RAW

Continuing our series of memorable posts from 2013, here’s a spring one from Aaron White…

RAWstreet

We recently hosted a three day long event in Vancouver called “RAW: Ready and Willing”. It is designed for teens and leaders to come to the Downtown Eastside, receive good biblical teaching, experience a little of what life is like for people in poverty, addictions and mental illness, see the beauty inherent in this community, and pray.

We set up four different experiential streams: Music, Sports, Art and Prayer. To our surprise, most of the teens wanted to sign up for Prayer. We explained that this would mean walking the streets of the community and offering to pray with and for people, with no intermediary like a basketball, piece of art or guitar. And then more wanted to sign up.

This would not have been the case when I was growing up. I never even heard of such in-town missional opportunities, and if I had I certainly would have chosen some variation of playing sports or performing music. But these teens just wanted to pray with people. And pray they did. One lady was healed of deafness in one ear. Our homeless neighbours received the blessing of being told they are loved and valued by God. Dozens of prophetic messages were delivered.

 

 

 

One morning I took a group to a local men’s treatment centre where I lead worship every Wednesday morning. They were there simply to pray with any of the men who were interested in receiving prayer. Most of the men did want prayer, and the teens were all over it. I overheard one such teen afterwards saying: “That’s the first time I ever prayed for someone out loud! It was way easier than I thought it would be.”

 

There seems to be a willingness, even a hunger, in this generation for authentic spiritual experience, for a genuine relationship with God, for a prayer life that goes way beyond the grocery lists I grew up with. When we open up 24-7 Prayer rooms for teens, we have a hard time keeping them out. They want to know God, and they suspect that prayer is the place to find Him.

 

 

 

I’m encouraged. There is a lot of bad news circling around about the state of the Church, the state of teenagers, the state of the world, but I have seen more spiritual fruit and discipleship in this generation of teens than I have in any other age group. Let’s make sure we are challenging the teens in our sphere of influence, and let’s make sure we are up to the challenge as well.

 


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