For the past couple of months, God has placed on my heart the “children” of our church, specifically, the generation of adult age, under thirty, that grew up in the church and have strayed away or are not walking in the fullness of His grace. I have been praying God would meet them where they are in their lives. I pray they respond to the Holy Spirit and come home, either to our church or to a church where they can serve the Lord. God has told me to write down and pray over each name. I challenge you to do the same.
As I left church this afternoon, I felt such heartache for the parents in our church that are having difficulty with their adult children in some way. In the past few weeks, there have been various reasons each of these parents has struggled with their children. However, the enemy of this generation is still the same just as is his purpose – kill, steal, destroy and divide.
This generation is under attack. Many parents may see a problem with their child, but it is an attack on the future of the church. God knows we need this generation more than they need us. We need this generation to be God-fearing warriors and ambassadors for Christ in some of the darkest days that may lie ahead. As a childless woman, I feel God has given me perspective that is broader than those that are in the trenches of pain with their precious children. My heart aches with the parents, because they are my friends and my chosen family. But, in standing outside of the fire, I see how far the fire spans and how high the flames are reaching. This attack isn’t just Satan’s attack on individuals and families, it is an attempt to destroy the future of the church (not just our church body).
When I am under attack by the enemy, I entertain his lies. I get discouraged. I focus on the negative and try to find the logical path out, based on what I know about the current circumstance. Unfortunately, my intimacy with the problem and the attack can choke out God’s grace and mercy. Sometimes we are just too close to situations. When a friend shares with me similar attacks, lies, discouragement and doubts about a situation, I can come up with a hundred reasons why God’s mercy and grace will prevail. I want more than anything to convince my friend, my fellow child of God, that God is on her/his side and wants only the very best for her/him. Yet when I’m in the midst of the fire, I have difficulty seeing that reality for myself.
I say all of that to suggest this: we step outside of our own attacks and commit each day to pray for a different family in the church. It is sometimes easier to be hopeful when it isn’t our immediate pain. We need to envision the reality of our answered prayers. If we have a vision for what the answered prayer looks like and adopt that as our reality, then we can walk in joy! We can celebrate before we see the manifestation of those prayers and trust that the prayers are active and alive, because His Word is alive! I’m concerned that because this generation sees all the stress and anxiety on the faces of parents, they don’t want to be part of a church that lacks joy. We need to demonstrate what it means to walk in the love and joy of Jesus (excuse me, while I preach to myself for a second). I already know God’s answer to our prayers is YES and AMEN, because He loves these children more than we ever could.
We need to stop fighting individual battles that are wearing us out, put on the armor of God, and win the war for this generation together in Christ. We need to join forces, because unity in prayer is so powerful. Ask yourself if you need to commit to a day of fasting and corporate prayer, pray each day for a different family within the church or set aside a day once a week to pray specifically for the next generation of the church body.
If you don’t know the names of all the children, pray nonetheless. Pray for unknown spouses, because God knows who He has chosen for each of us. Who one should marry may be the single most important decision an individual makes after the decision of salvation. Although my heart has been specifically heavy for the adult children, the younger ones will be adults before we know it and I pray they never stray from the path God has set before them.
God has created each child of this generation for this time for a specific purpose. They have been created and called by God. I pray He makes their ways straight and they complete the calling for which He created them.
For many are called (invited, summoned), but few are chosen. – Matthew 22:14 AMP