Awakening Prayer Guide: Serving the Next Generation
Join other Jesus-followers in united prayer for this Awakening Indicator: Imparting faith to children and youth by equipping parents to become the primary disciplers of their children
Generation is the act of producing offspring or the act of creating something inanimate. A generation can also be a stage in a succession of natural descent—grandmother, mother, and daughter. A family generation is the average time between a mother's first offspring and her daughter's first offspring. This makes a natural generation approximately 25 years in length.
Many experts believe because of the acceleration of culture and technology, cultural generations are approximately 10–15 years long. At one time, it took 40 years for an idea to move from Europe and take root in the U.S. Because of modern technology, the transfer now is believed to be about two years or less. Our opportunities to be culturally relevant, to reach and equip the next generation, are on an extremely fast track. How are we serving our generation and equipping the next?
Even in view of his personal weaknesses and failures, King David was considered a man after God’s own heart, who would fulfill all His will. The New Testament commentary on King David’s legacy was “after he had served his own generation by the will of God, [he] fell asleep, and was laid unto his fathers” (Acts 13:36). Of course, from David’s lineage, God raised up a Savior.
In his book, Watchman Prayer: How to Stand Guard and Protect Your Family, Home and Community, Dutch Sheets challenges us with these words, “Testimonies are waiting to be created; a generation of youth is waiting to be born again (Exodus 37); dry bones are waiting for breath; homes are waiting to be healed; addictions are waiting to be broken; untold millions are waiting to hear the gospel for the first time.”
The first and primary place we serve and equip the next generation is by loving and training our children in the home. Fathers and mothers after God’s own heart will have an unconditional love that pursues the best for their children. Not only do they train and discipline, they also watch or protect and warn of potential enemies that could bring harm to the next generation. A watchful parent will also recognize the gifts and callings that God has placed within their children and help to nurture and encourage those gifts. How vital this is both for our biological and spiritual children God places in our lives.
The length of time we have to serve our generation may vary, but our history is yet to be written. Are we still producing spiritual offspring? With cultural acceleration occurring at today’s rate, are we being culturally relevant without compromise?
- Thank God for mothers and fathers who have a relationship with Him that enables them to love and teach their children with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that come from knowing God.
- Thank Him for godly extended family members who bless and encourage parents as well as their children.
- Ask God to build and strengthen the faith of parents, giving guidance and insight for developing their children’s gifts and callings (2 Timothy 1:5–6).
- Pray that God will give mothers and fathers the language of those who are instructed by God, so they may speak with wisdom into their children’s lives; they will know how to sustain their children when they are weary with comforting words; they will be able to teach their children how to be instructed by the Lord (Isaiah 50:4).
- Pray for parents to be filled with God’s Spirit and model a relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit even as Jesus modeled that relationship for us.
- Pray God will cause parents to multiply their Christian impact through their willingness to parent those who have not had godly parents (Isaiah 54:1-3).
- Pray that fathers will be careful not to exasperate their children but lovingly, wisely, and patiently train their children in the ways of the Lord, creating an atmosphere of joy that celebrates obedience in their homes (Colossians 3:20, Ephesians 6:4).
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