This past Wednesday, the youth surrounded Matt with prayer. Matt has attended ROC, graduated from high school and is heading out to basic training in Georgia. Prayer was lifted up for God’s protection and watch over the Cambridge-Isanti wrestlers attending a wrestling camp in Wisconsin. Students surrounded Eric and offered prayers tinged with tears for him, his sister and his father. Andrea “Annie”, his mother, died at the young age of 47 from pancreatic cancer on Monday. Her funeral will be held Sunday and many of the students praying had Mrs. Maltrud as a second grade teacher at Cambridge Elementary.
I held my breath, hoping no one would pray a bad prayer. A bad prayer goes against who God is or what He does. Often people do not know what to say during times of great loss and intense emotion. People have prayed that God needed help in heaven so, this person died. They pray that it was God’s will that a person was racked with an illness and suffered in pain.
Annie’s death and every death is a reminder of two things. One, we still live in a world corrupted by the stain of sin. Before sin, there was no illness, no pain, no sorrow, and no death. Although, Jesus broke this curse on the cross all of us will die until Jesus returns.
The second reminder is that death has lost its sting for Eric and his family, for you and I. We have a hope that looks forward to a reunion of those who have passed before us when the dead in Christ are raised, given a new body and live forever with Jesus Christ. The decision you and I make now affects where our forever will be spent.
My heart was filled with a mixture of sadness and hope hearing and joining the prayers of the students. Their tears expressed more than words. The loss of a mother, teacher and friend is painful. They prayed that Eric and his family would be surrounded by the love of God. They thanked God for the life Annie lived that made a difference because she reflected Jesus into their lives and the lives of many others. They stood in love and support; letting Eric know he was not alone. They prayed God’s destiny and purpose over Eric’s life. Good prayers.
God is doing wonderful things among our young people that came to shine during the dark times of grief.
What things are you seeing God do among young people?