“Daniel, I want to follow Jesus, but what about my dreams and desires?” I’ll never forget that conversation I had with a junior high school guy over breakfast one morning. High school students are some of the most intriguing people to be around and work with. They are growing like crazy, usually want to live 2-5 years above their actual age, are learning to drive, think about life, and dream of the future, all while still being a kid. For some, I love their drive and passion and their heart to simply want to do something. Their heart for more.
If you are a Christ-following high school student this blog post is for you. Here are four prayers that I have for you as you grow and mature into the young man or young woman God desires for you to be.
That your heart’s desires would be driven by your affection for your Heavenly Father. I love the fact that you are ambitious and have dreams and passions. I love that you work hard at what you love most; sports, the arts, singing, helping others, and so on. My plea to you is that you keep the main thing the main thing. That Jesus, His mission, and His Kingdom are forever at the forefront of anything and everything that you do. Whatever you want out of life, whatever dreams you have would be driven by your affection for the God that saved you, is working on you, and is molding you. C.S. Lewis once said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
That you would have a hunger to be a lifelong learner. My plea is that you would long to spend time with older Godly men and women and learn from them. Ask good questions. Take notes. Lean into wisdom. We are far from perfect, just like you, but we want to pour into you and invest in you. We, as adults, need people in our lives just like that as well. Never think you have “made it” or settle for where you currently are. Proverbs 1:7 reminds us that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Spend time in God’s Word every day, even if it is just for a few minutes. Billy Graham once said, “Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent.”
That you would make purity a priority and live a holy life. My plea for high school students who love Jesus and follow Him is to be in this world but not of this world. That there would be a distinct difference in your thoughts, motives, and actions. Simply put, you would set the bar high for what it means to follow and love Jesus in a world spinning out of control. No doubt this is much harder to say than actually do. No doubt Satan is chopping at the bits to wreck you. Pursue Jesus and His ways- it is always better.
Guys, treat women with the utmost respect and remember that she is a daughter of the Most High God. She is someone’s spouse one day. Lead well and not out of pride or arrogance. Be strong but gentle at the same time. Take that “fix it” and protector natural tendency and channel it for good and Godliness. Be a man but be a humble man.
Ladies, you are incredibly valued and loved, and it is not based on what you look like at all. Pursue holiness in your words, actions, and physical appearance. Laugh a lot. Lean into who God says you are and not what the world pushes on you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Charles Spurgeon once said, “I believe the holier a man becomes, the more he mourns over the unholiness which remains in him.”
That you would see people the way God sees them and love them the way God loves them. The “love your neighbor as yourself” commandment is really missing in today’s world. We have the natural bent to only be around people who look like us, think like us, and ultimately make us feel good about ourselves. We don’t get to decide who our “neighbor” is. Every single human being is an image-bearer of God Almighty, including you and me. Love and treat others the way God does. Read the four Gospels and see how Jesus interacted with people like Him and how He interacted with people far from Him. Learn from it. Model it. The goal is not perfection, the goal is obedience. Pray for others, especially the people who get on your nerves the most. Matt Chandler once said, “The more you make this world about you, the more miserable you will be.”
High school students, you are world changers. No doubt in my mind. Change the world by loving well, leading well, and ultimately living a holy and pleasing life for the Heavenly Father. I’m praying for and with you.