“You have to get this guy to pray for you.” I glanced at my phone screen as it buzzed in my pocket, displaying the text my friend Freya had been quick to challenge me with.
We were sat listening to a talk by a guy in his sixties called Gary who has a huge heart for our generation. He spoke with absolute certainty that the generations before us needed to support, raise-up and cheer-on emerging young leaders to pioneer the church forwards in new ways. “New wine needs new wine skins” he said.
I text back “eeeeek” (actually, firstly I replied with “eel”, silly auto-correct) at which point, Freya wasted no time with the command: “Just get his hand on your shoulder and let him impart blessing”. As usual, Freya was right (don’t tell her I said that) and I knew I wouldn’t be leaving the meeting without asking for even a glimpse of the vision and wisdom God had given Gary, to be shared and prayed into my life too. He has been given a gift and I wanted to share in it.
Pass the parcel.
The talk drew to a close, anyone under 40 was welcomed to stand in the space at the front of the church building to be prayed for by the older generations present. The other half of the room rose and approached each of us “youngsters”, pairing up to pray blessing on each other. It is one of the few times I have heard a talk on passing on leadership and supporting the next generation, where the message has been practically applied there and then, in powerful, simple prayer.
And so myself and many of my student mates stood and received prayers of blessing from people twenty, thirty, forty, even fifty years older than us. They prayed that God might give us a double portion of any gifts and wisdom and favour they had experienced in their lives. And we blessed and honoured them before God in return. Pass the parcel.
And yes, I did ask Gary to pray for me, along with my friend Gav. If you hear and meet someone who shares your heart for something, and you see that they have been faithful at following Jesus in that, be brave. Ask them to share their wisdom and experience with you. Ask them to pray for you, and trust that in the economy of God, when the family pray for each other and want to give away generously more than they want to receive, it is a powerful, beautiful thing.
Afterwards, we prayed for Gary too. In pass the parcel, we can just keep giving away what is in our hands, as it’s all a gift in the first place. Whether you are sixty or twenty, a seasoned international church planter or a first year student beginning to dream, don’t be afraid to ask for blessing and prayer and be bold and generous in blessing others too... pass the parcel, there’s enough gifts to go around.