God promises that
His words will never return void.

We trust that this booklet will inspire you to teach others to
also pray from the Word of God.

Jericho Walls International Prayer Network
P.O. Box 3683, Tygervalley, 7536
Tel.: 021-919 7988
Website: www.jwipn.com
E-mail: watch@jwipn.com




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THINGS TEENS SHOULD PRAY
1. What to pray for myself?
1. Wisdom. Lord Jesus, give me the wish to read the Bible, and give me
    the Holy Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that I will understand the
    Word better (Eph.1:17).
2. Fisher. Lord Jesus, make me a fisher of people (Matt.4:19) and a
    disciple-maker.
3. No fear. Lord Jesus, help me not to fear people and give me boldness
    to be Your witness wherever I go (Acts 20:24).
4. Revelation. Lord Jesus, I pray for my generation of young people
    who are searching, who experience much hurt and rejection
    (Isa.42:3). I pray that You will make Yourself known to them as their
    Saviour and Mender (Matt.11:27).
5. Purity. Lord Jesus, sexual intimacy is portrayed by the media in so
    many wrong ways, and is portrayed in so many forms in films and
    advertisements. Help me to recognise and understand Your purpose
    with sex and to live a sexually pure life. Set me free from every wrong
    and unbiblical idea of sex and from addiction to pornography
    (1 Thess.4:3). Help me to seek help if I struggle to get victory in this
    area of my life.
6. Victory. Lord Jesus, fill me with Your Holy Spirit and give me the
    spiritual power to live in victory over sin, be Your witness and do the
    work You give me to do (Eph.3:18-19).
7. Discernment. Lord Jesus, help me to see the things in my life that
    are not in line with the Scriptures. Also show me what to do to put this
    right, and exactly how You want me to live (Rev.2:5).
8. Helping others. Lord Jesus, help me to see the need of other people
    around me. I don’t want to live a selfish life. I ask that the Holy Spirit
    will show me what I must do about the needs of people around me
    (Jas.1:27).
9. Future plans. Lord Jesus, my whole life lies ahead of me. I want to
    make the best of it. You know the best path for me, because You made
    me and I know You have a plan with my life. I open myself up to You
    Lord, that You can show me the way, and I choose to follow that path
    (Jer.29:11).
10. Future wife. Lord Jesus, I ask that You will bring me the marriage
    partner you made me at the right time. Protect him/her from impurity
    and hurt and everything negative and destructive, so that when we get


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   married, we will find joy in each other and that our marriage will be a
   testimony to others (Heb.13:4).

2. Difficult parents and frustrated teens!
We honestly believe that obeying God is a good thing. He is the highest
authority, is He not? It is just wise to consider and do what He wants.
That is called submitting to the authority of God. The difficult truth
though, is that God really wants us to submit to all authorities. Romans
13:1-2 explains that anyone who is in authority is only there because God
allows them to have these positions. God can use good and bad people to
carry out what He wants to do. He is in complete control and when we
obey and submit to what He asks, we will be in His perfect will.

Walk the talk
Now for the difficult part so fasten your seatbelts! Why do we feel our
parents are difficult? Is it because they want us to do the wrong things? Or
could it be that what they ask us is the right thing to do, but we really do
not feel like doing what they want right at that moment, or at all, ever, for
that matter? It is possible that God wants us to take a fresh look at the way
we treat our parents. It is not by mistake that you and I are specifically
their children. He chose each person before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love (Eph.1:4).

He also predestined who would be your parents, in what country you
would be born, where you would live, every detail, and that even before
the beginning of the world! How about that! This also means that these
facts are not really going to change in this life, whether in your opinion,
you have good or bad parents. It is always easy to criticize what others do.
Let us face 'ourselves' for a moment. Do you know that it is possible to
obey your parents by your behaviour, by what is seen on the outside, but
not really have your heart submitted to them on the inside? This also goes
for behaviour towards teachers and other people that are over us in
positions of authority.

Let's say your mother asks you to go and do your homework right away,
but in your mind you are thinking: "No way. Why now? Why can't I do it
after my favourite television programme?" Disrespectful thoughts are the
sign of a rebellious heart. Now, what to do with this frustration?


