This “Guest Blog” was written by Pastor Terrence Ford,
Youth Pastor at Victory Cathedral in Bolingbrook, Illinois.
When I interviewed Pastor Ford for my “Keeping the Faith in College II” blog,
he spoke with such enthusiasm and clarity (he was just plain FUN!)
that I invited him to write a blog on his advice to young adults.
He readily accepted (Thank you, Pastor T!).
So, here is our debut of the My College Planning Team (MCPT) Guest Blog.
I think it’s important for parents to be reminded that their student’s lives are filled with tough questions: What college should I go to? What’s the right course of study for me? What am I supposed to do when I grow up?
I always tell our students that, as Christians, we believe that God has those answers but that most of them simply don’t know how to “hear” that voice that dwells within them.
When a student tells me “I pray and pray, but God doesn’t seem to hear me”, I give them these 5 tips:
1. Call Him–He Is There
First of all, why could anyone expect to hear from someone that they never talk to in the first place? God is not a magic genie who pops up out of nowhere to grant all your wishes. He does, however, love to be in conversation with his creation. No call-waiting, no voice-mail, no busy signals. He is always there. (Psalm 145: 18 NIV)
2. Eliminate Distractions
I remind our teens that the one thing Christians are good at is being busy. All day long we go and go like the Energizer bunny. First we have school, then homework, then soccer practice, cheerleading, debate team, babysitting, video games, hanging out with friends. The list goes on and on. I remind them that they need quiet time to be with God. I encourage them to turn off the TV, unplug their iPods, put down their cell phones and just quiet their minds. How seldom do we unplug everything and just enjoy God’s presence, free of distractions? (Psalm 46:10 NIV)
3. Open Your Ears
My students often say, “I pray sometimes, but God never says anything back.” I explain to them that God speaks in many different ways. His voice might sound like their parents giving them helpful instructions; their friends encouraging them after a tough day; an uplifting song lyric in the music they listen to; a sense of peace coming over them as they listen to the wind blow on a nice sunny day. We never know when, where or how God will speak to us. (Job 33: 14-18 NIV)
- Admit You Don’t Know It All
I always remind our students that they really don’t know everything—even though they think they do. That’s why they need God. When we try to do things our own way, things often don’t work out. But God can make our paths straight again when we humble ourselves and submit to him. (Proverbs 3: 5-6 NIV)
5. Stop Talking
Finally, I tell students that prayer is a two-way conversation, not a monologue. I tell them how they will be surprised at how much their prayer life transforms their life once they go from dropping their wish list on God’s lap to being quiet and listening for His instruction!
If you would like to write a guest blog for the MCPT website, please contact Stephanie@MyCollegePlanningTeam.com