Who’s in Charge?

It was a Monday morning. I was getting a lot done at my computer desk–checking off lots of stuff! And then suddenly I realized that I had to lead Street Youth Ministry's "Talk Time" at 11:00. And I had to prepare the morning snack. It was 10:15 and I hadn't even started! Whoops! What was I thinking?

I quickly thawed components for 2 dozen pig-in-a-blankets. (God had thoughtfully arranged for a church to donate all their leftover hot dogs from their Fall Festival.) I slapped them in the oven and was ready to go by 10:45. I arrived on the drag at the stroke of 11:00. I was going to be late. Consistency really matters with street kids, so I felt bad. 

I quickly walked to the Campus House of Prayer. (God kindly provides partner churches who provide all our facilities for our activities.) I passed by and quickly said "Hi" to about 20 kids. But I didn't have time to stop and chat. 

When I arrived, no one was there! Go figure! 

I was temped to try to go back and recruit people to come. However, I have leaned that God is in charge. (God thoughtfully provides me with weekly and sometimes daily lessons in this fact, since I am a slow learner.) So I said a prayer of thanksgiving and asked God, "So what is today about? You have never left me alone during a SYM event even once. What do you want me to do?"

Shortly, one young man came in. He was shocked to see nobody there. It even angered him a bit that nobody had come. I assumed him it was OK, and he settled down. As I was talking to him, another young man came in. He took a seat. I offered food to both, but neither needed anything. They had come to pray!

We began our prayer concert. A prayer concert is a guided bidding prayer; it is something I learned about from a mentor who had learned it from a history of the 1880 prayer revivals. Led well, it develops a rhythm and energy, much like music. Led well, it has a shape that grows from distant to very personal and then transitions to prayer for ourselves and ends with very powerful prayers for the world. Sometimes it works out like that. 

We began our rendition for the day. In bidding style, they completed thoughts that I called out, in short sentences. I repeated them and broadened them, asking the question again. Only a few samples are listed below:

God is: love, kind, unseen, amazing creator…
I'm thankful for: life, breathing, friends who care for me…
What's going on with me is: struggling, doubting, wondering why I'm here, I'm hurting…
I admit that I've: lusted, hurt others to help me, hurt myself with the idea of helping others, …
I want you to act in my life to: help me feel shame when I sin so that I stop, help keep me safe from drugs, help me understand my path, help turn my past experiences into something that can help other people, …
I want you to act in this world to: care more during Christmas for one another, stop hurting each other, stop killing each other, just understand one another better, …

It was a wonderful and intimate prayer session. It led to some Christian counseling of both young men. It was so clear that God had arranged it all. 

I happily went home afterwards with the pig-in-a-blankets to freeze for another day. I pray that we all could feel who's in charge every day! 

"To know, love and serve street dependent youth."
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