A few months ago, I was a one of the speakers at a retreat for teenagers. At these retreats, there is always one group of kids that seem to make it their business to not pay attention. They were especially rowdy during worship and I was getting pretty angry at them. I knew the kids would quiet down (or maybe fall asleep) during my talk. But I was sad for the folks on the worship team who were giving their all as this group of kids showed so little respect. There were other counselors around them so I did not say anything. But I secretly wanted God to judge them right then and there for their disengagement…maybe another ‘open up the earth and swallow people whole‘ moment. Thank God for His mercy.
One thing I did during this moment was pray. I specifically prayed that God would reach these kids; that He would use the worship team and my message to reveal Jesus to them despite the apparent irrelevance. I went as far as to intercede for them…asking for God’s Spirit to awaken their souls to God’s presence among us. God answers prayer in odd ways sometimes.
At the end of the gathering, I learned one detail about this group. I am making a choice not to share the detail that I learned but I’ll say this…it changed my perspective 100% about this group of kids. It all of a sudden made sense why they were acting so disengaged, and moved me to want to get to know these kids that much more. After more reflection, I realized I needed patience more than they needed to pay attention. Again, thank God for mercy!
Be careful who you pray and intercede for…God may give you His heart for them and that’ll change everything.