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1.  Face it. It's not always your parents, sometimes it's you. Be brave
    and admit that you are also wrong at times.
2. Try to go somewhere to be alone. Don't take it out on your
    parent, teacher or any other figure in authority. As soon as you
    become aware of these emotions in your heart, try to be alone with
    Jesus as soon as possible, so you can sort it out.
3. Confess it. Just be honest with God about your attitude. It may feel
    awkward at first, but the relief from tension and anger when these
    emotions are released will really be worth your while – just to be the
    real you with God.
4. Ask for forgiveness. Just do it. It's the right thing to do. Jesus died
    for you and He will forgive you.
5. Pray for breakthrough. Ask the Father, in the Name of Jesus, that
    through the working of His Holy Spirit, He will help you to be more
    respectful next time.
6. Make a list. Not finished yet! Take a little more time and ask the
    Lord to help you think of anyone else in a position of authority that
    you had a similar reaction to.
7. Finish it off, once and for all. Pray about each situation He brings
    to your mind. Ask for His forgiveness and also ask Him to help you
    honour His Name by living a holy life.
8. What to pray? Here's a sample prayer to help: Father, forgive me
    for my sin of rebellion toward (name of person). I pray for
    (him/her), that You will bless (him/her) and I thank You for
    (him/her), because this pleases You (1 Tim.2:1-4). Help me to
    honour and submit to this person according to Your Word. In the
    Name of Jesus. Amen.
9. One last thing. If possible, consider speaking to some of the people
    on your list. Ask them to forgive you. Tell them that you have asked
    God to help you to submit to their authority and respect them.
10. Give thanks. Give thanks to the Lord for every time that He helps
    you to respect or honour someone in a position of authority. Also
    consider telling your parents (or someone you regard as a parent
    figure in your life) that you appreciate them and the way they care for
    you. If they are open to it, ask if you can say a prayer for them, right
    there and then, thanking God for their lives.
11. Do something to pray for the leaders of the nation. In
    America, every year, young people gather for a few days, a few weeks,
    some for over a year – to stand in silent prayer in front of the
    Supreme Court in their country. What are they praying for? Mainly
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    that Americans would give their hearts to Jesus Christ and in turn,
    that more righteous leaders would arise. One young lady said, "We
    have already seen two righteous judges put into the Court and that's
    the first time it's happened in 11 years! So prayer, even in its 'weakest
    form', silently in front of the Supreme Court, does work." (Website:
    http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/308964.aspx). Won't you consider
    sparing the time next month, and together with a couple of friends,
    also pray for the government of our country as the Holy Spirit leads
    you? You can read the following Scripture from different Bibles,
    meditate on it and then start praying for people in government by
    name.
12. Applying Word power: 1 Tim.2:1-6: I urge, then, first of all, that
    requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for
    everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live
    peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good
    and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all men to be saved and to
    come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one
    mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave
    himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper
    time.

3. Open the Window to the nations
There are 65 countries that stretch from North Africa, across the Middle
East, Central Asia, China and India up to Japan known as the 10/40
Window. About 80% of all the poorest people live here, 90% of all the
people not yet reached with the gospel live there and all the main non-
Christian religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam) of the world are found
here. In these 65 nations there are very few missionaries and they are
working in very difficult circumstances and suffer much persecution. In
some places there is only one missionary to bring the gospel to 200,000
people.

Think about it: having a ‘church’ with 200,000 members, but they do not
know Jesus; some hate you as missionary and do not want to hear about
Jesus and the majority of these people have not even heard the name of
Jesus once in their lives! There are millions of children who live in the
10/40 Window and like their parents, most of them don’t know Jesus.
Many missionaries are needed in the 10/40 Window to tell people about


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Jesus. One of the most important things you can do is to intercede for
the people who live there.

Let’s open the window…
How? We have to open the window by persevering prayer and
intercession.

What are we asking from God? We need to send more missionaries,
Bibles, Christian books, tapes, the JESUS Film, produce more radio
programs and pray that Jesus will reveal Himself through dreams and
visions to these people. Perhaps God is calling you to go to the 10/40
Window as a missionary! Pray that everyone living there will want to
know more about Jesus, have hearts ready to accept Him and find other
Christians to help them grow in their relationship with God.

Why? Most of these people are without Jesus, without hope, they will not
go to heaven. Millions of poor people live in horrible and inhuman
situations and know much suffering. And their religion doesn’t bring them
any real hope either.

For whom? Pray for the people in the 10/40 Window, their leaders and
especially the women and children who suffer much. Pray for the
Christians in the Window who are kicked out of their families or lose their
friends and jobs because they believe in Jesus. Some of their lives are in
danger. The governments don’t give freedom and they make life very
difficult for Christians. Pray for the local churches which in most cases,
survive amidst very difficult circumstances.

Who else? Pray for the missionaries. That they will remain safe and
healthy, have no problems with the government, have good relationships
with the people and get opportunities to share the message of Jesus.

4. Gain your balance in groups
Young people are extremely vulnerable to peer pressure to get involved in
seemingly innocent "testing out" of things like alcohol, drugs,
pornography, chat rooms and much more. All these things seem very cool
until a friend dies of an overdose or is raped or falls pregnant. Will you as
a teenager not consider praying for other teenagers for protection from
these things?

