Raising Up A Praying Generation
By Kim Butts
Children need two things in order to develop as praying people: example and opportunity. The majority of our children do not get either one. We (as individuals AND as the church) are so caught up in the busyness of our culture, that we neglect what is most important – sitting at the feet of Jesus as Mary did. She listened to Him, hanging on His every word – eager to know Him better and to hear what He had to say to her personally.
Pastors and church leaders, fathers and mothers, grandparents, teachers, and others who have children in your sphere of influence – PLEASE seek the face of God in prayerful intimacy. Only then will you be able to provide a living example of a praying person to your young ones.
Children also need opportunities to become praying people – in the home, in church, in the community and beyond. They need to be trained, encouraged, discipled, and released as prayer warriors into a dark, troubled world. God has so much to accomplish in and through all of us! There is no time to wait for our children to grow to maturity before they can be considered to be intercessors. They are naturally born to intercede by virtue of the hand of God upon each and every one. When we do not provide good examples and opportunities for them to grow and stretch their prayer lives, they will turn to other things. And then, how much harder it will be to turn their hearts to prayer!
As for Me and My House
Whether you have been trained in a Christian home, or are just beginning in your walk with the Lord, there are some responsibilities that parents must take. Parents – no matter what age or stage your family finds itself in this very day – would you make a commitment that your home will become a house of prayer? A house that serves the Lord wholeheartedly? “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15).
Pray for the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Seek help from other Christian parents with more experience. Do not be afraid to ask others to disciple you in raising godly children if such training is not readily available in your church.
FATHERS – as head of the family – it is your responsibility and your privilege to lead your family to the throne of God in worship and prayer: “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord” (Psa. 34:11). There is nothing a man can do which is more important than raising godly children who understand and diligently practice the presence of Christ in their daily lives, and who consider prayer to be a natural part of their lives in Him. If you are a single mother, or a parent whose spouse is not a Christian – you are still the primary example to your children, and must take this role.
Children should be trained up in cooperation with the church, but parents should never abdicate their role in the spiritual development of their children to the church. The church is responsible for helping parents learn to train their children; however, the parents are ultimately responsible to be the examples their children follow.
Begin today or continue persistently to train up the next generation to be prayerfully expectant of revival! God is preparing to do a mighty thing in our midst. Will we be ready when He comes? Will our children be prepared to respond to Him with lives of devotion and service?
“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them” (Deut. 4:9).