Thursday, May 21, 2020

Reflections for Youth - Prayers and Good-byes

Sometimes saying goodbye can really - well, suck.  It's especially hard if you have to say goodbye to good friends and people that you love.  For a lot of people, this time of quarantine due to Covid-19 has caused things to end abruptly. There have been a lot of missed opportunities for people to say goodbye.

Here's a quick fun fact: The English language the word good-bye is actually a shortened version of the original, more formal, farewell that people used to say: “God be with thee” or “God bless you.”

Last week I wrote about friends and how important they are in our lives.

In our scripture for this week, Jesus prays for the disciples. It's a prayer of farewell and also a prayer and hope and strength for his friends.

Read  John 17:1–11

As the passage begins, Jesus has been teaching the disciples in Jerusalem but things have gotten rather scary. The previous four chapters of the Gospel of John describes Jesus’ teachings and actions as he tries to prepare his followers for his departure. The disciples realize that Jesus is in danger, but they don't really get it yet. They don’t understand what is going to happen. They have listened to him talking about leaving and I am sure they are confused because it's not an easy thing to hear.  According to John's scripture, this prayer to God is Jesus' last action on behalf of his disciples.  In the next chapter, Jesus is arrested.

Jesus’ prayer for his disciples is also a prayer for followers of  Jesus today. As a Christian
community, we pray for one another. Jesus’ prayer is a type of prayer known as intercessory prayer (intercessory means on behalf of another). In our worship service at church, we often have a time called "Prayers for the People" where prayers are spoken on behalf of others.

Do you ever pray for your friends?.

Some things to think about:
  • How does it feel when there is no opportunity to say good-bye?
  • Who could you pray for? Who would you include in your own "Prayers for the People"? 

This week I invite you to take some time to offer some prayers to God for your friends and for those who have not had the opportunity to say good-bye.

And I will be praying for you, my friends!

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