“May the LORD answer you … May the LORD answer all your requests” (Psalm 20:1, 5).
Recently I’ve started praying this Psalm of David for young people I know. That’s because there is nothing like answered prayer to nurture a young person’s—or any person’s—personal relationship with God and confidence with Him.
A teenager I know once kept very diligently a prayer journal. One column showed the date. Another column listed the circumstances. A third column showed specific prayer requests about those circumstances. The fourth column was titled “Date Answered.” The sad thing is, though there was page after page of requests, the “Date Answered” columns were all blank. I can’t say for sure, but I wonder if that experience has had an impact on that young person’s faith.
I do know that those columns weren’t blank because of a failure on God’s part. He hears our prayers. He answers! And I am confident that the prayers of children and teens are especially dear to Him. But we don’t always see His answers. He’s on a different time table than we are. And He works behind the scenes, responding to needs in His higher and greater ways (see Isaiah 55:8-9) than we would ever imagine. So it’s easy to miss His answers sometimes.
So I’m learning to pray for young people a bit more strategically than I have in the past. I pray that they will turn all their burdens into prayer. I pray that God will indeed answer them. And then, I am praying for spiritual vision—that He will give them eyes to see His answers.
I want to be able to pray Psalm 20 as a Psalm of victory over them:
May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.