Prayer is a Non-Negotiable in Ministry
Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.
Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.

The Greg Stier Youth ministry Podcast

episode 21 | February 2023

Prayer is a Non-Negotiable featuring Kathy Branzell

How critical is prayer in your day-to-day ministry? In your life? Is it non-negotiable or non-existant?

In this episode, Greg is joined by Kathy Branzell, who serves as President of National Day of Prayer task force. They discuss the critical importance of prayer as a first priority in ministry and in your personal life. They are joined later by Fransisco Jimenez, a Gospel Advancing Leader born in Spain and serving in Dayton, OH.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

0:00:07.0 Greg Stier: Hi, welcome to The Greg Stier Youth Ministry podcast. I believe in the power of the gospel and the potential of teens, and I also believe that the best way to get teens to grow is to get them to go. I encourage you to subscribe to the podcast, review it and rate it. Please do that, get the word out about it, tweet it out there, Instagram it out there, get it out there, because we want everyone to be part of this movement until every teen everywhere hears the gospel from a friend. Super, super excited about our guest today. I have two friends on. Kathy Branzell is the president of the National Day of Prayer, NDP, the task force. And she’s been a long-time member of the NDP Board of Directors. She’s also… Serves as the vice chair for Dare 2 Share, so our Board of Directors, so I need to make sure I’m doing things well today, this may be a job review right here.

0:01:03.4 GS: And she has other leadership roles that she’s held, Rapid Response Chaplain for the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, and the National Coordinator of Love 2020, national facilitator of the Mission America Coalition. Man, she has done so so much. She’s authored, co-authored five books on the topic of prayer, having raised two children with her husband Russ, which will make you a prayer warrior when you’re raising kids. Kathy lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and she’s a really good friend, not only to me, but especially to the president of our ministry, Debbie Bresina. They are partners in crime against the forces of evil, and just love that their great, great friends. And love having you as my friend too, Kathy. So thank you for being a part of the podcast.

0:01:52.6 Kathy Branzell: It’s an honor, I’m really excited about this.

0:01:55.2 GS: It’s gonna be fun. Just a little bit of a refresher. How did you first get engaged with Dare 2 Share?

0:02:04.3 KB: So we have a good mutual friend, Chuck Klein, who knew Debbie and who knew me, and said to each of us, you have to meet one another. I don’t know what’s gonna happen in the heavenlies when it happens, but it’s gonna be huge. And so we came together, we met in Kansas City several years ago, and within 15 minutes, the Lord was already at work, and we were just… Strategy, strategy, strategy, connection, relationship. And everybody at the table was like, “How long have you guys known each other?” And we were like, “Oh, about 20 minutes.” And it was like 20 years.

0:02:43.2 GS: I remember that. I was in the room, in Kansas City. And you guys… It was like, long lost sisters.

0:02:50.7 KB: Yes. Yes. And my heart just was completely saturated in all that Dare 2 Share was doing, and I just heard the Lord say, you’re gonna get to be a part of that, and so I’m thrilled.

0:03:03.7 GS: And this isn’t in the notes, but something that’s just striking me now, it tends to be a very male-dominated ministry world, and you two are two high-powered ministry leaders that connect on a spiritual level, emotional level, relational level, but you also have probably a unique set of opportunities, but also challenges as women leading major national ministries. And so it seems like that God has just used you in her life and her in your life to encourage each other along the way in this battle to reach this next generation.

0:03:47.0 KB: Absolutely, iron sharpens iron. Iron doesn’t have a gender. And so iron sharpens iron, so she and I just armor up every day and lock shields and run into the fight together.

0:03:56.6 GS: I love it, I love it. That’s great. And you’ve gently rebuked me in the past, because sometimes just out of muscle memory, I’ll use the term “this next generation”, and you always have a come back to that.

0:04:16.8 KB: I do. I hate the word next. It’s the now generation. I can’t imagine how belittling it might feel to tell someone, no, no, have a seat, you’re next. And Dare 2 Share is such an incredible ministry to take this now generation and remind them they’ve said yes to Jesus now. And the moment, the moment you call Jesus Lord and Savior, you are now, you’re living now. There is no junior Holy Spirit. You have the same spirit as a 50, 80-year-old, and so you are running, you are serving, you are living out your Christ-designed destiny right now. And so we get to run together. None of the nonsense of handing off a baton, that’s not scriptural, but running together is. And so I’m grateful that they’re now.