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1. Religion: The majority of teenagers and young adults in most parts of
   the world are religious, according to a massive 21-country study.
   Worldwide, almost 44% of young adults say they are deeply religious
   (not only Christian). Only 13% say they are not interested in God or
   faith in general. (Christian Post, 15 July '08).
   Lord, I pray that You will touch the hearts and minds of young people
   across the globe to turn their hearts towards You and be radical
   followers and doers of Your Word.
2. Obesity: Teenagers who eat breakfast consume more daily calories but
   weigh less than those who skip the first meal of the day. Kids who skip
   breakfast tend to gain more weight, and would therefore be at a higher
   risk for obesity. Obesity leads to many other illnesses.
   Lord, I pray for young people to become established in healthy habits
   like eating correctly, exercising and socialising sensibly. Help us to
   realise our bodies are a temple of Your Holy Spirit and that we were
   bought at a price. Help us to glorify God in our bodies and in our
   spirits which belong to You alone (1 Cor.6:19).
3. Pornography: About 81% of South African children between the ages
   of 13 and 17 have seen pornographic images on their friends' cell
   phones. Sixty-seven percent have been exposed to pornography
   through movies and, by the time they reach 18 years of age, 64% would
   have seen images of pornography on the Internet. About 45% of the
   respondents admitted to watching pornographic films regularly. More
   boys (84%) than girls (54%) have watched at least one pornographic
   film.
   Lord, we pray for our peers to watch out for the trap of watching
   pornography and becoming addicted to it. Help them understand that
   it is truly dangerous and harmful to the mind and spirit in the long
   run. As young people we submit to You. Strengthen us to resist the
   devil in Your Name. Teach us how to draw near to You, urge our
   generation to cleanse their hands and purify their hearts (James 4:7-
   8).
4. Drugs: Large amounts of alcohol inhibit self-consciousness and self-
   control and very often lead to and encourage irresponsible behaviour.
   While under the influence, teenagers are more likely to try drugs and
   have sex. It also increases exposure to being robbed, attacked and
   raped.
   Lord, I pray for protection over teenagers who fall prey to peer
   pressure and lose their dignity. Help them realise the dangers and to

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   say no to drugs and sex. Protect them from falling victim to robbery,
   physical abuse and violence or rape.
5. Alcohol: Binge drinking (having more than 5 drinks in a few hours) is
   becoming a great problem among teenagers. It causes alcohol
   poisoning and high blood pressure. It may cause heart failure, a stroke
   or suffocation if a person should pass out. Hospitals report that it is
   especially over the December holidays that teenagers who were left to
   care for themselves were treated for injuries, or in extreme cases,
   because their parents or guardians were too drunk themselves to do so.
   Lord, I pray for parents and guardians who do not conduct
   themselves according to Your will. Please show them the truth of Jesus
   Christ. I cry out for teenagers who follow their example, or who drink
   for fun and become alcoholics. Please help them acknowledge their
   addiction and that they need help. Let them realise they are a chosen
   generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, Your own special
   people, that they may proclaim Your praises who called them out of
   darkness into Your marvellous light (1 Pet.2:9).
6. Cell phone, TV & computer games: If you are fascinated by a
   hobby, feel captivated by it, and would like to spend as much time as
   possible pursuing it - this could be an outlet for learning, creativity, and
   self-expression. But in truly pathological addictions, the scale has
   tipped. The bad outweighs the good, resulting in serious disturbances
   in one's ability to function in the "real" world. Looking at it from a
   clinical perspective, these pathological addictions may be an attempt to
   control depression and anxiety, and may reflect deep insecurities and
   feelings of inner emptiness.
   Lord, I pray for myself and other teenagers to recognise the line
   between enjoying games and becoming addicted. I ask that teenagers
   might wilfully restrict themselves from spending too much time
   playing games on the Internet or television. Also protect them from
   becoming involved with child predators in chat rooms, while using
   MXit etc. Help Christian teenagers to remember that they were raised
   with Christ in their lives, so that they might seek things above, where
   Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Help them set their minds on
   things above, not things on earth (Col.3:1-2).

(South African help lines. Alcoholics Anonymous, tel.: 0861 435 722, Life
Line, tel.: 0861 322 322. Other resources: http://www.netaddiction.com
and http://iafrica.com/news/sa/652453.htm). Medical Council crime,
violence and injury lead programme report 2004).
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5. How to pray when my friends face Anorexia
Anorexia is a serious and potentially life threatening disorder. The exact
cause is unknown, but it is believed that a number of factors including
emotional, physical and behavioural issues contribute to this disorder.

When we think about how to pray for them, we do not want to preach or
pretend that we are experts. This is a sensitive issue that causes much
pain and distress, both for parents, friends and those suffering from
anorexia. What is important is that you should love them and pray for
them. The following are some thoughts you can share with your friends on
how to pray and care for people suffering from anorexia. Your prayers will
make a difference, because God answers prayer.

