Monday Prayers from Malawi

March 10th, 2014

What are your prayers this Lenten season? Are you seeking peace? Guidance? Less stress? More hope? Balance? I am praying for more awareness of God’s movement. I want to be more present to the ways God is moving in my life and all over the world. I want to look with wide-open eyes to see the ways in which God is bringing the Kingdom in places I might have never looked before.

One of the ways I’m looking for God more closely is in my work—the stuff that is right before me. Currently, I’m working on a project that trains and empowers brand new publishing teams in African churches to write, edit, and publish their own books and communication materials for clergy and lay people. We’re working together to become better writers and communicators, but most of all we’re working to become better listeners. We are listening for what we know to be true about God; we’re listening for what we need to know about God; we’re listening for ministry needs in our areas; we’re listening for how our lives connect and expose a deeper need for Christian community. Most of all, we’re listening for the ways our seeking, studying, sharing, writing, and publishing can serve the church.

As part of this effort, 30 Malawian young people, ages 12–24, gathered to learn about devotional writing, the marks of good Christian writing, and how to write to an editor’s specifications. There was time to write, read each other’s writing, and offer feedback and critique. From that gathering came a Lenten devotional written by the youth of the conference. Over 30 youth submitted devotions and three young men in the conference gave hours upon hours of their time to translate, edit, type, and organize these devotions into a book.

The result is a powerful book of 30 devotions telling the stories of betrayal, repentance, and new life that guide us through to Easter. Some are straightforward testimonies, other more theological reflection. Each one is grounded in the daily life and struggles of being faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.

Each Monday in Lent, I’ll be sharing one of their prayers and I invite you to pray with them. I invite you to look for the movement in God through the eyes of a young person in a context in which you may have never been and may never be. God is moving all over the world. Maybe God will work through a young person in Malawi to bless you, to shape you, or to deepen your walk with God. May it be so.

All the prayers will be saved in a bin.

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