Why We Pray As We Do (and How!)

Paul Masek's picture

The ministry that I direct, The REAP Team, has been around since 1989. Our longevity can be attributed to the fact that we haven’t given up on teenagers, and any success we might have in reaching teens for Christ can be attributed only to God’s grace. I am absolutely convinced, though, that one big reason that God’s grace flows so freely through our efforts to His kids is that we are rooted in prayer.

I want to share with you why we pray as we do, and how. But before I go there, I want to let you know that a lot of people pray for us. We have a group of “prayer warriors” with whom we regularly communicate our prayer needs, and we regularly let our prayer needs be known via social media outlets, too. If your program does not have a dedicated group of prayer warriors, I encourage you to develop this invaluable resource. We who do ministry simply cannot have too many people praying for us!

All of us on staff, and all of our volunteers, are people of prayer. This is a non-negotiable requirement to serve on the REAP Team. No offense, but if you are not a person of prayer, you should not be in ministry – nor should your volunteers be in ministry if they are not people of prayer.

Every day that we are in the office, we pray together as a staff. And, before every retreat, we pray together as a team, since prayer unifies us and empowers us. There is a specific prayer that we pray out loud before retreats, and I think that the Lord wants us to share it with you.  It is attached as a PDF file called the “Armor Prayer for REAP - 2018”. Feel free to use it any time, and feel free to modify it to your own situations; we have modified it many times and will continue to do so as the Lord leads us. As a matter of fact, several parishes here in the Archdiocese of St. Louis have modified this prayer and utilized it to pray before retreats and other ministry events. Again, feel free to download and adapt it for your own purposes.

We always pray this particular prayer because it is so thorough, so full of Scripture, and because it binds the enemy; as you should know, when we are trying to reach teens for Christ, the evil one is not pleased - so we need to put on our armor and ask the Lord to protect us from his wiles. By the way, this is not only a great communal prayer, but it is excellent for individuals to pray on a daily basis, and especially when going through difficult times.

After this prayer, we open it up for team members to pray more spontaneously for various components of our retreats, including the students, adult leaders, talks, small groups, dramas, technology, etc…

So, there you go.  That’s why we pray, and how, in this ministry of the REAP Team.

We hope that in some way our "Armor Prayer" will prove to be a valuable resource for you.  I think the evil one is ticked off that I have shared it, but, oh well…he’s not my boss.

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Armor Prayer - 2018.doc130.5 KB

Paul Masek is the coordinator of the REAP Team, a Catholic youth retreat ministry of the Catholic Youth Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He is married to Lisa, and they have four kids - Jacob, Audrey, Kyle, and Dominic. You can follow Paul on Twitter: @clasekmasek, and you can contact Paul via email: paul@reapteam.org