 Dysfunctional families: People who suffer from anorexia often live
  in dysfunctional families. Sometimes the relationships in a family may
  lead to young people falling into the anorexia trap, especially if the
  father and/or mother are very domineering and/or over-protective. The
  child may see it as a form of control and feel there is no freedom to
  make his/her own decisions. Another problem is also that there is
  sometimes a lack of open and honest communication in the family
  circle. Pray and ask the Lord to show the family if there is anything in
  the family set-up that can cause anorexia. Pray that there will not be
  denial and that the parents will not take offence, but that they will be
  willing to work on it and if necessary, go for counselling.
 False sense of control: Sometimes young people may feel that they
  are not acknowledged for who they are and what they are capable of,
  and their talents are not recognised either. There is often a strong urge
  to control. They want to gain a measure of 'control' of their lives, even if
  it is just showing that they are capable of doing something on their
  own, like deciding on their own eating patterns. Pray that young people
  will see the folly of thinking like this and that they will be willing to
  surrender their lives to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to set them free
  so that they can experience total liberty and acceptance.
 Surrender: Pray that they will understand that God is in control of
  everything and that they can relax. When God is in control, there is no
  rejection, there is no need to perform or earn acceptance. We are free to
  be ourselves.


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 Identity crisis: Anorexia sufferers often struggle with an identity
  crisis and have a totally wrong perception of their worth and especially
  their own bodies. Some of them hate their bodies for different reasons
  and feel they can rectify it by radically changing their eating habits.
  Pray that they will find their identity in Christ and be able to see
  themselves as God sees them. Ask that they will understand that God
  loves them unconditionally, that He made them and is proud of them.
 Rejection issues: Some of them fear rejection and feel that if they can
  lose weight, they will be more acceptable to other people. Pray that they
  will experience the love and acceptance of friends and family and also
  the acceptance of God. Ask that they will understand that God values
  them and believes in them because He made them and has good plans
  for them (Jeremiah 29:11-14).
 Respected as a person: All people have at least two basic needs: to
  feel loved (versus rejection) and that they are valued, can contribute
  something, which means they need to feel needed. Ask the Lord to
  show young people through the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives,
  that they are loved, that they are important and that they are needed.
  Ask that others will help those suffering from anorexia by treating them
  with respect, and in a way that will make them feel needed and loved.
 Distorted view of self: Anorexia sufferers are often afraid of social
  interaction, have low self-esteem, and therefore feel uncomfortable to
  eat in front of other people. They are also often perfectionists and
  hyper-tidy. Eventually they withdraw, and the true picture of who they
  really are becomes distorted. They begin to feel that people reject them
  and that this is the reason why they feel so uncomfortable. A
  combination of all these things leads to a distorted view of themselves.
  Pray for all lies and deception about whom they are in Christ to be
  exposed and that they will be set free. Lies and ignorance bind us, but
  the truth sets us free.
 Courage to face the truth: Ask the Lord to work willingness in the
  hearts of anorexia sufferers to admit to their problem and to go for
  help.
 Distorted view of happiness: They are mostly in denial about the
  fact that they are underweight. They feel that happiness is undeserved
  and there is a striving for perfection. Pray that they will see that God
  created them to have life and to have it abundantly (John 10:10).



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 Cover with prayer: When you pray for them, remember to resist in
  Jesus' Name the spirit of death, deception and destruction (James
  4:7).
 Embraced by friends and family: Most importantly, accept them
  as human beings. Do not be angry with them and do not judge them.
  Pray that their family and friends will also treat them like this.
 Remain standing: Pray with hope, with faith. Read the Word and
  pray God's promises of hope and life over them as often as the Holy
  Spirit reminds you.

6. Revive your quiet time – seriously!
So you are young and full of life and though you really want to speak to
God, you struggle to connect? If this is you, then this article may be a
remedy for your problem! Did you know that older people can do 1.7
things at a time, whilst you can easily juggle 5.3 things at once? Did you
also know that worldwide, young people are returning to a contemplative
lifestyle in their prayer life which helps them focus on important issues
they want to see changed in their generation?

Listen. Multi tasking and continuous connectivity are a normal part of
your life, so it makes sense that technology will affect your praying. Multi
tasking is fine, and you can easily ‘talk’ to God while you are busy with all
the many things needing your attention. But listening to God is a little
more challenging. To hear God’s voice, everyone needs to find a certain
degree of quietness.

Be quiet. For all of us, great and small, Psalm 46:10 remains of vital
importance: Be still and know that I am God. At least once or twice, try
some of the following suggestions in order to help you ‘connect’ with God
and hear His voice. He wants to speak to us much more than we can ever
imagine. He wants to speak to YOU more than you can think or pray or
ask for!
Find a place to pray. It can be hard to find a place to meet with God in a
noisy apartment building. Ask God to show you a safe and quiet place you
can go/sit down to pray on a regular basis.

Write it down. I know you are comfortable with blogging, so here is the
deal; see journaling as blogging your prayers to God. You can write them


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down on paper in a book, or type them on your computer. Pause to hear if
God is telling you something as you ‘pray-write’ to Him.

