This morning at church, a young man led the congregation in a time of organized prayer. He started by having us pray quietly by ourselves. Then he suggested that we get together in groups of two or three to pray specifically for the church leaders, the church body, and the church’s outreach–in that order. I asked my 10-year-old niece if she would like to pray with me, and then another girl around the same age asked if she could join us. I figured that, being the adult in the group, I would probably do the praying while the girls listened. I was surprised, therefore, that as I took a break from my prayers to seek God’s mind on what to pray next, this other girl jumped in and prayed specific, appropriate prayers. I was especially amazed at her burden for the lost as she prayed that God would bring people into the church, especially those that don’t know Him. She asked God that He would save the world. It was a humbling reminder not to judge others. I assumed since the girls were young that they would sit there and not participate but here was a child who had no problem praying in a group and making her petitions known.
Yesterday on Facebook, my sister did a Facebook Live video, reminding people, in the midst of this hectic season, to be sure to spend time in God’s presence. I have also encouraged people to do this in previous years but seeing my sister’s heart come through in her video and to hear her tell how she was setting aside most of the day to draw near to God and seek Him caused great joy to well up within me.
You may wonder what these stories have to do with each other. They reminded me what a responsibility parents and older siblings have in the lives of those who have been entrusted to them. I have four younger sisters who mean the world to me, and when I see them exhibit a spiritual maturity that surpasses what I have attained at present, I thank God for it. It’s like a runner who carries a torch. As the first runner passes it on to the next in line, that person may run even faster, causing the flame to grow and burn brighter. It’s not a contest but a testimony to keep passing on our faith to the next generation, praying that it becomes real to them and that they will not settle for mediocrity but will be full of the fire of God until their dying days. This is what every parent, grandparent, mentor, teacher, etc. should desire but we must lead the way.
May God continue to draw each of us closer to Him that we may encourage those who come after us to go even further than we have gone. Lord, let it be so.