<% Dim strHeader strHeader = "Spiritual Nourishment for the Soul" strOptionalText = "October 2006" Call HtmlHeader(strHeader,strOptionalText) Call HTMLLeft()%>
Christ our Lord blessing the children
Christ our Lord blessing the children

A School Prayer For Our Precious Youth
by Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Boise, Idaho, USA
October 2006

All of us have heard the news of our schools and recent gunfire. 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 many questions as to why this dreadful violence of the killings of the youth within our schools goes onward, including even the principles of the school?

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 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, form a pastoral viewpoint, how often we are 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 to humbly pray. Every young person should 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 to follow.

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 really provide spiritual nourishment not only to our 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 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.

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. All of us can play a role in caring for the needs of the youth we are entrusted to on a daily basis. Nothing is ever so important for us all then to pray for the precious children and the youth. Pray that we begin as well to have respect and honor as well as love for the youth and children who truly need us now. May our God protect and bless your beloved children and youth!

A School Prayer for the Precious Youth

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 guide 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, and our school, 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 must 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.

God love and bless you!

Peace to your soul!

Humbly in Christ our Lord,

+Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Who prays for you and with you!