By Pastor Dev
Dear Heavenly Father,
On this Youth Day, our prayer is a prayer for forgiveness.
First, Lord, we ask for forgiveness for ourselves as a nation, when we have championed the wrong values to our youth — to the next generation. Forgive us for valuing possessions over relationships, valuing efficiency over friendship, valuing merits over graciousness. We ask forgiveness when — like the Israelites of old — we have used the next generation as an excuse to prevent us from serving or giving to You sacrificially; as tools for our own gain, instead of their benefit. Lord, forgive us.
Second, Lord, we ask for forgiveness as parents: for all the times that we preferred to outsource our children to others for our own convenience, or neglected them altogether; for all the times we have set a bad example for our youth and scolded them when they merely followed our pattern; for all the times we have failed to encourage them to listen to the will of their Father in heaven, and preferred them to follow to the wisdom of the world. Lord, forgive us.
Lord, we ask forgiveness for the youth: for all the times the young people have disrespected those in authority; for all the times we have claimed to be wiser than our elders, yet ended up becoming foolish; for all the times that we have cared only about ourselves and hurt many of our peers by being flippant with our words, our actions, our online activity and the way we form relationships. Lord, forgive us.
Finally, Lord, we ask forgiveness for ourselves as a church: for all the times we have been quick to condemn and criticize our youth instead of being slow to anger, patient to exhort, wise to counsel. We are sorry for all those young people we have hurt, using Your name and Your Scriptures. Lord, help to remove any blemish that we have impressed on their hearts, and show them Your true goodness and Your grace. May we be instead be like Moses, to admit our failures and use them to teach the next generation not to do the same.
Lord, have mercy on us; discipline us when necessary and transform us by Your grace, that we may better equipped to lead the next generation into the promised rest that is in Christ Jesus — into the beauty that is Your holiness.
All this we ask for the sake of Your gospel and Your glory. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.