Youth Articles

One’s youth could be looked upon as a clean slate, a new beginning. This is the time in which young people are looking to find their identity and purpose in life, not just secular, but spiritual as well. Yes, it is a time where flippant choices for a momentary pleasure or satisfaction can cost a lifetime of payback. However, youth also affords second chances.

I was raised in a pastor’s home by two godly and loving parents who instilled in me godly morals and values. My dad did not merely practice what he preached—he preached what he practiced. My dad is a man of integrity who lives out what he believes. My mother is a prayer warrior and has always been a role model for me to look up to.

At the age of twelve, the battle for my soul began. I began to like someone in the church my parents didn’t approve of. Of course, I didn’t understand their disapproval because all I could see was that he came to church. I thought that should be good enough, but my parents could see his lack of character. I broke the rules my parents made for me. I convinced myself I could control sin because I was a good girl. However, lines I thought I would never cross were crossed, and things I valued were lost.

I was left feeling broken and hopeless. I felt my life no longer had value. I felt that all of my wrong choices disqualified me from ever being used of God. That is, until I heard my mom praying. I thought I was alone in the house, but I heard something coming from upstairs. I made my way up the stairs and noticed the sound was coming from my parents’ room. The door was ajar, and what I saw would be forever etched in my mind. My mom was lying prostrate on the floor interceding for me. The carpet was stained with her tears. Hearing my mom battling in the Spirit for my soul made me realize there was still hope for me, because she still believed in me and was fighting for me.

During this rebellious period of my life, which lasted until I was seventeen, my parents didn’t focus on my failures or what I was going through—they focused on what I could be. They remembered hearing me when I was four years old praying in my closet. They remembered how sensitive I had always been toward God and how much I desired to be used by Him. 

This is exactly how God sees the value of young people. It is not measured by their mistakes, but by their potential. God saw years down the road how He could use me, despite my shortcomings.

At the age of twenty, I became the first female youth pastor at my local church. I was privileged to lead a thriving youth group. Eight years later, I married my prince charming, and I experienced the joy of doing ministry alongside my husband. Five years after that, we became the associate pastors in Pasadena, California.

Throughout the Scriptures, we see the love God has for young people and how He used them in some of the most vital roles in the unfolding of His marvelous plan of redemption. 

Let’s reflect upon some striking examples that demonstrate God’s confidence in youth. David, a young shepherd boy, used a simple stone and sling to destroy Israel’s greatest enemy, a Philistine giant named Goliath. Samuel, as a young boy, ministered to the Lord in the presence of Eli, and during that time, Heaven opened up and God’s voice was once again heard clearly. Joseph was hated by his brothers and sold into slavery. But God was using him as a providential instrument for the preservation of the Hebrew nation. A teenage girl named Mary was used to birth the Savior of the world.

In each of these cases it is evident how much confidence God places in young people to fulfill His purpose and plan. Also, these stories should remind us that young people—who are properly trained—are capable of courageous faith and considerable usefulness in God’s kingdom. 

God not only strategically placed the above young people in the Bible days, but two thousand years later He is still raising up young people to fulfill His purpose in the last days. This is confirmed in Acts 2:17: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions.” 

Young people are part of God’s plan for revival. It is our responsibility as parents, pastors, youth pastors, Sunday school teachers, and so forth to recognize the potential in our youth. We must look beyond their present circumstances and see their potential and value to God’s kingdom. We must communicate our love and belief in them. It is imperative that we not overlook our Apostolic youth— their value is priceless. Finally, we must mobilize them to reach their God-given potential. God has strategically placed His young people on school and college campuses around the world where they rub shoulders with thousands of young people from different walks of life as well as different ethnic backgrounds. This is their mission field, and they can turn their world upside down.

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Prayer: FREE Time on Your Hands?

Americans were excited when the time came and a certain historical freedom was established through the "Declaration of Independence" with all of the benefits associated to that agreement; and many in society celebrate the "Fourth of July" annually. What a milestone to experience a great political and natural freedom! That's amazing! But, what's more amazing is to experience the spiritual freedom that we have in Christ, and the benefits that accompany His covenant with Christian believers. John 8:36 says "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." Romans 8:2 further declares "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."


