Beth shares her thoughts on her new role…
I took up my post as National Prayer Coordinator for Youth for Christ in April 2016. This is a brand new role based at the National Office in Halesowen.
‘To develop a culture of Prayer’ is one of five new key strategic areas brought in by our new National Director, Neil O’Boyle. Neil and his family have spent 17 years working with YFC all over the world so bring much insight and vision to British Youth for Christ.
We have 72 Youth Centres throughout the UK, around 400 paid staff and approximately 10,000 volunteers. The centres do a phenomenal job working in schools, prisons, tough communities and churches all over the UK and their primary aim is to tell young people about Jesus!
There are around 50 of us in the national team and we resource, support and work with centres to input into their work.
My role as Prayer Coordinator is to look at how we can grow and deepen our prayer lives, knowing that prayer ultimately is relationship with Jesus. We are first connected to Jesus ourselves (John 15:5) – this always has to be our starting place.
The day to day work of deepening a prayer culture starts with us – National regional centres role modelling what a total reliance upon Jesus looks like through His word and through prayer.
This January we begin #Pray365 – a whole year of prayer – where we, as the British YFC family, commit to interceding before God for young people in this nation each day, and growing in the discipline of prayer and fasting.
It brings collaborative focus and unity of mind as we make an intentional choice to ‘Seek God’ with all we are and have, nothing held back, everything surrendered. As YFC, we are intentionally going on a journey to grow a culture of prayer and to deepen our relationship with Jesus!
In the Bible, God says ‘If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ 2 Chronicles 7:14.
The context here is that the Israelites had forgotten their covenant before God and left behind their part in His story, resting in His faithful protection. It’s a reminder that today, in a country so filled with possibilities and access to knowledge in the ‘google era’, it is easy to forget God’s faithfulness and favour.
As a movement we long to see and experience God move by His spirit and ‘heal our land’. A land filled with 13 million young people (under 18 yrs – 2011 census). Pursuit of the presence of Christ through the word and in prayer is vital.