Famed evangelist Billy Graham once shared that many times before preaching a sermon to thousands of people, he would be seized by intense feelings of despair, depression and loneliness. More than merely an emotional problem, Dr. Graham would confide that he believed these feelings were not his own, but were rather generated by “an unseen enemy who sought to discourage my message.”

When praying for or ministering to your students, how quickly do you give in to discouragement?

Just this past Sunday, we had a terrific morning of ministry in our church services, and a well attended and fun youth meeting that night. And yet, I was unnaturally plaqued with discouragement throughout my day.

What is that? More importantly, if I am not generating these thoughts, where are they coming from?

I have found that when I have entered an intense time of prayer, fasting, and seeking God on behalf of my church, my city, or my ministry, these feelings of discouragement inevitably come, almost as a counterbalance of the Enemy.

Perhaps this is why Jesus said these words in Matthew 7:

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Perhaps Jesus’ words aren’t so much an instruction as they are also an encouragement. He, more than anyone, would know the spiritual forces at work when we pray with the power, groanings, and leading of the Spirit.

Keep on interceding on behalf of your students, and persist in praying even through discouragement.

If this happens to you, take heart: you are moving in the right direction. The Enemy senses something he doesn’t like, and is attempting to throw you off course. Give Feedback

What helps you to pray for your students? What tools do you use?