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A Prayer For Our Precious Youth
by Father Demetrios Serfes
Boise, Idaho, USA
April 7 2001

May Our Gracious Lord God Bless You And Your Beloved Children Always!

All of us have heard the news of our schools and recent gunfire in California and other places throughout America. It is now vital that we call for much more dialog and serious discussion on how we can find the answers to these problems. Our earnest prayer is that the violence of the children with our schools in America will cease, and speedily!

We know for certain that a good, God-loving upbringing, based on Christian principles, is vitally important, but it is strange that we seldom hear about such principles as providing an answer to the many questions as to why this dreadful violence among children has come about and is indeed growing.

What kind of spiritual environment have we created? We must ask ourselves this hard question, and we must look at the failings, or sins, which may have led us to these sad hours!

The Holy Orthodox Church is one body, but what role are we, its members, playing in the life of the world that surrounds us? Are we responding with silence to the cries of the children and youth of our beloved country?

It is also vitally important to ask the question, from a pastoral viewpoint, how often are we going to Church? The young should join their parents, and the parents join their children, in going to Church frequently, and often as the Church calls us all to humbly pray. Every young person should go to Church and allow Christ Our Lord to be a part of their lives. The lives of the saints, and the martyrs of the Church also, are spiritual guides for all to follow.

I must humbly remind you too, that the first church is in the home - what the holy Apostle Paul calls "kat-eikon-ekklesia" - that is the first, the nearest church to us. We must ask, do we provide spiritual nourishment not only to our own families who are Orthodox Christians, but also provide an example to all young people? Christ is the answer and, I confidently say, the only answer to these questions. Now we have the true meaning of life in Christ Our Lord and true God! The world around us answers the question "what is the meaning of life", with "nothing". As members of the Church we answer the question with - "Christ!"

We have the necessary youth programs at our local parish, and on a diocesan level. But are these programs enough? We must have further discussions with each other, in a true loving Christian manner, as to how we can help, seeking the enlightenment of Christ our God, Who cares for all His children.

Let me now most humbly share with you this prayer I have written on behalf of the youth and children that they may find the ways and means to express heartfelt forgiveness, and kindness towards their fellow students, and also turn to those within their community, such as their local parish priest, to receive guidance and hope.

We, as Orthodox parish priests, should be able to give guidelines to young people, who need to fully realize that every individual being on this earth is indeed precious to Our Lord God, and that in dealing with problems beyond their control they can and should turn to local guidance counselors, and their local parish priest, who can be enablers for the discussions, including of course the parents, that must take place.

So now: Let us pray to the Lord!

A Prayer For The Precious Youth by Father Demetrios Serfes
Almighty and Gracious God, our youth cry out to You as Your children, and we humbly turn to You in prayer, that we may not sin towards our brothers or sisters, and bring inner wrath with our souls by provoking either hatred, or mistrust towards one another. We seek the guidance of Your commandments, harmony with our families and our friends. O All-merciful Lord, Who loves us all, help us, and guides us to truly give and receive compassion, and deliver us from the evils that may tempt us! Grant us Your inner peace and watch over us, guiding us always with Your Right Hand and protecting us under the shelter of Your Holy Spirit. Enlighten us as we pray to You in the illuminating light of the Holy Gospel. Warm our hearts with Your grace that we may humbly glorify Your Holy Name, of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen!

Let us all indeed pray for the youth and with the youth.

Pray for your beloved parents,
and ask your priest and parents to pray for you!

God Love And Bless Us All! v Humbly In Christ Our True God,

+Reverend Presbyter Demetrios Serfes
Who prays for you and with you!
Boise, Idaho


Content written/compiled by Father Demetrios Serfes.
(c)2001 Father Demetrios Serfes