Archives for November 2015

Divine Calling and Answering of Prayer Partners

Divine Calling and Answering of Prayer Partners

Jimmy Pickel got involved with the Prayer Partner Program after receiving a call, not a divine call just yet, but a phone call from an FPC youth leader. She explained what’s involved in being a prayer partner. “My first thought was just how great it is that my church has this type of program in place,” Jimmy said. “What an awesome idea!”

Frist Allen, now a junior, was informed of the Prayer Partner Program when he was new to the FPC youth program. “When I was in seventh grade, the opportunity was presented to join the Prayer Partner Program,” Frist said. Still, unaware what is involved, Frist’s mother asked him who his male role models were in the church community. “Jimmy Pickel was one of the first that came to mind,” he said. “I am glad we got to become partners and share this connect through Christ and prayer.” A few weeks later, Jimmy found out that Frist Allen was his prayer partner. “Having known Frist for a number of years and having the privilege to coach him in fifth and sixth grade football, I already knew Frist to be a super young man from a great family,” Jimmy said.

While these prayer partners came together through a bit of organizing and arranging by youth staff and volunteers, the divine calling transpires through the act of prayer. “Frist knows that I am there for him anytime,” Jimmy said. “He knows that I pray for him on a regular basis. I will email Frist before exams, big sporting events, or other special events to let him know that I am thinking about him and praying for him.” Jimmy added, “Frist is always great about responding and letting me know how things went on his exams or his game. The relationship is rewarding.” Jimmy’s efforts prove effective. “I am always pleasantly surprised by the random acts of kindness from Jimmy,” said Frist. “Sending me emails and texts when I really need prayer has been so great through the years.”

As the annual Prayer Partner Breakfast at the church nears, the December event offers a chance to reflect on the Prayer Partner Program and on the act of prayer. Frist explains, “Prayer is important to me because it is my main communication with God. I love praying several times a day, just to talk to Him about even the smallest thing.” He added, “The power of prayer between two or more individuals is the most powerful thing on this earth.”

Frist Allen points out one his favorite verses, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19). “The prayer partner program is a reflection of this.”

Confessions of a Veteran Prayer Partner

Confessions of a Veteran Prayer Partner

Most longstanding adult prayer partners have one thing in common. Mark DeVries approached them with “Hey, I have an interesting idea.” Trish Andrews is one of those veterans. “Mark assured me all he was asking was for me to commit to pray regularly for a youth in our church,” Trish said. “Since I believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer and had young children at the time that would someday go through the youth program, I said, ‘Yes.'” Trish is now on her fourth prayer partner, which could translate to 24 years of prayer partnership. During that time, she has seen her children reap the benefits of having an adult prayer partner.

One thing that surprised Trish was that it didn’t matter how involved or not involved in church the youth is. If they are on the roster for FPC’s youth program, they get assigned a prayer partner. “My first prayer partner was Candace Clippard,” Trish recalled. “The first time I reached out to her to invite her to the Prayer Partner Breakfast, she informed me she doesn’t even go to our church.” Candace’s uncle, Trish recalled, was the pastor at her church, but she had friends in the FPC youth group and liked to attend. “I didn’t think Candace would come to the breakfast, but she did.” Candace is now an adult, active and involved with our church, and a key participant in Barefoot Republic. Trish admitted, “I didn’t do a lot outside of praying for her, which I still do, and attending the Prayer Partner Banquets, yet I have a special place in my heart for Candice, along with my other partners, due solely to the Prayer Partner Program.” It’s impossible not to care deeply for someone you have prayed for. Lives intersect within this program. For Trish, youth ministry comes full circle as Candace has been involved in the FPC Youth ministry and with her teenage daughter.

“I would say the most challenging thing about the Prayer Partner Program is knowing how to pray for a person you don’t know well,” admitted Trish. “Most teens, mine included, are not that good at opening up to adults, especially ones they don’t know, to share prayer requests.” However, in the absence of specific prayer requests, Trish says she always prays for their faith, the ability to discern God’s will about their God-given purpose in life, spouse, Godly friends, strength to resist peer pressure, and such. There are certain prayers that are universal, and praying them with a certain child in mind benefits both the prayed for and the pray-er. “My daughter was partnered with Drusie Bishop,” she said. “Drusie was wonderful and always greeted Joslyn by name at church, asked about her and let her know she was faithful in praying for her.” Drusie chose Easter as her special time to connect with Joslyn and always called around that time and dropped off an Easter basket for her. Nothing big, just a little something to signify the importance of Easter and an excuse to personally touch base on a yearly basis.

Trish says there is no right or wrong way to be a good prayer partner. The relationship is unique to each pair depending on your stage in life, if you are family friends or have never met, and your individual personality. The bottom line is just add that child/adult to your prayer life. You will be blessed, and they will too. “Anything else you do is just icing on the cake,” said Trish.

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