0:05:14.7 GS: I love it, and we’re actually seeing it right now as we film this, as very revival people, young people, teenagers and 20-somethings, they’re not dependent on the junior Holy Spirit. They’re getting excited, focused on the Lord and set the pace for what may be the next great awakening. And that’s what I’m praying for, hoping for, and I know there’s detractors out there, is this real revival? I’m like, you know what, I pray it is, I hope it is. And we wanna play our role well with that, but again, it’s not the next generation, it’s the now generation. I love it.

0:05:49.2 KB: That’s right, that’s right.

0:05:51.6 GS: So why, let me just ask you just a elemental question, why is prayer such a passion of yours?

0:06:00.5 KB: Because without it my life is worthless. I know that I know that I know that prayer is our discussion with the Creator of the universe, the Author of our days, the person who knit me together, the God whose image I’m created in and gave me this kingdom purpose in life. But if I’m not listening, if I’m not learning, if I’m not this ongoing disciple and don’t go to him throughout the day, not just daily, but throughout the day, I’ll misstep, all that I do will be absolutely worthless. And so I learned that at a very early age, was very dependent on God, my Abba Father, as my father was a colonel in the military and gone a lot, being in Special Forces. And so just having the presence of a heavenly Father was very strengthening and powerful and made me bold and courageous as a child who could have been very weak without the conversational prayer that I got to have with my Heavenly Father when I couldn’t talk to my earthly father.

0:07:16.6 GS: So powerful. And just to go with the military conversation, I remember probably the first real significant conversation you and I had, we had a gathering of leaders up in the mountains, and you were getting out of your car and coming in to talk about prayer and to lead the time in prayer, but I found out you had a… Somewhat of a military background yourself. Do you wanna just share a little bit about that? Not somewhat, you have a military background.

0:07:43.1 KB: Yeah, just to understand. So growing up a military brat, which I never understand that term, ’cause we are far from spoiled. We are very, very sacrificial as a military family, you give up a lot of things, but you’re serving. And so brat, to me, is born ready, alert, and training up. And so I felt that way my whole life, and from the time I was very little wanted to fly SR-71s, I wanted to serve God and country and fight the enemy. And I made every decision growing up in my life, all the way through high school, to try to get to fly SR-71s and serve God and country. And I was on that track, learned to fly, all of these things, and then we found out I was night blind. And in a moment’s time, 15 years of work came to a crashing halt. And just since then, making a very long story short, it’s just realized that God has me flying in the heavenlies, outside the atmosphere, as the 71s did, in prayer, fighting for this country and kingdom, and fighting the real enemy. So I am grateful for that, that deep military background with my husband and my father.

0:09:09.9 GS: I love it because as you know I wasn’t in the military. I do come from a military family, my dad was a sergeant major, last POW released in the Korean war. I have three uncles that were in the military, it’s just kinda in… I love it. The best compliment I ever got was from one of my buddies in special forces that started volunteering at Dare 2 Share. And he goes, you know what I like about Dare 2 Share? I’m like, What? And he goes, You run like a military op. I’m like, Yeah, oh yeah. I was all pumped up.

0:09:36.4 KB: That’s right.

0:09:37.5 GS: But we talked about general Norman Schwarzkopf and the Gulf War, that before they sent in the ground troop, they had 100,000 bombing missions. They dropped 88,500 tons all over every target in Iraq, took out their eyes and ears, and when the ground troops came in, the Iraqi soldiers were surrendering to CNN troops. And so from that square one when I realized that was…

0:10:04.4 KB: That’s what prayer does.

0:10:06.7 GS: That’s what prayer does, and…

0:10:07.6 KB: That’s what we do. We clear the ground and we see where the enemy is, and we start taking them out to… Prayer comes in and it clears the path for us to go running in.

0:10:17.6 GS: I don’t know if you remember, but I nicknamed you at that moment, I said, okay, you’re the… You’re now the captain of our prayer force. You’re the leader of that. And thank you for helping infuse that prayer DNA deeper into me, into Debbie Bresina, our President, into the whole ministry. And with other industries as well, but we are very grateful for that.

