When I get behind on blogging, it’s easy for me to beat myself up about it. However, most of the time, the Lord shows me that somehow, by His grace, it’s still on His timetable. This is one of those times. This ministry we are praying for today was the next in the order on my list. It “just so happens” that The Garage in Pelham is highlighting the Aspire Movement this month, donating a portion of their proceeds to that ministry. Today, I found out that the founder and director of Aspire Movement was in a serious bicycle wreck a couple of weeks ago, crashing while going 35-40mph downhill. He is recovering from fractured bones in his back, neck and ribs, a punctured lung, and over 50 stitches on his face from multiple cuts. It is a miracle he was not killed or paralyzed! He needs our prayers for quick and complete healing.
Founded and launched in 2010 by Jason Williams, the Aspire Movement is a ministry that mentors urban youth, helping them make good choices and developing them into tomorrow’s leaders. I love the way they sum up part of their mentoring goals on their website, “to (help the youth) minimize poor choices and maximize good choices.” It’s such a great focus on not being perfect, but responsible. They currently have mentors at CJ Donald and Robinson Elementary, Restoration Academy and Cornerstone. They have also added an after school component of a Bible and Tutoring Club where they promote reading enrichment through Christian books and resources. The people at Aspire desire to see God glorified and lives impacted by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, while helping to develop the next generation of urban leaders. Find out more by checking out their website.
Father, first of all, I want to thank You for Your grace that allows these posts to go up when You want them to. By Your grace, You choose to use my blogging delays to line things up according to Your plan and purpose, which is so humbling and amazing. You are such a gracious God, who is worthy of all of our praise. Psalm 145 has been on my mind and heart a lot lately, and I love the way it praises the Lord, “I will extol You, My God, O King, and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable……on the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works I will meditate.” (There is SO much more I would love to type out, but it’s 21 verses long, so I will simply strongly encourage you to read it and pray through it.)
Verse 4 says, “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.” That is exactly what the men and women at Aspire are doing. The urban culture tends to be locked into cycles of poverty, fear, and anger. Lord, we pray that You would empower these mentors to declare Your mighty acts to the boys and girls they mentor, and in so doing, Your Spirit would enable these young people to see beyond their current circumstances to the plans You have for them. Give them faith to trust that those plans are “to prosper them and not to harm them, to give them a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11) Father, use these men and women to reveal Yourself to the young people they minister to, and cause that revelation to transform them.
I love Aspire’s focus on making more good choices and fewer bad choices, as it is such a great reminder of Your grace. Let these young people see that You, Lord, are “gracious and merciful, slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.” (Ps. 145:8) It’s counter-cultural to what they see and hear around them, but let that powerful truth wash over them, and let them see it in action through their relationship with their mentors at Aspire. May Your grace for them and to them bind up whatever wounds they carry in their hearts, so that they can live lives that are healed and whole.
Lord, we pray that You would raise up the funds, the volunteers, and open doors into schools and communities so that Aspire can advance the calling You’ve put on them. We pray that You would continue to motivate and encourage the people who have chosen to invest their lives into these young people. While it is mutually rewarding/beneficial/transformational, it can at times be hard, I would imagine. We pray that You would be a shield about them, Lord, and the lifter of their heads (Ps. 3:3), especially when things get hard. Let them walk in Your wisdom and understanding, in Your counsel and strength, and in knowledge and fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:2), and in turn, Lord, teach these young people how to do the same.
We lift up Jason Williams, as he recovers from this bad bicycle wreck. We thank You and praise You that there were not more serious injuries. Sustain him, Lord, as he is on the long road to recovery. Give his wife strength and grace as she takes care of him while also carrying an extra load of responsibilities. Give them both wisdom as there are so many details in getting through each day that need to be taken care of right now. (These are specific requests he had on his Facebook page.) We pray that You would use this to minister to them, for their good and for the good of Aspire Movement, and especially for Your glory and the advancement of Your kingdom. We are grateful for Your promise in Ps. 145:18 that says You are near to those who call upon You in truth, and we pray that the Williams family would know the truth of that promise right now, and we pray that You would destroy every effort of the enemy to take advantage of this season of recovery. (from Ps. 145:20)
We thank You for Your Word, Lord God, and for being able to pray Your words back to You. We will bless Your name forever and ever. (Ps. 145:21). Amen.