Each year the Conference Council on Youth Ministries sponsors a weekend retreat for youth. This year’s theme was Prayer: The Best Wireless Plan. The two main speakers for the event were Stephen Handy and Quay Hanna. Quay shared of the story of how when he went to college he changed to fit the mold of a redneck. Racism was one thing that was expected of him as a redneck. He shared how a 9-week bus trip transformed him. He also did a workshop on bullying, which he does regularly in the public schools. Mark Cable led the worship in song. Various individuals led afternoon workshops.
Stephen Handy, as the Bible teacher, taught on prayer. He was very dynamic and able to keep the attention of the youth (and adults). Friday evening he used the image of the cell phone for the main points: Available; Activate; Aware; Approach; Acknowledge. He emphasized at numerous points that people will try to disconnect you from God. He stated, "Wherever there is connection, there is conviction." He also stated,"Faithful prayers generate power and praise."
He also looked at the Lord’s Prayer as a model for prayer, leading us to be connectional, invitational, confessional (give up ourselves), missional (move to a different place), and spiritual. The prayer leads us to praise, to submit/surrender/remember, and to forgiveness. He also stated that temptation challenges truth but can’t defeat it (there is protection.)
He encouraged the youth to keep a prayer list: list people, be specific (rather than general), write down answers. He encouraged us to find a prayer partner. Keep a prayer journal. Wayne Cordeiro’s journal method is SOAP: Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer (enewhope.org).
In another session Stephen Handy looked at the story of Daniel and how Daniel loved to pray. It was Daniel’s habit to pray. There was a confidence in his prayer. He was committed to prayer – no matter what. Prayer is a conversation. There is a covering that comes from Jesus (Jesus will never disconnect.) God was already in the lion’s den. There is communion.