By Christina Koeppel
New, all too common clichés have been littered throughout our daily conversations.

“There’s never been a time like this.” 
“This is unprecedented.”
“Since the pandemic started.”
“You’re on mute.”
“I need to grab my mask.” 

Just as these phrases cause anxiety, depression, and discomfort for adults, these words and phrases cause anxiety, depression, and discomfort for our kids and youth as well.

Speaking as a millennial who engages with Gen Z, I am triggered. I am uneasy about what the “new” new means for my family, friends, and even more, for my youth. It is one more straw on the camel’s back. It is one more opportunity for the enemy to steal the joy and hope that our God provides. But, I have faith that Gen Z is the most flexible generation of recent history. They have had to keep their heads up through school shootings, ever present racism, temptation of technology in their pocket, and now a pandemic. I know Gen Z is strong, but I also know they miss community, they miss their friends, they miss seeing people in person. I invite you to pray with me.

“Heavenly Father, Thank you for being ever present in our lives. Thank you for loving us and providing for us. Lord, we desire to see you flow through our communities in ways we have never seen you move before. Help us to take this pause in our ‘normal lives’ to draw closer to you. Hear the heart cries of Gen Z. We ask that you protect them, protect their minds, protect their hearts. Build a fire within them that cannot be squelched by the trials of this world. Help them to know that you are always with them. Lord, let us look to Gen Z for inspiration and direction. When the ‘new’ new creeps in, help them to remain steadfast. Help them to show others that You are where their hope comes from. 

“We also lift up their teachers, administrators, counselors, and parents. Help the adults in their lives to be clothed in wisdom, discernment, protection, love, and grace. You are truly the only one who knows what is happening and what changes are coming. Help us to trust you more faithfully.

"In your name, we pray. Amen”