0:10:44.3 KB: It’s a pleasure.

0:10:44.6 GS: So, let’s shift a little bit to intercessory prayer. I always joke around, I was like, praising God is like going to the club for Christians. We love it, we love the music, we love praising the Lord. We naturally pray for our own needs, that supplication prayer. Often intercessory prayer gets left out, unless we’re praying for aunt Susie’s broken arm, which we need to pray for that as well, but what makes intercessory prayer so needed, necessary, unique and powerful?

0:11:20.8 KB: Yeah, so understand that intercessory prayer does what we never could. That in this, what seems to be hurting hopeless world, I wanna talk to students, as you’re going to campus, and you know so many things that are going on on your campus, you can do absolutely nothing about. You have no authority, you don’t have the resources, you don’t have the influence, the relationship, whatever it is. Well, God does. And so, what intercessory prayer does, this verse, it takes our eyes and hearts of our own self, because prayer is not running into the throne room of heaven every day, handing Jesus a to-do list on how he can make you happy and running out the door again. That is not prayer.

0:12:10.7 KB: And so what intercessors do is they come in, they come in from the air, they see all that’s out there, all the wrongs that need right, all the needs that need meeting. All the things that are going on. And they pray, God’s Kingdom come, will be done, into those situations, they pray the glorious riches of heaven into those situations. And so it takes your hands, your needs, of your friends, your school, your neighborhood, your family, your church, everything that you watch on the news and hear on social media, and you take it and you hand it to God, who can do all things.

0:12:56.5 GS: Man, I love that. And it’s set a new thought in my mind of, we’re always telling youth leaders to make sure you incorporate intercessory prayer into your youth group. Take time to pray for the lost, take time to pray for each other, but to mobilize prayer missionaries, and it made me think of my wife who’s been a public school teacher at the same school for 29 years. She told me, she goes, I walk the hallways and I pray. And when kids are taking a test, I walk up and down the aisles and I pray for each of them by name, and I pray for their souls, and I pray for their lives. And she can’t stand up on the desk and give the gospel.

0:13:39.2 GS: She could do it once before she got fired, but how many of those kids started conversations with her about God because she’d been praying for them. Our students can start out as prayer missionaries praying, students that don’t feel empowered to change the cutting and the drugs and the depression and anxiety are empowered to unleash a tidal wave of trinitarian power that will flood the hallways of their school. And praying for it gives these kids a sense of power, divine power, that I can do something about it through prayer. God can do something about it through my prayers. So I really get it.

0:14:23.4 KB: Right. Oftentimes the word is supplication.

0:14:25.9 GS: Yeah.

0:14:26.7 KB: And people are like, oh, what a fancy word. But it comes from the Latin word, supply care. And so when you don’t have the resources, you don’t have the power, you really think about even going in in prayer before school every single day while you’re at school, every single day, and as your words hit God’s ears, He is commanding heaven’s army to flood your school, and to fight the enemy.

0:14:53.2 GS: Love it.

0:14:54.5 KB: There’s nothing more powerful.

0:14:55.6 GS: Yeah, I love that. That’s awesome. So let me ask you this, is there like a go-to passage of scripture when it comes to prayer that really… That you… I’m sure you have several, but just one that you’re like, this really communicates my heart and passion and the need for prayer. Is there a go-to passage you have?

0:15:19.2 KB: Well, interesting. Right this second, it’s the one that we based this national day of prayer theme on, we couldn’t believe that this passage had never been used because you can’t go to a prayer meeting without hearing 2 Chronicles 7:14, that if my people who are called by My name prayer. But right now, my heart is sitting in James 5:16, where it ends by saying… It’s a promise, the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. And when you get into the original language of all that, which you and I love to do, first of all, the word man is human, so nobody get offended here. It’s in his righteousness, He became sin who knew no sin.

0:16:08.1 KB: Jesus became your sin. For everybody listening, He became your sin who knew no sin, that we could become his righteousness, and in that rightness of thinking and feeling and speaking and acting, the rightness aligned with God and the fervent prayer, that is a heart-felt, that’s not like a frenzy or a chaos, but in this heart, poured out prayer to God, we avail much. And that word much, you’re like, well, how much is much? ‘Cause people go, oh, I love you so much. Or I want that so much. Really need a Starbucks coffee right now so much. I think you and I have said that a few times, Greg.

