Even though our summer prayer journey of nonprofits in Birmingham is over, there are still so many great ministries out there that we want to continue “visiting” them and praying for them here. This week, we’re visiting Safe Harbor. As their website states, Safe Harbor is “dedicated to educating communities and restoring families who have youth involved in rebellious behaviors.” It was founded in 1998 by parents who were dealing with the stress, concern, and pain caused by the poor personal choices their own adolescent children. Safe Harbor doesn’t just counsel teens; they work with the whole family, recognizing that the adolescent’s choices affect everyone in the home. Sean Hannon is the executive director.
I feel like we’ve used this same passage before, but I really felt the Lord leading me to this passage to pray out of for Safe Harbor and the families they serve.
Romans 8:37-39 – 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Heavenly Father, You are the glorious One who reigns over all created things. You have dominion over all. When You chose us before the beginning of the world, You determined that no one and no thing could keep us from You. By Your own hand, You have saved us and kept us for Yourself. Yet, You do not do it with an iron fist and hardness of heart. You do it with a heart of compassion, mercy, long-suffering, grace, forgiveness, and faithfulness. Your love is constant, unchanging, unfailing, unfathomable.
We lift up the teenagers who are being served through Safe Harbor. The enemy would do everything in his power to convince them that You do not love them and that You aren’t even real. We pray that the truth would prevail in their hearts over all the lies of the evil one. The devil would also convince them that they have messed up too much, made too many mistakes, for You to ever want them. We thank You that that is also not the truth, and we pray that they would fully realize that truly nothing at all can separate them from Your love for them, because Your love has never been based on ourselves or on our behavior. Your love has always been based on the fact that You choose to love us, and You will not change Your mind. Hallelujah! Father, we pray that You would cast down every thought and imagination, every stronghold in their minds, that is attempting to keep them deceived and without hope.
We also pray for the parents and the siblings of these teenagers who are hurting, confused, and perhaps even feeling like they’ve failed – and maybe some of them have. Thank You, Lord, that failure is not forever. Failure is a chance to start over with more knowledge and insight than we had the first time we tried. We pray that these parents would also know the truth that nothing separates them from Your love, and that nothing separates their children from Your love. Give them strength to love their wayward children with Your love. Give them wisdom to know what that looks like and how to live it out in practical ways. Encourage them. Strengthen them with power through Your Spirit in their inner being, so that Christ may dwell in them. (Eph. 3:16-17)
You established families. Ephesians 3:15 tells us that every family gets its name from You. It is Your will for them to stay intact and prosper and to be a picture of righteous alignment, and yet we see increasingly that they don’t turn out that way at all. We pray that You would use the ministry of Safe Harbor to help reverse that trend in Birmingham, Alabama. Raise up the mentors and encouragers that work with the families in their Refuge program. Provide the funds they need to continue their work and to expand as needed. Protect their hearts as they see and hear difficult stories and situations, and as not every family walks out of there with a happy ending. Strengthen them to love these families as You love them. Give them continued wisdom, insight, discernment and knowledge into how best to help the teenagers and families that come to them. We also pray for unity among the leadership, the staff, and the volunteers at Safe Harbor. Give them grace toward more unity, more praying together, more of the things that expand their impact for Your kingdom and Your purposes in a supernatural capacity.
We specifically pray for their executive director Sean Hannon as he seeks You and submits to Your will for this ministry. Protect him and his own family as they stand in the gap for others. Give him grace to trust You to fight the battles for him and the ministry, and for all the families that come through there, knowing that You are the Victorious Warrior and through You we are more than conquerors. Give him courage to think God-sized ideas and plans that You give him, and give him patience and faith to watch Your plan unfold in Your perfect timing. Help him keep his eyes on You no matter what.
Thank You for You Word, and thank You for letting it fuel our prayers. Amen.