August 2009 - Vol. 32

Deliver Us From Evil
Some practical tips on praying with youth
by Michael Shaughnessy

The end of the Lord's prayer might be better translated from the Greek as “deliver us from the evil one.” At least some of the temptations we encounter come not from the world or the flesh but from the devil. Parents and youth workers personally experience the slings and arrows, the lies and temptations, of the evil one. The same is true for our youth.

They too are under attack from the evil one, but when was the last time they received prayer to be delivered from his work? There are at least four good reasons to believe your children are under spiritual attack from the evil one: because the Lord said so, because they are Christians, because they are human and because the evil one is, well, evil. We can help youth be delivered from evil by praying with them.

Praying with youth
When praying with your children or the youth in your youth group, it is helpful to keep a few things in mind. Some temptations, possibly most, are attacks on the mind. They are lies from the Father of Lies. The three most helpful things we can do are 1) expose the lie, that is, bring it into the light, 2) rebuke the lying spirit in the name of Jesus, and 3) pray for strength for the person not to believe the lie anymore.

Some temptations are attacks on the emotions. Often discouragement, anger and fears faced by youth are magnified by the evil one. Simply identifying that this is the case can help youth deal with their emotions better, but praying with them is important to do also.

Some temptations are attacks on the will. In such cases it is important for the person to renounce the evil spirit at work on their will and reclaim their freedom in Christ. It is then possible to bind the spirit in prayer and to ask the Lord to strengthen the person's resolve not to yield again.

When youth workers and/or parents pray with youth for deliverance, two good things result. First, the devil is bound and limited in his power over them. And second, those receiving the prayer experience a support alliance with those who pray with them. Together they have faced and defeated a common enemy.

Have you prayed with your youth lately?

[Mike Shaughnessy is an elder in The Servants of the Word and the Director of Kairos in North America. Kairos is an international federation of outreaches to high school, university and post university aged people.].

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