At the beginning of the school year I asked our middle schoolers to write their burden down. Whatever it was, big or small, I wanted them to try to imagine God taking that burden and making it lighter for them. Having their responses sitting on my desk for the past few months has helped me as I write messages, make phone calls, respond to parents, and love teenagers through some of the mess. Here are a few of their prayers. If you're a youth pastor, leader, or volunteer don't be afraid to ask your teenagers about their burdens. Then pray for them and do your best to see life through their eyes when you are with them.
~ Help me not to be so judgmental. Help me to listen to my parents. Help me not to remember hurtful things from the past. Please help me be myself.
~I always feel like I'm losing my two best friends at school.
~I'm lazy and shy.
~I can never make up my mind about anything! When I mean everything. And I am unsure about everything in my life.
~I do wrongly to those who love me.
~I have a bad attitude and I want a happy heart and to please you more.
~ I made my girlfriend cry :(
~My boyfriend is controlling. My parents are suffocating me. I hear bad rumors. School drama. Threatening girls. Being assaulted. I'm STRESSED!!!
~I want to help my parents not fight and make sure the cat stays in the house.
~I steal stuff.
~I haven't been doing my homework. I have been frequently cussing. I look at girls as objects sometimes. I feel low, as if I don't matter. I feel smarter than others. Help.
~There's a girl at school who I am pretending to be her friend. :(
~I really hate my sister.
~I am so scared, my parents just got divorced. I don't want to be sad anymore. Please help me know it's going to be ok. I am very lonely please help me God and lift this burden off my shoulders. I love you.
~I've lied too many times.
~I don't like how I look. You made me perfect. Help me believe that. Help others understand that.
~Addiction. Songs I listen to. I cuss.
~I took my sisters #1 doll. :(
~Please help me be nice to my sister and make her feel important.