Young Adult Leadership Conference – The Power of Prayer
Association des Jeunes Haitiens Catholiques (AJHC) conducted a Young Adult Leadership Conference involving more than 60 young adult leaders from Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Long Island, New Jersey, Manhattan, Spring Valley, and Rockville Centre. The gathered were mostly young adults engaged in ministry in their faith communities. The theme of the weekend was “The Power of Prayer”.
Bishop Guy Sansaricq presented at the Saturday morning session stressing the importance for all to know and possess Jesus through personal prayer and the study of scripture. He reminded all that there is power in Jesus and that Jesus wants to abide in our hearts. Father Guy indicated that Jesus wants the world to know Him mostly through the testimony of humble believers such as us.
During a period of discussion, the young people shared their feelings of discouragement because they felt many priests impede the development of youth programs in parishes. They stated that Protestant teens were more versed in the Bible than they. Others responded quite well to these questions. In the end, all realized that their involvement in Young Adult ministry is urgently needed and that Parish support is generally not lacking when they themselves demonstrate well balanced and enlightened leadership.
Bethie Dominique conducted a session on different forms of prayer. To discuss the different forms of prayer, participants were divided into five groups of 10.
The objective was to:
1. Identify the purpose of each form of prayer.
2. List the characteristics of each form of prayer.
3. Find a passage in the Bible about this form of prayer.
The groups were the following:
Group I Blessing/Adoration
Group II Prayer of Petition
Group III Prayer of Intercession
Group IV Prayer of Thanksgiving
Group V Prayer of Praise
DIFFERENT FORMS OF PRAYER
Purpose: Adoration is homage of the Spirit to the “King of Glory”.
– Adoration is the heart of prayer.
– Adoration is the source of every blessing.
-An encounter between God and man.
-Respectful silence in the presence of the “Ever Greater God”.
-Our prayer ascends in the Holy Spirit through Christ to the Father.
-The attitude of man acknowledging that he is a creature before his
Bible Ref. -Eph 1:3-14, 6:23-24 -2 Cor 1:3-7, 13:14 -Rom 15:5-6 -Ps 95:1-6,
PRAYER OF PETITION
Purpose: – Petition is centered on the desire and search for the Kingdom to come.
-By the prayer of petition, we express awareness of our relationship with God.
-To ask for forgiveness
-To plead, invoke, cry out, and to groan.
Bible Ref. -Rom 15:30; 8:22-24; 8:26 – Lk 18:13 – 1Jn 3:22; 1:7-2:2 – Col 4:12 –
PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
Purpose: -Intercession is praying as Jesus did and praying on behalf of all men, especially sinners.
-“The Holy Spirit, himself intercedes for us…”, and intercedes for the Saints according to the will of God.”
-To ask on behalf of another.
-Our hearts attuned to God’s mercy.
-In intercession, he who prays looks, not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others; even for their persecutors.
Bible Ref.- Heb 7:25 – Rom 8:26-27 – Acts 7:60; 12:5 – Lk 23:28, 34 – Eph 6:18-20
PRAYER OF PRAISE
Purpose: -“Praise is the form of prayer which recognizes most immediately that God is God.”
-By praise, the Spirit is joined to our spirit to bear witness that we are children of God.
-Praise embraces the other forms of prayer and carries them toward him who is its source and goal; “one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist.”
-To glorify the word of God.
-To sing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.
Bible Ref. – Rom 8:16, – Cor 8:6, – Acts 2:47, – Eph 5:19
Ref. CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH – PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER Page 613
SECTION ONE CHAPTER ONE THE UNIVERSAL CALL TO PRAYER -ARTICLE 3: IN THE AGE OF THE CHURCH page 631
Mrs. Marie Josée Joseph presented on the history of the Charismatic Renewal and its impact on Catholic prayer life.
Mrs. Marie Josée Joseph indicated that the Charismatic movement was initiated back on February 18, 1967, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The story begins in the 1960s when Pope John XXIII called for a Council – it would come to be known as Vatican II. Catholics were given a special prayer for the success of this Council: “May there be a new Pentecost in our day”. In 1967 a group of faculty and students at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh gathered for a retreat. Filled with and moved by the Holy Spirit, the group focused on the first four chapters of the Acts of the Apostles. The group would later share that there was an expectation that the Holy Spirit would make His presence felt. Everyone indicated experiencing the Holy Spirit and charismatic gifts manifested during the weekend. Other Catholic campuses began similar prayer experiences. These gatherings led to great changes in the way that many Catholics prayed and their experience of the work of the Holy Spirit.
Mrs. Joseph enumerated different types of prayers that can occur within a Charismatic meeting such as: liturgical prayer, personal prayer, adoration, silence, rosary, novena, forgiveness, praise and worship, thanksgiving and intercessory prayer. She indicated that the charismatic movement is based on the power of the Holy Spirit and can bring great inner healing. She further indicated that there is a major focus on praise and worship. However, she felt the most powerful type of prayer is adoration. Spending time in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament allows one the time to know and have a close relationship with Jesus. Mrs. Joseph reminded the young adults that prayer is the backbone of any ministry. Prayer is the key to God’s door. Charismatic prayer groups bring more life to the Catholic Church and give hope to all.
After dinner, all moved to the Church along with other participants for a Holy Ground gathering led by Msgr. Beaubrun Ardoin before the Blessed Sacrament.
- The following morning we gathered for mass. Sister Marilyn Minter helped to bring the weekend to a close. Prayers, lectures, questions, and answers, as well as intense exchanges in small group discussions, filled every minute of a most exciting and unforgettable weekend. The participants enjoyed these sessions so much so that they committed themselves to attend future ones. They indicated a deep urge to increase their knowledge of the mystery of Christ. Bishop Guy stated that this session was probably the most successful in recent memory. He gave much credit to Karine, Michele, Betty, Suzette, Jacky, Roro, Darling, Danielle, Norma, and others who have always kept alive the flame of the origin. AJHC thanks the Young Adult leaders, Bishop Guy, Msgr. Beau, Marie Josee Joseph, the Kearny staff, and Sr. Marilyn….