Pray aloud. Speak to God as if He is in the room. As if He is a real
person listening to you. Actually, He is in the room and He is real too!! So
try it. You can sing what is in your heart and mind to Him as well. All of
that is called prayer. Remember to also listen. The ‘talking side’ of prayer
needs to be balanced with the ‘listening side’. He has something to tell
you, for sure!

Play music. So you like listening to music, constantly? Put on some
instrumental CD while ‘doing prayer’. It helps you relax and focus on God
when there is ‘controlled noise’ in the background. Try it, remember to
make time for listening also and write down what you experience God is
saying to you.

Get unplugged. Put off your cell phone and shut down your e-mail
connection for the next hour. Life will continue! For at least some time
each day, switch ‘off’ to the world and ‘facebook’ with God. Give Him
preference by taking a practical step, showing Him He is number one to
you.

Relax, but focus. We can spend a lot of time in worship and that is
wonderful. But in order to do the work of prayer we have to intentionally
focus ourselves to hear what is on God’s heart and lift up His heartbeat in
prayer. This is pleasing to Him. Make sure you listen to pray every day for
things other than your own needs. Pray for others as the Holy Spirit shows
you.

7. Dating, in or out?
Dating is important to all young people. It is a matter of urgency to us that
we find the person we would like to get married to. It is still the deepest
need of even those who just want to be in a relationship, want to 'enjoy'
life and create the impression that they don't want to get married, to have
a husband/wife for life, someone they can trust and who will be true to
them.
How should I as a young person think and pray about this?
 Pray for him/her. It is your privilege and responsibility to pray for
   your future husband/wife. Ask the Lord to show you the right person.

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    Don't lose heart if he or she doesn't make an appearance within the first
    week. Carry on praying about it regularly. Over and above giving your
    heart to the Lord, your choice of a husband/wife is most likely the most
    important decision in your life.
   Consent. Ask your parents to pray for you about this matter as well. It
    is also important to listen to your parents. Never go out with someone
    or get married against your parents' wishes. If you differ on this matter,
    talk to them, ask why they are against it and pray until you and your
    parents have peace about who this person should be.
   On going steady. Choose not to go steady with someone before you
    know this is your husband/wife. This is a choice one does not make
    easily. Do not be in a hurry. Many young people say, "But how will I
    know if I don't have a steady relationship with someone and make
    sure?" This is not the way to go. God will show you. You don't have to
    try to find out for yourself. God alone knows the hearts of people and
    He knows who the right person for you is.
   Grouping. It is fine to have friendships. But keep these friendships at
    a healthy level. Stay in a group. Make sure that as far as possible, you
    are always in the company of more than just one person of the opposite
    sex. Don't form intimate relationships and start holding hands, kissing
    and going further before you know who your husband/wife for life is.
    Remember, if you have an intimate relationship with someone and that
    person might not become your husband/wife, you are in a relationship
    with another person's husband/wife!
   Make sure. When you feel that you have found your husband/wife, do
    things together and get to know one another, but do this within the
    protective context of a circle of friends. When there are enough
    indications that this person might be your husband/wife, you can spend
    limited periods of time together, but within all the perimeters of a pure
    and clean relationship.
   Get advice. When such a relationship develops, go to mentors who
    can help you. Allow these persons to ask you difficult questions: Are
    you mature enough for a relationship? Can they tell by what they see
    that you are suited to one another or do they see warning signs? Are
    you drawn to this person because of his or her appearance or is it about
    this person's character and that you and he or she will be able to have a
    deep relationship?
   Does he/she love God? Make sure your husband/wife is a Christian.
    Do you understand the consequences that this relationship is for life?
    Do your parents approve of the relationship? Are you satisfied that God
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    approves of it and that it is His will, or are you trying to twist His arm
    so that He will give His permission? Search your heart prayerfully.
   Put on breaks. Young people often confuse love with emotions and
    hormones. A person's sexual urge is particularly strong at a young age
    and it is easy to confuse these desires in your body with love. Make a
    determined decision not to become involved in an intimate relationship
    before you are married. I don't know of anybody who has regretted this,
    but there are literally hundreds of millions who regret not having
    waited.
   Remain pure. You always have a choice how you wish to handle this
    situation. It is so important that you make the right choice about how
    you will handle it. Your choice must always be in line with God's will,
    purity, respect for your own body and the body of the other person and
    for the person herself or himself. Know that your choice, whichever way
    it goes, has consequences. There is no middle-of-the-road here. Make a
    radical choice about this matter, no matter how difficult it is, or if your
    friends find it ridiculous. Don't become known as a cheap girl. Don't be
    a guy who destroys the lives of young girls, who breaks their hearts and
    even robs them of their virginity. Choose for sex within marriage. Sex
    outside the marriage bed is a sin in the eyes of God.
   Be cautious. Never make the mistake of thinking it's all right to marry
    an unsaved man or woman and once this person is married to you, you
    can lead him to the Lord. It hardly ever works out this way.
   God's will. Love is not the only condition for marriage. The condition
    is the will of God. If you marry for love you might think the marriage
    can break up if there is no love. In the eyes of the Lord marriage is a
    permanent institution. For a Christian, marriage lasts a lifetime, until
    one of you dies. God's intention with marriage is to bring forth a
    spiritual offspring (Mal.3:15). Most people in western culture get
    married because they love each other and do not understand that it is
    also God's intent that a spiritual offspring will be brought forth. Ask the
    Lord what this means and make sure the man/woman you marry,
    wishes to pursue and practice it as you do.