0:16:51.8 GS: Yes.

0:16:52.1 KB: What is much? So the same word in the original language, this word much about how our prayers avail much, is the same word in New Testament that is used to compare with God’s glory, God’s mercy, and our reward in heaven, and several other things, that’s so much. And so what else could I do that would ever avail that much. And so that’s really where my heart is. When you think, oh, what else could I do? What else could I do? I wanna make sure you jump back in there and you pray and you listen and linger in listening to God to hear what part he’s gonna let you get to play in his much.

0:17:35.3 GS: I love it, and I love in that passage when it talks about Elijah was a man just like us, that he was human, but how much God did in and through him to pray and stop the rain for three years and pray again and bring it back. And man, much, much, much. So what are some youth leaders… We all want practical takeaways, what do we do, what are… Do you have any disciplines that help you make prayer that priority, intercession, praise, whatever? What are some of those disciplines that have helped you personally that may benefit some of the these leaders listening right now?

0:18:21.7 KB: Prioritize prayer every morning, that is you know I have many opportunities in my life, I’ve removed the word busy from my language, but my schedule is full, as are many of our youth and youth pastors, by the way, but my prayer time is a non-negotiable. There’s no use in stepping foot out your door unprotected without your marching orders every day and having first… And here’s what I want to hear people understand about prayer as well, so I’ll answer a double question. Praise reminds us of who God is. See, I think there’s a massive identity crisis going on in the world right now, and even within the church, that many times we’ve forgotten how mighty and magnificent our God is, how powerful, loving, but just how he watches over us, not like he’s waiting for us to mess up.

0:19:24.1 KB: So many of us think that that he’s just waiting for me to goof up so he can discipline me, but he’s watching over you with so much love and so much authority and so much power, for you, that strengthens you up in the day. It’s like walking down the hall and you see the bully coming, but you turn back and you see God’s got your back, that there’s people of authority standing in the hallway, so you’re safer. That’s what praise does. And then the second item is to remember who you are in Christ, and so when you’re praying and you pray scripture, that’s another priority. So making it first in your life in the morning and praying God’s word so you’re praying truth, not preferences or opinions, something you might have read or heard somewhere, that there’s no cultural camouflage on you, but you’re armored up in the word of God, so you know who you are in Christ.

0:20:21.8 KB: That you’re an amazing workmanship of him, that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. And what you’re called to do. That there is this… You are clothed in Christ, heading off to campus every single day, and so in that you are walking in the power of who God is and the truth of who you are in Him. And with a compassionate heart having prayed for others, and so those are three very important pieces. And then the fourth one is this thanksgiving, is this gratefulness because we’re so dismayed, we’re so discouraged, depression is consuming right now. When we don’t choose, realize nobody, nobody controls your mind. You get to decide what you think about.

0:21:14.9 KB: And when we choose to think about Christ and think about our blessings, and think about who we are in him, and the incredible assignment we have here, then that chemically changes your mind and there’s a strengthening in that. And the last thing I’ll say is, pray all day. Lots of people play the High Low game at dinner, or you get in the car with mom or dad, they go, “How was your day?” We go “fine,” but that’s an opportunity to pray together, here was the greatest part of my day, the high point of my day, here was the low point of my day. Here’s what’s going on in my life. Can we pray about it? Pray about it right then, pray about it while it’s happening, and grab a prayer partner and pray about it so that you’re doing something about it and not letting it fester and not letting it try to take victory over your life.

0:22:04.8 GS: I love that, and I love the idea of really prioritizing prayer before you go out the door, that it’s… You’re already armored up and… I heard Chuck Swindoll preaching one time on that passage, I think it’s 1st Thessalonians 5:18 that pray without ceasing, 17 or 18. That’s the same Greek word, without ceasing Doesn’t mean non-stop. It’s the same Greek word used to describe a hacking cough. You know, you don’t just have a cough perpetually, but when you got a cold, you have a cough that happens throughout the day consistently, that our prayers need to go up like that. And what a great reminder. What prayers… Do you have like a prayer resource or two that you would recommend youth leaders that wanna dive deeper into this subject of prayer that you would recommend?