We are bought with a price as we glorify God in our bodies and our spirits, which are His (I Corinthians 6:20). Although we are free moral agents of free choice, God desires that we choose and use our time wisely as we serve Him as the Body of Christ. We are His Hands, His Feet...His Body. Realistically, we take the time out or "free up the time" to do whatever we really have a strong desire to get done. In choosing, it sometimes becomes a matter of preference, passion, and priority. Have you or someone you know ever been in an emergency or a life or death situation, and you felt that God rescued "just in the nick of time?" We often say, "He's never too early, never too late, but always right on time!" Well, what quality "time" do we really give God in our communication and relationship with Him? He shows up on time for us, but do we show up on time for Him? Put time on your hands! I'm not talking about the watch on your wrist, secured slightly above your hand, which we often watch closely, because we are so conscious of time, in order to fulfill other temporal and less valuables duties on our schedules. Take off the watch; clasp your hands in prayer...there is "free time on your hands." It's a are free to are free in do have free time to pray!


When you look at your hands, imagine using them to turn over an hour glass filled with the "sands of time" and allowing it to be a simple reminder of how time flies, and let it give you the incentive to take a timeout to use your time wisely to pray. Ecclesiastes 9:10 states "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." In light of eternity, we really have "all the time in the world" allocated to seek the face of God and things pertaining to His kingdom! We often get caught up with the hustle and bustle of life and the demands of a fast-paced society. But, don't be so busy "making an earthly living," that you forget about "making an eternal life." Value the time you have before you...Yesterday is the past (gone), tomorrow is the future (unpromised), but today is the present (tangible). There is no time like the present! Psalm 69:13 declares "But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time:" Prayer is our lifeline to God, especially in this troubled world and these last days we live in. Remember, time is of essence! I came across the following statements regarding "time" that I want to share:


To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask the student who failed a grade.

To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask the mother who gave birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the family in the hospital waiting room.

To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask the person who just missed their airplane flight.

To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask the individual who just avoided the fatal accident.

To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the athlete who won a silver medal in the Olympics instead of the gold.


Value every moment of time, and realize we are not in a "crunch time" for prayer. We can use time wisely, and pray! We sing the song "I Am Free," know this too, "Through you (Jesus) my heart screams, I am free; I am free to run; I am free to dance; I am free to live for you; I am free; I am free;" are also FREE TO PRAY! So, let me ask that question again. Regarding prayer, do you have "free time on your hands?" I believe the answer for all of us is "Yes!"


Flo Shaw

International Coordinator

World Network of Prayer


JESUS: From "A" to "Z"


"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." (Revelation 22:13)


This is just a reminder that Jesus can do anything! JESUSis the name above all names (Acts 4:12). He has all power in Heaven and in Earth (Matthew 28:18). What is your particular need(s) today? You must go to Him in prayer. Matthew 7:7 says, "Ask, and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." Pray and demonstrate in the name of Jesus (Colossians 3:17). Jesus is all that we need. He can reveal Himself to you in any way. Using a relating/linking occupational perception, I want to share this inspired writing, including titles that are scripturally who Jesus is. It is entitled JESUS: From "A" to "Z!"


To the ARCHITECT, He is the "Chief Cornerstone"

To the BAKER, He is the "Living Bread"

To the CARPENTER, He is the "Door"

To the DOCTOR, He is the "Great Physician"

To the EDUCATOR, He is the "Rabbi, the Great Teacher"

To the FLORIST, He is the "Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley"

To the GEOLOGIST, He is the "Rock of Ages"

To the HORTICULTURIST, He is the "True Vine"

To the INVENTOR, He is the "New and Living Way"

To the JEWELER, He is the "Pearl of Great Price"

To the KING, He is the "King of Kings"

To the LAWYER, He is the "Judge and Advocate"

To the MUSICIAN, He is the "Song in the Night"

To the NEWSREPORTER, He is the "Good News"

To the OPTEMOLOGIST, He is the "Eyes that are Upon Us"

To the PREACHER, He is the "Word of God"

To the QUILTER, He is the "Comforter"

To the ROWER, He is the "Living Waters"

To the SCULPTOR, He is the "Living Stone"

To the TROOPER, He is the "Law"

To the UNDERTAKER, He is the "Power over Death, Hell, and the Grave"

To the VOLCANOLOGIST, "He is the Holy Ghost and Fire"

To the WRITER, He is the "Author and Finisher of our Faith"

To the X-RAY TECH, "He is the Image of the Firstborn"

To the YARDMAN, He is "Plant of Renown"

To the ZOOLOGIST, He is the "Lamb of God and the Lion of the Tribe of Judah"


According to His will and His Word, Jesus is whoever you need Him to be from "A" to "Z" as you "labor" in His kingdom to serve Him. In Him all is complete, A to Z! Even beyond that...for He is Infinite! He is the Eternal One! His name is everlasting (Isaiah 63:16). Jesus said in John 14:14 "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." And remember, as you cry out to Him in prayer ..."JESUS," He is just as close as the mention of His name!