8. Internet 'red-bots' – pray and watch out
Dr. Archibald D. Hart said: 'Many teenagers and even young children
today cannot tolerate doing nothing for more than thirty seconds,
maximum. Then they demand more stimulation.' Think about that. Over
60% of children and teenagers partake in ‘chat rooms’ on a daily basis.

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Three out of four children are willing to share personal information about
themselves and their family online in exchange for goods and services. It
is also true that at least one out of five children will be targeted by a
predator or paedophile each year. Thus the Internet is an extremely
popular ‘fun and games’ venue for young people to visit. Why talk about
this? Because the Internet, together with its wonderful advantages,
unfortunately also holds hidden spiritual, emotional and even physical
dangers for ‘innocent’ teenagers.

How do you know at your age when you are treading dangerous ground?
Chatting with your friends on-line or via cellular phone is commonly
known as social media. Social media can take many different forms,
including Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, wikis, pod casts,
pictures, video, rating and bookmarking. Technologies include: blogs,
picture-sharing, wall-postings, e-mail, instant messaging, music-sharing
and voice over IP, to name a few. Many of these social media services can
be integrated via social network aggregation platforms like Mybloglog and
Plaxo.

1. What is a blog? A blog is a type of website, usually maintained by an
individual with regular entries of what is happening in his/her life. Many
blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others
function as more personal online diaries
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_diary). There are different ones:
art (artlog http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artlog), photographs (photoblog
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photoblog), sketches (sketchblog
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sketchblog), videos (vlog
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlog), music (MP3 blog
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3_blog), and audio (podcasting
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast). As of December 2007, there are
more than 112 million blogs worldwide. Some examples: Twitter, Plurk,
LiveJournal, Vox etc.
Be on the alert: Pray for God's wisdom when you partake in blogs. Be
careful of the kind of personal detail you share, and how you share it. Do
not speak negatively of other people. Often friends have misused such
information when they feel jealous of or angry with each other.

2. What is photo & video sharing? People put photos and videos of
themselves online, because it is then easy accessible to friends and others.

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Of these sites, YouTube (videos), Flickr and Photobucket (photos) and
ccMixter (music) are more or less the most well known.
Be on the alert: Always tune your heart into the voice of the Holy Spirit
when you watch these videos or photos. If anything is not uplifting or
blasphemous, promoting un-Biblical values, make a decision not to watch
that any longer. Also encourage your friends to do the same.

3. What is a virtual world? A virtual world is a computer-based
simulated environment intended for its users to interact via avatars
(computing). These avatars (or alter-egos) are usually presented as
textual, two-dimensional, or three-dimensional graphical representations.
The computer-simulated world works by presenting a model based on the
real world or some hybrid fantasy world. Communication between users
range from text, graphical icons, visual gesture, sound, and balance
senses.
Be on the alert: Ask the Lord how much time you should spend
partaking in these different options. Normally all teenagers spend too
much time on the Internet and virtual relationships and contact with
‘other’ Internet friends. The dangers are that the 'virtual world' becomes a
person's 'real world' and they struggle to actually discern between the
‘virtual world’ and reality after some time. It is very important to keep in
touch with real life and not live in a fantasy world or try to escape into a
world that seems to have no consequences.

4. What is the thing with online-games? Multiplayer online games
create a computer world very similar to the real world, with real-world
rules, real-time actions and communication. Communication is usually
textual, with real-time voice communication. Virtual worlds are not
limited to games. Sometimes, emoticons or 'smileys' are available, to show
feeling or facial expression.
Be on the alert: Make sure you as a Christian pray about it all the time
and think well and carefully how you spend your time in this computer
world. Ask the Lord to show you if the games you play are bringing you
closer to what He is like, and to help you limit the time that you spend on
these games. Do not compromise; just give up things that will jeopardize
your relationship with the Lord Jesus. Also encourage your friends to do
the same. Remember that you need to spend quality time with your loved
ones close to you – do not be selfish with your time, otherwise it may
develop in unhealthy life-patterns on the long term.

