Tip #4: Pray Constantly (2 Tim. 1:3).
Paul must’ve had quite the prayer list. At the beginning of most of his epistles, he writes that he prays for those people “constantly.” So it comes as no surprise that in 2 Timothy 1:3, Paul tells Timothy, “I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.”
Can you say that? About anyone? About your kids? Your congregation? How about your mentee? Put him near the top of your list. Because the only way you can ever make a difference in this young man’s life…is if you pray for them.
You can’t change your mentee. You may change him externally—even make him into your “mini me.” But that’s all a façade. What we millennials need is inward change. And as I like to say, “People don’t really change—Christ changes people.” Only the Spirit can work in your mentee’s life to bring about lasting change. Yes, He may—and in fact, desires to—use you and your words of wisdom. But by yourself, you can’t do squat!
And it’s when you realize your insufficiency that you turn to the All-Sufficient One, on your knees, begging and pleading for His power. That’s how you should start every meeting with your mentee—in a prayer of dependence. And that’s probably how you should end.
But not just at the meeting. Pray for them as often as possible. By “night and day,” Paul doesn’t mean 24-7 literally. He was a busy man, after all. But Timothy was often on his mind—and whenever he would pop up, he would say a quick prayer for the young man. While weaving tent fabric together, he would remember a need Timothy had written to him about—and he would beseech God for him. While journeying the lonely hills of Asia Minor, with only a walking stick for company, he would remember the weaknesses of Timothy—and look up to sunlit skies to the Son for help for his dear son in the faith. And even in that dank jail cell, he had nothing better to do but pray for his dearest friend—for strength, for unfailing faith, for hope.
Insert prayer into your daily schedule. Prayer for your mentee. And teach him to pray too. Lead by example on “praying without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). Look to God for help with this young millennial whose culture is so different from yours—you’re gonna need it!