I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf. Romans 15:30
An opening came up at Park Ave over Christmas break as a longtime PTM family had moved away. So I brought the matter to our PTM students and I began including a “call for new students” in our daily greeting circle prayer time. Everyday for a week we asked God to bless our day and bless Park Ave with new students. The next week as I began asking for prayer requests, TyMarius raised his hand and asked if he could stand next to me while I prayed. I said yes, absolutely, then asked the group, “Are there any other prayer warriors that would like to stand with me as we lift up this call for new students. I had about 2 or 3 students get up. And so we stood shoulder to shoulder, heads bowed and prayed. I presented that same request everyday that week and slowly others began to join us in our circle.
I remember one day my prayer was very specific. I said, “Lord, I don’t know the names of these students, but you do, so I am asking to bring us names.” After that prayer, Malachi raised his hand and said that he had a name. It was JaVontae, he was a 4th grade boy in his class. Another very excited student, Jazelle, raised her hand and told the group that his sister Kourtney was in her 1st grade class. So from that day forward, when I asked who were my prayer warriors that wanted to pray over Kourtney and JaVontae, the circle got bigger and now it had reading teachers, bus drivers and volunteers.
I then charged the students with an ‘ambassador challenge”. Who would invite these students to PTM? Who would be willing to tell them about what we do here and what would you say? TyMarius had a very clear plan. He said, “We should just tell them that we’ve been praying their names out loud to God and that He wanted them here at PTM.” And so we prayed over students to be bold and talk to these students and invite them. And so the reports came back…..so many of our PTM students saw these kids in the school cafeteria and hallways and invited them.
I told Mr Chan and Miss Nina about how these events were unfolding at Park Ave in a bit of a quandary. What do I do now?! How would I find these kids and get an application in their parents’ hands? Chan let me know that he’d knocked on their door at least 3 times over the last 3 months to share about the ministry and they were not interested but he didn’t mind trying again. I said, “Well, it’s been covered in prayer since then, so you never know.”
Two days later I was standing in front of Kourtney and JaVontae’s mom as she sat in the PTM office filling out new applications for her students. I told her the whole story and how excited I was to meet her. I explained about our daily routine of all of us standing to pray over her children. Tears rolled down her face. She was overwhelmed as was I. We called the school and got them on the PTM bus that day!
Like TyMarius said, God just wanted them there.