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5. What is a chat room? Chat rooms are designated areas where people
with similar interests can ‘get together’ to talk. The conversations happen
in real-time. By simply typing on your keyboard, you can immediately talk
to someone on the other side of the world. There may be a moderator in a
chat room that monitors the content of the conversation in order to
prevent abuse. Moderators have been known to shut down a conversation
if the content is deemed unacceptable or inflammatory. A chat room is a
way to learn, talk and socialise, but the fact that it is so easy to be
anonymous has led to abuse of the system. Children and teens love chat
rooms, and reports of the dangers of chat rooms are widespread. There
are many irresponsible adults who use chat rooms anonymously for their
own entertainment. Parents need to be aware of who their children are
talking to in chat rooms.
Be on the alert: How do you know when you are 'at risk' when chatting
in a chat room? The easiest way to determine this is to ask yourself if you
would be comfortable for your parents or an adult to walk into your room
at any time and read the conversations in your chat room at any time. The
same goes for the Lord. Ask Him to help you not to chat to people you
don’t know, who might be posing as someone other than they really are.
When the Holy Spirit prompts you on these issues, take special care to
listen to His voice. Also never use foul language, get involved in online
arguments or gossip.

6. What is free online speech? The Internet has made long overseas
chats easier and much more affordable than traditional telephones.
Programs like Skype, Google Talk (GTalk), Nimbuzz and Fring are some
examples of programs that help you to chat (text, audio or video) with
another person anywhere in the world. There are often people from other
countries who want to connect with someone in South Africa with the
intention of escaping from their own countries. They do this in deceptive
ways, like enquiring about tourist attractions in South Africa, only to
obtain personal information from you, like where you stay, what you do
etc.
Be on the alert: Make sure to change your settings so only those people
in your address book can contact you. NEVER give out any personal
information about yourself that may assist another person in finding out
where you stay, where you work, etc. Ask the Lord for discernment and
wisdom on what to do when someone you do not know contacts you.


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7. What is MXit? MXit is an IM (Instant Messaging) application that
runs on your cell phone (PC versions are also available), which allows for
real-time chatting in one-on-one conversation or inside chat rooms, at a
fraction of SMS costs. Maybe the most significant example of the abuse of
young children through a technological medium so far in South Africa, is
the case of a 16-year old girl who was abducted by a 33-year old man she
met through MXit chat room. MXit is free to download, and free to
register, meaning no monthly fees. You can send messages back and forth
in real-time (instant messages). The maximum length of these messages is
2048 characters compared to a normal SMS at 160 characters. MXit has
about 2 million users, the majority being between 12-17 years old and
smaller groups aged between 18 and 25.
Be on the alert: Never give your cell phone number, full name or
physical address to strangers and never meet a stranger from a chat room
in real life. On the other hand, ask the Lord to show you how you can
share things about your personal relationship with the Lord Jesus with
some of your friends on e.g. MXit.

8. Stay connected with real people: Social media is an unhealthy
substitute for real friendship. It can literally destroy family relationships
in the end because it allows people to live in a virtual world where they
can say what they want with seemingly no consequences. It isolates you
from your friends and family, and prevents you from building real and
lasting friendships because you are always in contact with ‘other people’.
There is no real commitment involved in Internet and virtual
relationships. Astonishingly enough, people are getting lonelier in the
process. You cannot share the depths of you heart, your real pain, deepest
emotions and tears with a human being that seems faceless to you and
whom you do not know personally – the electronic media cannot replace
that vacuum.
Be on the alert: How do you know if your social skills are deteriorating?
When you and your friends spend more time chatting online than face to
face, it is a red light. If you start and end relationships by e-mail, chat
rooms or via SMS, you are in a danger zone of becoming socially isolated.
Ask the Lord Jesus to tell you how to conduct your personal relationships
with people in a healthy way.
(Teenagers have developed their own 'lingua franca'. There is a detailed
list of SMS and Chat abbreviations being used by teenagers on their cell
phones, MXit and the Internet:
http://www.phelios.com/sd/archives/sept04.html).
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9. Want your parents to change?
Each one of us has our own idea about the ideal parents and how we
would want them to be. Ever thought of praying for your parents about
these things? The Word of God is clear that God listens to prayer – He will
also listen to you when you pray to Him. Do not doubt that. The following
are some ideas on what you can pray for your parents. Share these with a
friend and pray together and see how God answers your prayers.

1.   Face it… They are not perfect. Whether they are at home a lot or not,
     divorced or separated, they are your parents. Accept it. Thank God for
     the privilege to have parents. Say you're sorry for the times you
     wished them 'away' or 'dead' because of something they did or did not
     do for you or someone else. Pray that God will open your eyes to see
     the good things they do that other parents are perhaps not doing. Ask
     the Lord to help you see their needs and give you wisdom on how to
     pray for them.

2. Respond… Pray that God will help them to understand your needs
   and pray that your parents will have the desire to spend time with you
   and be in a position to do it. Remember, when they reach out to you,
   it is God answering your prayer – do not give them the cold shoulder!

