Welcome to the New Year, 2014! I wrote the date for the first time today and it felt awkward writing “2014.” I felt like I had only just adjusted to writing “2013.” But a new year is a good time to begin all sorts of new habits. The very fact that you are reading this already suggests that you have an interest in the ministry of YOKE. Thank you for that! At YOKE we believe the most important contribution anyone can make to this ministry is prayer. More than money, more than volunteer hours, prayer is the most valuable. The craziest part about that fact is that it is easiest to give! It doesn’t cost us anything to make petition to God. Likewise, from start to finish club runs for an hour, but if you spend the same amount of time in a week praying for clubs and camps you’d contribute just as much to the Kingdom of God, by simply praying. This is the best thing you can do for YOKE. Hopefully you are already giving or serving to supplement your prayers, but please never neglect praying for YOKE. Here is how you can pray for YOKE in 2014. 
1.     Ask God for wisdom for everyone involved in ministry. Pray for our staff as we equip and arrange our clubs. Pray for our team leaders and volunteers who minister directly to the students. Pray that we would be challenged to live the Gospel in a way that draws others into the Kingdom of God. We want to most effectively minister to middle school students; pray that God would give the clarity and understanding to do so. 
2.     Pray for more volunteers. The more volunteers the more students we have the opportunity to invest in. Consider your own involvement in a local club.
3.     Pray for clubs each week. Most meet on Tuesday nights, some meet Wednesday after school. Consider adopting a club to pray specifically for, find out when that club meets, and be sure to pray for them that day. Pray for the students we minister to, that their hearts would be softened to understand the Gospel. To see a list of clubs click here; to receive an monthly email of prayer updates email cindy@yokeyouth.com to be added to the list.
4.     Pray for teachers and administrators. The difficulty and challenges of their jobs cannot be overstated. If you adopt a club, pray specifically for that school’s teachers and administrators. If you know a teacher, ask how you can pray for him or her.
5.     Pray for middle school parents. As difficult and confusing as it can be to teach or minister to a middle school student it is that much more difficult and confusing to raise one. Do not neglect to pray for the parents’ roles in a student’s relationship with God. Pray that YOKE would positively influence parents as they raise their children.

Thank you for your committed partnership with YOKE in the year 2014. We are excited to see what God is going to do throughout the middle schools in our corner of East Tennessee.