I would see thousands of students every Friday night give their lives to Jesus, and leave the concerts ready to live the way of Jesus in a world that was dying for a new way. Growing up in this environment really placed within me a strong desire to be apart of something big, something like a movement, something that would usher in the kingdom on a large scale... the normal and typical youth group stuff would never suffice.
Years later, as a youth pastor, I remember having the students at our church read a poem written by Pete Grieg, the amazing revolutionary, who birthed the 24/7 prayer movement. Our students read it and we're never the same. Like me, their heads had been lifted and they longed to see heaven come to earth in and through them and then all over the world. They could never settle for normal again. There had to be a new normal.
So, all of this to share with you Pete's poem. This is the shortened version, but I absolutely love it and my prayer is that it might wake you and your students and your families like it has done for ours.
Here we go:
By Pete Grieg
The vision is Jesus: obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.
And the vision is an army of young people. You see bones? I see an army.
And they are free from materialism – they laugh at 9-5 little prisons.
They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday they wouldn’t even notice.
They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the West was won.
They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations, they need no passport.
People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence.
They are free yet are slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying.
What is this vision? The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes.
It makes children laugh and adults angry.
It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars.
It scorns the good and strains for the best.
It is dangerously pure.
Light flickers from every secret motive,
Every private conversation. It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games.
This is an army that would lay down its life for the cause.
A million times a day its soldiers choose to lose that they might one day win the great, “Well Done good and faithful sons and daughters.”
Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night.
And this army is disciplined – young people who beat their bodies into submission. Every soldier will take a bullet for his comrade at arms. The tattoo on their back boasts, “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward facing eyes.
Winners. Martyrs. Who can stop them?
Can hormones hold them back?
Can failure succeed?
Can fear scare them or death kill them?
And this generation prays like a dying man with groans beyond talking,
With warrior cries, sulphuric tears and great barrow loads of laughter!
Their prayers summon the Hound of Heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.
And this vision will be.
It will come to pass.
It will come easily; it will come soon.
How do I know? Because this is the longing of creation itself, the groaning of the Spirit, the very dream of God.
My tomorrow is His today.
My distant hope is His 3-D.
And my feeble, whispered, faithless prayer invokes a thunderous, resounding, bone-shaking great “AMEN!”
From countless angels, from heroes of the faith, from Christ Himself.
And He is the original dreamer,
The ultimate winner.