3. Their work… Economic circumstances have really changed their
   world and work circumstances. Pray for them to be able to handle all
   the difficult situations they have to face at work, and not to be so tired
   when they get home at night. Pray that they will have favour with
   their superiors, for good working conditions and proper payment. If
   they have their own business, ask that God will give them peace in
   their business, that their lives and work will be rooted in integrity and
   that they will not chase money to the extent that they do not care for
   their families and do not make time for family life, but enjoy the
   beautiful things in life.

4. Their marriage… Look carefully to see what your parents struggle
   with. Begin writing these things down and pray about them. Ask the
   Holy Spirit to show you how to pray about the things that cause
   heartache and pain.


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5. Their responsibilities… Submit to their authority and ask the Lord
   to help you accept them and their discipline. Ask the Lord that they
   will have wisdom on how to lead you and to help you to grow to
   maturity. Pray that they will take up their role as a father and a
   mother, that they will live godly lives and show compassion to the
   poor and needy.

6. Their conduct toward you… Pray that they will be patient with
   you and that God will help you to be patient with them also.
   Remember that they are also just human and will make many
   mistakes. Do not judge them, but love them. Ask the Father to give
   them the wisdom and revelation to understand your needs and
   desires, and that they will make time to help you and be available to
   you, and love you.

10. Prayer is too difficult – help!
Why start a prayer journal? To journal is not a new law or
commandment, but only a practical way in helping you to concentrate and
to keep record of answers to prayer, even to be kept for future
generations! Believers who choose to keep a prayer journal today are
taking part in a cherished Christian tradition while also creating a record
of their faith for the next generation. George Müller, a famous English
evangelist who lived in the 1800s, is well known for his prayer journal.
Müller recorded his prayers in a book and never stopped praying for his
requests. He simply continued until he could record an answer. Prayer
journaling is a way to remember what God has done, is doing and will do
for us. It is helpful to journal. To journal may help you. Try it for at least
some time.

Focus that wandering mind! It is easy to spend more time worrying
than praying. A prayer journal is a simple and meaningful way to simply
'start praying' on paper as you write out those issues troubling your heart
and mind. It helps you to focus so your thoughts will not wander into
worrying again!

Keep a record! The longer you keep a prayer journal, the more
answered prayers you'll record. Over time, you will have a book filled with
the evidence of God's faithfulness in your life. Many believers find that


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during times of stress or discouragement, reading through an old prayer
journal can provide renewed hope and peace.

See how God works! Believers who keep a prayer journal often come to
see how God is guiding their lives. Because they are able to track both
their prayers and God's answers, they can sometimes see how God's plans
are different to, but better than their own. Part of prayer is listening.
When you study Scripture regarding God's ways in a specific situation or
about a problem you prayed about, it will be easier for you to discern how
God wants you to live.

Give it time! It will take some discipline to get into the habit of keeping a
prayer journal, but do not give up too quickly. Soon you will be completely
rid of the frustration of wandering thoughts when you want to pray and
read your Bible!

11. How to keep a Prayer Journal
Prepare your journal: Step 1: Get together all you'll need: A journal (it
can be a simple school manuscript), writing stuff of your choice and your
Bible. Step 2: Date your entries. You can divide the entry into two
sections: ‘Requests’ and ‘Praises/Thanksgiving’. Under the ‘Requests'
heading, write down your prayer requests, whether personal requests or
requests on behalf of others. Step 3: Under the ‘Praises/Thanksgiving’
heading, record items you are thankful for and prayers that have been
answered. You can pray for each item as you list it and each section as you
finish it, or you can wait until you have finished recording the entire entry
and use it as an outline as you pray. Step 4: Leave some space at the
bottom or on the reverse side of every page. This is where you will record
answers to prayers, observations, and Scripture quotes that seem relevant
to situations you are praying for, notes from daily devotions. Review the
journal pages every few days or weeks and record any answers or
observations.

Find a quiet space where you can reflect and hear God's voice. It can be
as simple as your favourite chair, restaurant, beach or park. You just need
to be where there are minimal distractions and you are relaxed.

Begin with a humble heart. Do not just start writing in your journal.
Before you write one word or date, take your Bible and read a few verses

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to quiet your heart before God. Let Him direct the prayers you will write
down. Let Him first speak to you.

Make a list: After you have spent time with God, start writing. Do not
rush through this step by simply making a list. You can start by writing
out your prayers to God and making a list of things you want to pray about
as you continue elsewhere on the page. (Website: http://www.go-
journal.com).

Reflect on what you have written. Is there anything else He wants you to
pray for? Listen again, quietly. Write down any other thoughts.

Testify: Ask the Holy Spirit to prompt you when there are opportunities
to share with others something from your time with God. Do so carefully
that you may encourage them, without giving offence.




                      Jericho Walls International Prayer Network

								
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