We [the authors] still believe that what mattered to teenagers twenty or fifty or a hundred years ago matters to teenagers today, even if they use different language and technologies to express and meet those needs. Imagine, for instance, an “average” American teenaged girl (who is likely named Emily, according to the Social Security Administration’s records on Gen Z). Before the COVID-19 pandemic, an average day in Emily’s life included over five and a half hours of leisure time, with about three hours of that time spent looking at screens. Along with nearly 95 percent of her friends, Emily has access to a smartphone and describes herself as “almost constantly” on the internet. Emily says she uses her phone to pass time, connect with others, and learn new things, and she uses social media apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok to communicate and keep an eye on cultural conversations and trends. She says that her parents make sure she gets at least seven hours of sleep a night, but she still wishes she got more sleep, spent more time socializing, and spent less time on homework.
—Kenda Creasy Dean, Ron Foster, & Megan Dewald, The Godbearing Life, Revised Edition (Upper Room Books, 2023)
What are some timeless needs of teenagers? Join the conversation.
[God] has made everything suitable for its time; moreover, he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
—Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low by thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
—A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
The family of God knows no bounds. Bring together everyday siblings in Christ around the world by giving to the international editions of The Upper Room. Give today.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.