We Both Can Change. Praying for Your Mentee and You
By this time in your journey with your mentee, hopefully you’ve realized the importance of praying for yourself and your mentee. It’s easy to get caught up in the problems, decision making, immaturity, and overall lack of foundation your young dad exhibits. It’s hard sometimes to not be overwhelmed by it all. At the same time, I would not be surprised if your own beliefs about the young, those who’ve been through hard experiences, and those in poverty have been challenged to some extent. If you’ve done this right, many of the things you value have been challenged and you may be re-evaluating how you think about certain subjects.
The overall turmoil that can be a mentoring relationship and the resulting effects it has on you personally, as well as the challenges to your values, require us to turn to God to process it all and remain effective and productive as you try to love your mentee the way Jesus would.
As you turn to God, keep the following in mind:
1. Pray that you are quick to listen and slow to judge. Your young dad is in over his head and probably doesn't have any good examples of a dad to follow. He probably wants to be a good dad, but has no clue how to get there. In addition to that, you’re dealing with a young man that’s still maturing emotionally and has probably struggled to process it all. Ask the Lord to help you see him the way He does and that you would be slow to judge.
2. Pray that your mentee would be open and even more importantly, honest with you. His inability to do so may be a defense mechanism designed to protect him from being hurt again. Lies or over exaggerations may be to help him seem respected in your eyes. Either way, the only way he will feel secure enough to be open and honest with you is if you gain his trust. So keep in mind that the answer to the prayer of him being open and honest may reside in your ability to make him feel secure and loved. Consistently praying for #1 above could result in a more open and honest young dad.
3. Often times, the ability to suspend judgment is dependent on your perspective on their problems. Seeing them the way God does will help you be more objective regarding the true cause of their problems and more willing to say what needs to be said. Suspending judgment doesn’t mean you can’t say things they need to hear or push them a little. Pray and ask God that you would have the discernment to walk the fine line of suspending judgment but be willing to say what needs to be said. Pray also that you would care for your mentee in a way that will allow him to hear what’s being said and not take it as a personal judgment against who he is.
4. One of the results of a mentor relationship can be an increased self confidence in the young dad. In most cases, self-confident people are secure people. For any of us to be secure in who we are, we have to be secure in the fact that people care for us just the way we are. Before we can deal with our issues, there has to be a confidence that allows us to see our problems without being overly critical of ourselves. If it’s too painful to look that deep, we won’t. Usually this kind of confidence is presence in those who are loved and cared for completely. God is the only one who provides that kind of love. Pray your mentee would experience the love of God and that God would provide most of that through you.
5. Pray for a stubborn resolve on your part. Remember, the best thing you can do is come back. The problems you face with your young dad can make you want to do anything but come back. However, there are few things more powerful that the resolve to see things through when that ability is granted by the Lord. Your mentee needs to see you won’t give up on him so he won’t give up on himself and in turn, his child. Pray that you have the resolve to come back.
6. Last of all, pray that God would reveal Himself to your young dad. We all are teaching people what it looks like to follow Jesus by the way we live our lives. Pray that God would use you to draw your mentee to Jesus.
And we exhort you, brothers: warn those who are irresponsible,[a] comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all. 16 Rejoice always! 17 Pray constantly. 18 Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5: 14