Flo Shaw

International Coordinator

World Network of Prayer

10 Ways Prayer is Like Riding a Bicycle

1. Anyone can do it.  You don't have to possess any particular qualities to do it.  There is no magic button - we all get the same Holy Ghost.  If He called you, you are equipped to do it.

2. You don't have to understand the mechanics to make it work.  Most people can not produce the equations of how the wheel velocity and the angular momentum work.  Doesn't matter.  You don't have to be a scientist to know how to pray.  Daily I turn on the light switch.  I cannot explain to you in detail what happens, I just know the light comes on.

3. Getting started is the hardest part.
  When kids first learn to ride a bike, adults help by giving them a push.  It is difficult to start from a dead stop. Perhaps if you don't have a consistent prayer life, get a prayer partner to help give you a push.  Having accountability often helps.  Once you get going, try to keep up the momentum.

4. Balance is the key.  You need to have balance in your prayer life.  Spend equal time seeking his hand, his face and his heart.  Hand:  ask for your needs, but don't spend all of your time here.  Prayer is about more than getting what you want or giving God a to-do list.  Face: seek direction.  Where is God looking?  Turn your eyes upon Him.  Heart:  Love what God loves.  Hate what He hates.  Instead of asking God to anoint what we are doing, why not ask him to direct us to do the things He can anoint.


5. It helps to keep the tires full of air.  The air in our tires is like the Spirit in our life.  You can pedal much easier when your tires have air. Ever tried to push a bike with no air in the tires?  Very difficult.  Cars get much better gas mileage when there is proper air pressure.


6. It makes sense to protect your head. Daily, put on the armor of God, specifically the Helmet of Salvation.  Having on a helmet will guard influences into your mind  (conversations, atmosphere, media intake, what you read, Facebook, YouTube, chats, relationships)  Don't surround yourself with  things that provoke certain attitudes in you


7. Some of the best trips are those without destinations in mind.  It is better to joyride than to be sent on an errand.  It is fun to go to the store unless mom makes you to go and get groceries. Prayer should be enjoyed - not a tool to get from here to there. (praying to get a need met or someone healed)  Better just to spend time in His presence than on an errand.


8. There are some hills.  You won't always be able to coast (won't always be easy)  Some days you will have to work hard at it.  Some days you will pray for everyone you know twice and look up and 1 minute and 47 seconds have passed.  Some days you pray and feel nothing.  Doesn't matter.  Keep praying.  You will reach the top of that hill eventually and will enjoy a great (and much easier) ride down the hill.


9. Breaks are as important as the pedals.  Prayer is not measured by how fast you do it.  There are times you need to stop and just listen.  Apply the brakes to your mouth and see what He has to say.  Often we ask God what he wants us to do and never get quiet long enough to hear the answer.  It is dangerous to ride without breaks.  (especially if there is a road or a wall in your path)


10. If you want to ride, you have to get up when you fall.  No one learns to ride without falling off at least once.  If you quit after one fall, you will never enjoy a fulfilling prayer life.
It's about the journey!

Lisa Marshall
Strategic Prayer Coordinator
World Network of Prayer

Our Mission:

The mission of the Youth Department is to serve the local churches of the United Pentecostal Church, partnering in their efforts to evangelize and disciple young people into becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

The Youth Department is together with all other departments in the efforts of the organization in realizing the goals of the "ONE MILLION SOULS IN FIVE YEARS."

Our Method:
We accomplish this mission by:

* Providing training programs for youth and those involved in youth ministry.
* Providing missions opportunities for exposure to evangelism.
* Providing resources for evangelism and discipleship.
* Perpetuating spiritual growth through ministries and events geared toward youth.
* Engaging youth and churches in missions and ministry through Sheaves for Christ.