0:22:57.8 KB: There’s so many great ones out there. So I’ll take a moment for… There’s the one that I wrote for educators is a 365 devotional, and so not to be self-promoting, but it seems to be one of the few out there specifically for educators called An Apple a Day, but beyond that we have…

0:23:19.9 GS: ‘Cause youth leaders should be educators.

0:23:22.9 KB: Exactly.

0:23:23.3 GS: I mean, they are educating these students. Yeah, that’s great.

0:23:27.3 KB: Completely relevant in each of the devotionals and the prayers for 365 days a year, for anybody, quite frankly, that works with children or youth. And so there are incredible prayer guides out there that you can go to. Dare 2 Share puts out beautiful information and prayer prompts, and I would just say grab on to various pieces, but quite frankly, the Word of God is your greatest guide in prayer of what is truth and how to pray that truth, that power over someone else and in your own life, and being able to lay down at night and rest throughout the night by saying, “Lord, I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but I’m just gonna hand it over to you ’cause there’s nothing I can do about it tonight that would be any better than just giving it to you and getting a full night rest.” And so I just think that praying the word of God is your greatest resource.

0:24:34.9 GS: Well, and I think, you know, I can look at my… I had my daughter, she was like, well, she’s like, “Dad, I’ve never heard God speak to me.” I’m like, “Well, you read the Bible, right?” She goes, “Yeah.” I go, “Well, he speaks to you.” I go, “You know, when I read scripture, I’ll pray, I’ll read, I’ll think about that and I’ll talk to the Lord about that.” It feels like a conversation, because you’re thinking about His word to us, you’re sensing His spirit guide, but you’re also speaking His word and having that conversation about your life back with him, and it becomes… You and I both had kind of a father gap years, ’cause he was gone a lot. Mine, because I never knew him, but I do think there is that special kind of place that God allows us to really engage with our dad or our daddy, Papa.

0:25:29.5 KB: Absolutely.

0:25:29.8 GS: And it’s such a great place of intimacy. Tell us little bit about… Now, a lot of youth leaders are very familiar with [0:25:35.8] ____ to Paul, kinda kicks off your school year, you know, the third Wednesday of September with prayer. Well, National Day of prayer is on the end of that… That’s toward the end of that school year. Tell us a little bit about NDP and how youth leaders can get involved with National Day of Prayer, ’cause I’m just imagining these things as being potential bookends of prayer…

0:26:00.0 KB: Right, to the school year.

0:26:01.1 GS: To the school year. So tell us a little bit about that and how youth leaders can find out more.

0:26:05.8 KB: Yeah, that’s great. So National Day of Prayer, a lot of people don’t know it’s a law, and they confuse us with what happened in February, the Presidential prayer breakfast, that’s not us. That only happens in DC for a couple hours, but the National Day of Prayer is an actual law since 1952, and so students, teachers, anybody everywhere can be involved in national day of prayer because the President of the United States must proclaim a day of prayer for the nation. And so having our students meet up before school, during school, after school, praying for our nation, that’s some powerful praying, especially since they are leading now living now and are the future leaders in government and all of the various spheres of influence.

0:26:51.2 KB: And so we are grateful for that. You can always go to nationaldayofprayer.org. We’ve got our prayer guides, we’ve got our national prayer for this year, would love to see that posted in classrooms around the world, and just wanna encourage. There’s so much, and we pray for education, and we pray for our younger brothers and sisters. May is a pivotal time in the life of the student of all ages with graduation coming up, or transitions coming up, summer jobs, future decisions on and on it goes, prom. And so we are praying diligently for you, and we’d love for you to pray fervently with us.

0:27:35.7 GS: That’s awesome. Yeah, go to nationaldayofprayer.org. I think, oftentimes, youth leaders are probably not even aware of that. It seems like something for the older generation, but we need to make it something for young and old, and it’s really cool that it’s a law. I mean, often times we are really hard on the US. Prayer got kicked out of school this and the other, Christians didn’t get kicked out of school and prayer didn’t get kicked out of schools.

0:28:06.0 KB: That’s right, that’s right. As long as there are pop quizzes there will be prayer in school.

