Pray for the kids
Last night on the way home I had a conversation with my fourteen year old daughter. She said, "I have a question," as she turned off the radio. That's how I knew this was serious. What started with a question about her generation constantly being labeled and stereotyped ended with a deep discussion about a world in need of a savior and the fact that if we as Christians didn't stop judging and begin to look at people as Jesus sees them and reach out them in authentic love nothing was going to change. It left me in awe of the work God is doing in my daughter's life but also with deep conviction that our children, and not just the three that live in the Gibson house, need our fervent prayers.
Students and kids today live in a world that looks nothing like when our parents were kids or even when we were kids. Once upon a time as a society we possessed a basic level of morality and decency. Good people went to church and lived "right." This has been replaced with a "tolerant" society in which we are told everything is permissible. Students and children are being raised in a society that entitles them, tells them the world revolves around them, and that their number one focus should be being true to themselves. We live in the south, often referred to as the Bible belt. People know the name Jesus, but they don't have a relationship with Jesus. They come to church on Sunday once or twice a month. Yet they live for themselves the rest of the week. They cry out to God and start talking about prayer in the midst of tragedy yet they haven't talked to Him since the last tragedy. Our kids only know what they live and experience. Up until just a year or two ago my daughter that her friends and classmates at school had homes like hers. She thought they all lived in homes with a mom and dad who try to honor God, even though we fail sometimes. She thought they lived in homes that were warm and loving. Instead she is coming to face the realities of the world. Many of her classmates live in homes led by one parent. Some do not know the other parent. Some feel supreme rejection from the other parent. Some are being raised by grandparents or even great grandparents. Even though these grandparents are doing a great job, the turmoil still exists. Some live in homes that look nice but behind those doors are parents who come home drunk, and parents who sling cuss words at their children instead of words of love and encouragement. It breaks my daughters heart for her friends and classmates. She is also burdened by the fact that so many of her classmates claim to be Christians and have a church home yet they only go a few times a year. Their actions do not exemplify Christ and when He comes up in conversations it is evident that they do not know the truth of Christ. Put simply they need Jesus yet they can't see their need for Him.
All that brings me to this point: We need to be fervently, passionately, constantly hitting our knees in prayer for our children. They live in a scary, confusing world. As parents we need to pray for their salvation but that cannot be the stopping point of our prayers. That is not the end goal. We need to be praying they live lives that glorify God. We need to pray they have wisdom, boldness, and compassion. We need to pray for ourselves as their parents. We are going to mess up. We need to ask forgiveness and ask God to use despite our messiness. We have to ask God continually for direction and guiding our kids in this life.
Maybe you do not have children, or maybe your children are grown. This plea for prayer does not exclude you. We need you to pray for our children. I need you to pray for my children. Pray for my husband and I as we parent our daughters. Pray for the people who are working with the children of our church. Do not only pray for the paid staff, although we covet your prayers deeply. Pray for all of those who are influencing our children and students in Sunday school, small groups, and missions and music groups. Pray for our kids to implant the truths of God deep in their hearts and to live out those truths in the midst of a world desperately seeking truth but blinded to it. Get specific! Pick a family and pray intentionally for that family.
Here at First Baptist, we have Family Worship the last Sunday of the month. On this Sunday our children worship with their families in the sanctuary instead of at children's church. I challenge you to look around this Sunday. Pick a family and commit to pray intentionally for them over the month of October. You may not know their name. Feel free to come ask me. Pray for that God would be glorified in their home and that they as a family would make much of Jesus.
Jesus told His disciples not to hinder the children from coming to Him. We must do more than not just hinder. We have to bring them to Him in prayer. Pray they find truth and that they live it out boldly. Join me in praying for our kids.