Some of my good friends are long-term medical missionaries in Nepal. Every once in a while, I'll get an e-mail from them saying, “We popsicle stick prayed for you this morning!”
Every day our friends – along with their three young children – pray for those who support them. To do this, they've written their supporters' names on popsicle sticks, which one of their children then pulls from a cup. They cycle through these several times a year as a way of ensuring they're routinely praying for those who are also praying for them.
Upon hearing them describe this ritual, I thought, “That's brilliant! I can use that in my youth ministry!”
At our first meeting of the year, my team takes one of our youth ministry's rosters and writes down everyone's name on a popsicle stick. Since we do so before the year begins, we don't yet know who will be active in our youth ministry. That's intentional because it means we routinely pray for all the teens connected to our church's ministry – regardless of how frequently or infrequently they actually attend our youth ministry. In other words, our prayers for people are not conditional upon their attendance.
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