Prayer Ministry

As a bird without wings, as a soldier without arms, so is a Christian without prayer (St Tikhon of Zadonsk).

Image of ChristIn youth ministry, there is a temptation to operate solely on a pragmatic level, focusing all of one's time and energy in the implementation and planning of various programs and activities.  While such activities and programs are key components, they must never be regarded as the sum and substance of our ministry.

St. Seraphim of Sarov, an 18th century  monastic saint,  in his famous conversation with Nicholas Motovilov observed that, "...the goal of the Christian life is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit." He also taught that we do so through  prayer, fasting, almsgiving and the practice of the virtues, concentrating most especially on those things that help us to be open to the workings of the Holy Spirit. Applied to youth ministry, we understand our  goal, then, is to help our youth to repent, so that they may acquire the fruits of the Holy Spirit, for as St. Paul writes:

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.  And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:22-24)

In ministering to our youth, we are in a real sense engaging them and ourselves in spiritual warfare against the powers and principalities of this world.  As St. Tikhon of Zadonsk reminds us, our most powerful weapon is prayer. If we do not actively pray for our youth and their physical and spiritual needs, and teach them to do the same, our ministry will have no heart and soul and will be of  little or no value.

Desiring to firmly establish our diocesan youth ministry on the rock of prayer,   Metropolitan Nicholas has blessed the use of  a prayer service for the intention of our diocesan youth,  The Akathist to the Theotokos (Mother of God) the Nourisher of Children  in our diocesan parishes.

This service will be celebrated throughout the Diocese on a rotating basis in each deanery. During this service, a special prayer for the intention of our diocesan youth has been included.  Our diocesan faithful are invited and encouraged to submit names of any youth they would like to be  prayed for during the service. A master list of the first names (to respect the privacy of our youth and their families) of  all submitted youth  will be forwarded to each deanery prior to their scheduled celebration of  the Akathist service .  His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas has placed Fr. Stephen Loposky in charge of the youth prayer list. Names to be included on the list, along with the name, phone number and email address of the person submitting them, should be sent to:

Fr. Stephen Loposky
7 East Chatfield Place
Painted Post, NY 14870

E-mail: saintmarys@stny.rr.com

 

 


Matins Gospel Reading: Luke 24:13-35

Epistle Reading: St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 4:6-15

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