“Their descendants will serve him; the next generation will be told about the Lord. They will come and declare his righteousness; to a people yet to be born they will declare what he has done” (Psalm 22:30-31, Christian Standard Bible).
Have you ever wondered how far your influence will reach once you have passed from this life? Although most of us do not care to think about our death, we realize it is something that will eventually happen to all of us. What legacy will we leave for the generation to follow? Will it only be a few family photos and mementos or perhaps a bit of money? Or will it be a spiritual heritage that will affect generations far into the future?
Praying for Future Generations
I recently heard of a lady who found a letter from her great-great grandmother among some family papers. The letter contained a prayer for the writer’s son and any children to follow. The fragile piece of paper with it’s fading ink poured out this lady’s desire for her descendants to know and serve the Lord. God heard her prayers and now the fourth generation served Him. That is proactive praying.
What do I mean by proactive prayers? Many times, we respond to a situation by praying after it happens. When we pray proactively, we address things before they happen. We pray for our children’s hearts to be sensitive to God’s Spirit. We pray they will make good choices in life. We pray for their future spouses. We can cover our children and grandchildren with prayer before they are even born.
Pray and Teach
Prayer is vital, but we also need to combine it with teaching our children about God and His mighty works. Recount the miracles He has done within your family. Make God part of your family life. Talk about His goodness, love, and mercy. Remember, we are always just one generation away from losing our godly heritage. That’s what we find in Judges 2:6-15. Joshua, who had led the Israelites into the Promised Land, died. While his generation knew God for themselves, they failed to pass on that knowledge. While not explicitly stated in Scripture, it is unlikely they prayed for their children and generations to follow. Prayer could have changed the outcome.
“When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10, New King James Version).
Your prayers and your testimony will help shape the future generations. Don’t fail them. Be proactive in passing the faith to your children and beyond.
Prayer: Lord, I pray my family will always love You and serve You. Help them to follow Your will and make wise choices in life. Let me remind them each day of Your goodness and mercy and recount all the blessings You have given us as a family. I know I will eventually pass from this life, but I commit them into Your care and keeping. May the generations to come know You and then pass on the torch of truth.