March 20th, 2005


A leader's prayer

Lord, you have placed these youth in my charge.
The task is too big for me; I am not worthy.
But no task is too big for you,
who alone are worthy to receive their trust and mine.
Deliver me from the snares of pride and jealousy;
clothe me with the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Grant me the strength, and the patience, and the love,
and the wisdom to lead these youth in your Way;
and let not a one of them be taken from your hand.
In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

I wrote the above prayer for "My Lord Knows the Way through the Wilderness." I am coming to the end of confirmation class now, and youth are making their decisions to profess their faith in Christ. A college student -- whom I baptized some years ago -- called me this afternoon out of the blue and wanted urgently to talk.

Eleven years ago -- has it been that long? -- I took some of my Scouts to camp for the first time. They followed me around that first day with huge eyes, all talking to me at once, wanting to know EVERYTHING. I was exhausted by the time I got them to go to bed -- and scared. They believed in me, trusted me, wanted my approval. I stayed up late that night, praying for them. Thereafter, whenever we were out camping, I could not go to sleep before I had prayed for every one of my Scouts by name, both those in attendance and those who couldn't make it.

I firmly believe that the single most important thing I do is to teach the faith to children and youth.