I am asking you to have special prayers this Sunday, November 6th/Trinity XXIV, for the Youth of our Diocese and especially our adolescent girls. The rash of teen suicides across the North is alarming and I am reminded by Jesus’ words about the self destructive spirit that had a hold of the boy he healed after his transfiguration. His disciples wanted to know why they had been unable to cast the evil spirit out and Jesus answered, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer." (St. Mark 9.29) So I am calling everyone in the Diocese to prayer for our youth and for protection from and victory over all evil.
This is a spiritual issue that has many other dimensions and we as Christians are uniquely placed to see the problem and any solutions holistically. We need to support and cooperate with Community Health Workers, Nurses, Physicians, Schools, Psychological and Recreational Therapists, Psychiatrists, Community Leaders and of course our fellow Christians in this work. No one has all the answers but together in prayer we may by God’s grace work for healing and life.
This Sunday we have a Gospel reading that includes the desperate plea of the ruler to Jesus for his daughter, “Come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” Let that be our prayer for our sons and daughters that by the touch of Jesus Christ they might rise up from all that holds them down.
Please keep those families and communities that are in mourning in your prayers as well.
If you are celebrating Holy Communion this Sunday, you might do so with special intention for “Our Youth and especially our adolescent girls”. You may want to take a time of silent prayer in the midst of your service. You may want to ask some of the youth to lead in prayers. You may want to ask an Elder to lead in special prayers. Good Shepherd, Cumberland House, is planning a candlelight prayer service for Sunday evening.
I commend to your use 1. the prayer For those in Anxiety, B.C.P. p. 54, 2. the Supplications in the administration of Baptism B.C.P. p. 536 (adapted, changing servants to our youth and especially our adolescent girls, and changing being here dedicated to thee by our office and ministry to those dedicated to thee in Holy Baptism), and 3. the prayers For Those in Affliction and For Those in Mental Distress B.A.S. p. 682.
Let us pray that God would strengthen such as do stand; encourage the faint hearted; raise up those who fall; and finally beat down Satan under our feet in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.