0:28:10.3 GS: Exactly, that’s right, that’s right. Well, I wanna introduce our youth leader guest Francisco [0:28:16.8] ____ Giménez Peña. He is a passionate gospel advancing leader in Dayton, Ohio. He lives with his wife Shelly and their children, Jackline, Nicole and Francisco David. Stayed at the age of 12 in Madrid Spain under the ministry of the US missionary, at age 15 he felt God’s call to missions. At 19 served as a youth leader, assistant pastor, a missionary church planner in Southern Spain. 2015 he moved to the US with a call to reach and mobilized students from every culture for the gospel, and he and Shelly now live that calling out as Word of Life missionaries. Francisco is a friend of mine, and I love this guy, ’cause he’s got a heart for Jesus, he’s got a heart for the now generation, and he’s gonna hurt for prayer. And so, Francisco, I’m just gonna turn it over to you, thanks for being a part of this. And any questions or comments? This conversation is now between you and Kathy, so.

0:29:11.8 Francisco: Yeah, well, thank you for having me. And what a joy to be listening to this conversation and Kathy, seeing your heart, your passion for prayer is such an encouragement. And I love you’re passing for the now generation as you were saying with us, so just I love it. When we think about prayer, and I think of those verses with the lord Jesus talking about their relationship with the Father and how we are invited into this conversation within the Trinity, and to align our hearts with the story he’s writing for the gospel. So when you talk about the now generation and us as youth leaders, we invite our teenagers, like the lord Jesus did with His disciples to pray with us, for them to see how we pray, how we are invited into this amazing conversation and story that our King Jesus is writing.

0:30:17.6 Francisco: And we can align our hearts with everything he’s doing. And is when… Intercessory prayer really is leaved out because the more time we spend in prayer listening to the story that King Jesus is writing, we start praying His prayers and we become aligned with that passion to reaching the lost. So what would you say to youth leaders that they want to lead the way in prayer, and invite their teenagers to their prayer life, my question for you will be, I’m very curious to know, what do you do to invite others to see you pray?

0:31:04.0 KB: That’s great.

0:31:05.1 Francisco: To embrace the lifestyle of prayer, like Jesus did with his disciples.

0:31:07.8 KB: That’s the most important thing you can do. Because we say prayer is caught, not taught. Okay? So I can get up and I can talk to you about what praise is, what thanks is, what intercession is. That’s one thing, but you’re kind of like, huh. But if you hear me praise, if you hear me intercede for other people, as you hear me give thanks and supplication, people are like, oh, that’s what that sounds like. It’s a showing instead of just a telling. And so as we mobilize prayer, as we bring people together in agreement prayer, inviting your youth group, inviting other people, and now it’s terrifying to pray out loud. Many people are like, I’m not sure I’m gonna say the right thing.

0:32:01.7 KB: I don’t like talking in front of other people. I don’t know my bible that well. There’s no wrong way. You’re having a conversation, you’re talking to God just like you talk to your best friend, with respect, but you’re going in and you’re having a conversation with someone who loves you more than you’ll ever understand. So even if you stumble over your words, not a big deal, just talk to him. Just hand it over to him. And so the greatest thing you can do is have praying aloud, not just aloud like you have permission, but praying out loud so that everybody hears each other pray and they can be in agreement with it and learn from that prayer.

0:32:47.2 Francisco: Amen. Yeah, I love it. I think many times when the lord Jesus was praying in Gethsemane, just in the battle before going to the cross, and how he invited at least three of his disciples to pray with him. And so to see that happening, and when our students see our hearts when we pray for the lost, I think that’s vital. So that’s a huge blessing. When we talk about prayer and having this conversation with our King, with our heavenly father and the holy spirit, what is the power of listening, the role that listening plays in your prayer time? Because we invite our teenagers and, well, this is what we’re gonna do, and we need to pray about this, instead of really listening to God and say, let’s take a time to be alone with the lord and really hear his voice. So a prayer is an exchange of voices with our heavenly father. When our voices become his or his voices become our voices. What is that role of listening in your prayer life and how you can give us that advise to youth leaders to teach our students to really listen?

