Such a hard season with and for our children these days. It’s a hard season for us! Viruses, uncertainty, racial and political issues and of course the big question I hear swirling the most these days, “will the kids go back to school or not?”
How can you and I , whether a mother, grandmother, aunt or neighbor of children, impact this next generation of people following behind us?
How can we make a real and lasting difference in the lives of these children?
As a mom of twenty years, I have asked myself this question no less than a million times over these two decades of parenting. Sure I want my boys to grow to be happy, kind and well established men.
But most of all I dearly want their lives to count for Jesus and for their greatest passion to be to pursue and follow the heart of God above all else. Despite my and my husband’s many mistakes, as of today, my boys are walking closely with the Lord. But as I know all too well from my own life, we are all one painful trial away from being shaken to our core, being sifted like wheat and making the choice to grieve the Holy Spirit in us by silencing His voice and keeping His word closed on the table. To the great glory of God, if we are His, He will continue to hound us and remain near.
But how can we have an effect in these young lives? How can we fight for their souls?
We can pray. We must pray.
Our praying will not save them or change them. But the One we are praying to can.
My great aunt told me something life changing one day in my early thirties, after I had been walking with Jesus for about ten years. She had come along with my family on a vacation to Myrtle Beach. She and I shared a room that week and we stayed up late talking most nights. When the topic came to a relationship with Jesus, as she was quite the devoted follower, I told her my atheistic stance and how foolish it seemed to my young, hurting heart. (Even at the young age of 16 I had already dealt with enough life to grow quite cynical.) Unbeknownst to me, she decided right then and there to begin praying daily for me to know God. It was 7 years later when I would surrender to Jesus.
I am certain the prayers of that precious, and slightly crazy and very fun, great aunt made the difference for me. She knocked on the Throne Room door daily on my behalf, even when she saw no change for many years, she trusted her prayers were heard and God was working. And working He was! He captured my heart at 23 and surely in part due to her prayers.
So, wanna make a difference in the next generation? Want your life to count for something far beyond yourself? Pray for a child, whether one you birthed, adopted or just get to love and know from a distance. Pray for all of them, by name!
The most effective way to pray that I have found, is to pray Scripture. Stick the name of the person you are praying for right in the verse. Then hold God to His word! He is so faithful! He hears. He answers. He acts on our behalf. Prayer matters because we serve a good God. Then start watching for how that prayer, how those verses transform lives. Sometimes we get to see it, sometimes we don’t but we can trust the One who began a good work in us (Philippians 1:6).
As school begins and the season ahead, again, doesn’t look like we expected, I challenge myself and you with me…let’s refuel our prayer lives for the next generation and press hard into what God has for them.