By Aaron E. Ziebarth, Executive Director
Sometimes God uses the simple things to have a huge impact. One of the things that we continually emphasize through Released Time, camp and the 4.12 Leadership Training Program is learning to pray. Prayer takes a variety of forms, but one of the things many people are uncomfortable doing is praying out loud.
I believe that our prayer life needs to begin as conversation alone with God. It often develops then into prayer out loud with another person, and then with a group of people. After a while we are comfortable praying in front of a large group of people.
Often we take for granted how many people learn to pray in groups of people because of their experience at Joy El. We commonly see, for example, the young people in the 4.12 Leadership Training Program learn to pray aloud during events. But this is actually a big deal.
One of the program’s 2016 graduates recently shared about an opportunity that she had at Thanksgiving.
Her extended family was gathering for a Thanksgiving celebration. Recently she was accepted to attend a Bible institute to further her education. Being the first person in her family to go on for extended education, you can imagine how excited her family is for her. She is also known for her commitment to following Jesus Christ.
So, much to her surprise, her Pap asked her to pray for the Thanksgiving meal. She was a little nervous and afterwards shared with a laugh that perhaps she prayed a slightly awkward thing or two during her prayer. But what shocked her most were the words said by her grandfather when she finished her prayer:
“That is the first time anyone has prayed in this house for 35 years.”
And to think that God is using a recent high school graduate to lead the entire family before the throne of grace?! Now that is exciting!
P.S. This young woman shared a few days ago that her grandfather is regularly asking her spiritual questions now. We pray that he comes to know the Lord through his granddaughter.