0:34:16.0 KB: Sure, so the easiest example for them to understand, ’cause everybody has this person in their life, unfortunately, that only comes and talks to you when they want something, and they come up and they let you know how you can improve their life, how you can do something for them. And then they go marching off and there wasn’t even like a good morning, or is there anything I can do for you? Or how are you today? They just… Their only relationship, and it’s not really a relationship with you, is when they need something. And so everybody’s been involved in a conversation that wasn’t a conversation, it was a lecture, and prayer is not a lecture. We don’t lecture God. And so with that understanding in mind, and when Greg was talking about… When we were talking about praying scripture, this is very helpful because there’s a lot of jibber-jabber going on in our heads. That movie Inside Out is everybody’s brain, ’cause you’ve got all these voices and all these insecurities and all of this stuff going on.

0:35:18.4 KB: And so to be able to quiet your brain, if you open the Word of God, if you can give them as a youth leader 2, 3, 1 scripture and say, what is the Scripture saying? This is knowledge. This is information. Okay, how does that inspire you? What is that saying to your heart? That’s inspiration. Okay, now we’re gonna be quiet and we’re gonna listen to God, and you’re gonna say, “Lord, what is my application? You’ve given me your word, the information, and you’ve touched my heart with it.” I know I need to improve in this area, or I know I really, really, really wanna share the Gospel with my friend and I’m terrified. Or this is going on in my life and I need your help. And so, Lord, I’m gonna sit here and be quiet and just see what you have to say to me about my life, my need, my school, my lack of courage. Strengthen me, Lord. I wanna hear you speak over me and speak into my life. So there can be application.

0:36:23.9 Francisco: Amen.

0:36:25.6 KB: And that causes transformation. And just tell them to write it down. That’s a really good practice is… Okay, then all of a sudden for adult, like all of a sudden we’re thinking about what’s for dinner, or oops, I didn’t do my Math homework or whatever it is. Okay, write that down. Don’t let it be a distraction. Pray it. The greatest lesson I’ve probably learned about my prayer life is if something comes in, if something sneaks in, not to let it run off with you, but for you to grab it and take it to God.

0:36:57.5 KB: And so let them know that whatever is going on in here, they just take it to the Lord and then they’re quiet again. Maybe he wanted to remind you you didn’t do your math homework, maybe he wanted you to ask for help on that test, maybe he reminded you about your friend who told you their parents are arguing all the time, or that they’re cutting or whatever the situation is. God is saying, hey, talk to me about your friends, so and so. Hey, talk to me about your fears, because I’ll be your strength, and so practicing listening, but realizing that he talks to us much more than we really understand is important.

0:37:38.1 Francisco: Amen.

0:37:38.3 GS: This has been really, really good. I don’t like cutting this off, but I think we’ve given youth leaders plenty to think about. Francisco, those were excellent questions and comments and insights. I appreciate you being a man of prayer, and the fact that you’re working with Word of Life as a missionary, it’s exciting to me, and how God has used you in Dayton and beyond and will continue to use you in a powerful way. So thank you for being a part of it. Kathy, thank you so much for your insights and this is not in the script, but would you mind as we wrap up, that would you pray for the youth leaders listening to this right now, watching this right now, that God would infuse prayer into their personal lives? Their family lives, but also their ministries and their students.

0:38:31.6 KB: I would love to. Oh Lord, Jesus we thank you for all of our youth leaders, and for such a beautiful, powerful assignment, Lord, to get to speak truth and life in to so many people, our younger brothers and sisters, and help them to become bold and courageous to be gospel advancing warriors on their campuses. On the ball field, where they hang out, were they work out, wherever they go, Lord, where they’re working, in their own families, for their neighbors and this nation.

0:39:04.1 KB: And so, Lord, I ask that you continue to speak into the lives of our youth leaders, that you continue to give them creative ways to remind our younger brothers and sisters, this now generation, that history belongs to the intercessor, that their prayers are writing the history books of tomorrow, that the power and the glorious riches of heaven are just a whisper away. And so strengthen them, I pray, give them all that they need, let no insecurity have a hold in their life, but let them be saturated in your words, your will and your ways and your love. In Jesus powerful name we pray, Amen.

0:39:50.5 GS: Amen, Amen.

0:39:52.2 Francisco: Amen.

0:39:52.9 GS: Kathy, thank you so much for being a part of it. Francisco, I really appreciate you as well, and remember, youth leaders, that a thriving youth ministry is a prayer fueled, gospel advancing, disciple multiplying youth ministry. So go pray it up, put it into practice. Thanks for tuning in.

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