“If we don’t get on our knees soon, we are going to lose a whole generation…not on my watch!”
These were the rousing words of Jonathan Oloyede at last Saturday’s 1000 leaders’ gathering at Wembley Stadium in London.
Now I grew up in Brent, the borough of London where Wembley was located, so it was a bit of a homecoming for me to wander out of the station and see that oh so familiar arch. It was a whole new experience, however, to be stood in the Conference room of Wembley Stadium with 1,000 leaders, from denominations as broad as the Orthodox church to Elim, to the Methodists to Roman Catholics to the Redeemed Christian Church of God to the Anglicans, and to see them raising one voice in heartfelt prayer for our generation.
Stood there, for the Global Day of Prayer 1,000 Leaders Gathering, was pretty special.
All those under 30 gathered at the front, at one point, to be anointed with oil and prayed for as a symbol of prayer for all those of our age in the nation. It was a symbolic act, and one which will resonate wide as those and others commit to prayer following out of it. Can I invite you to join us in calling out to God for our generation too?
Jonathan’s words were powerful, but I’d like to add a new emphasis. We are already losing a whole generation. Not only will – are. In the next 4 weeks, 50-70% of our 18 year olds in the church will fall off the map if statistics up to this point are accurate. That’s a pretty sizeable loss, and every single one of those young people matters. Each one is precious and beloved by God. Each one has the potential to see transformation in their own lives and the lives of their friends through Jesus’ power in them. I want to say they’ll not stumble on my watch. Not on my watch will I walk past those freshers and not pray for them as they celebrate their freedom, not on my watch will I pretend that they are not worth the time, dedication and commitment to pray.
Let’s pray together that this year, those guys won’t fall away but that they will launch into their freshers year full of passion for their friends and their God. That those who know Jesus will be voices of hope, of love, of honour for each other and of truth which blazes light and joy throughout the universities of the UK. Let’s pray that those who don’t yet know Jesus will be blessed by discovering, this year, the most amazing truth and most beautiful freedom that comes through him. Let’s commit to pray – starting now, and continuing through the year.
Those 1,000 leaders have committed to pray for our generation – let’s join in.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.