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Storing up prayer for your children and grandchildren

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Many followers of Christ have a deep longing for the salvation of their children and grandchildren. We offer hundreds, even thousands, of prayers for them over the years. But what about after we go home to Heaven one day? Who will be praying for them then?

Thankfully, Jesus “always lives to intercede” (Hebrews 7:25) for those who know him. And the Holy Spirit “intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26). But what believers here on Earth will be praying for your children and grandchildren after you have left this world?

One thing you and I can begin doing right away is to “store up prayer” for our family that will be a blessing to them in the years to come. We can ask God to continually guide, protect, teach and shower our children and grandchildren in the years ahead with “everything necessary for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

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“This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we have asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

It is God’s will that your children and grandchildren know Him and love Him with all of their heart today, tomorrow and forever. In fact, they were created for this purpose. And the prayers that we offer for our family are precious to the Lord because our children and grandchildren are so precious to the Lord.

Who loves your family more than you do? Your deep love for them provides a powerful motivation to pray for their needs today, but also to store up prayer for the many spiritual needs they will have after you go to be with the Lord in Heaven.

The 19th century pastor and author E.M. Bounds wrote, “Prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them; outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive a world.” 

We want our children and grandchildren to become strong in Christ, enabling them to pray constantly for themselves and for others. People become strong in the Lord by receiving Christ as Savior, (John 1:12) and then through daily prayer, Scripture meditation, obedience and humble service to others.

E.M. Bounds wrote, “A holy life is the only preparation for prayer.” 

How is your prayer life today? It is a reflection of your spiritual health. Are you living each day filled with the Holy Spirit and with a strong desire for prayer? Or are you choosing to have a critical and judgmental attitude toward others?

Without humility before God and toward others, our prayer life is weak and ineffective. But through God’s power, we find ourselves praying continually and with a sense of urgency. We are bold in our prayers when the Holy Spirit is filling every corner of our heart and mind.

E.M. Bounds wrote, “The secret of prayer and its success lies in its urgency. We must press our prayers upon God.”

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

Have you and I been praying with a sense of urgency? Do we realize that time is short, and eternity is forever? Do we hunger and thirst for more time with God, more answers to prayer, and more spiritual growth in the lives of our children and grandchildren? 

We need a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us every day. Otherwise, our spiritual life sinks into a dry routine with little if any meaningful prayer.

E.M Bounds wrote, “Prayer is the greatest of all forces, because it honors God and brings him into active aid.” “Prayer is not the foe to work, it does not paralyze activity. It works mightily; prayer itself is the greatest work.”

Whenever you find yourself lacking a holy zeal for prayer, remember the words of our Lord: “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those to ask him!” (Luke 11:13).

Our prayer life is greatly weakened and diminished whenever we make the choice to deliberately engage in sinful thoughts, words and deeds. It is crucial that we confess our sins to God, and that we keep short accounts in this sense with the Lord. After all, how in the world can we expect God to answer our prayers if we are deliberately going against his will and against our conscience?

On the other hand, there is tremendous power for prayer when we walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). In those times, we hunger for God’s Word; we thirst for more power from the Holy Spirit; and we offer Spirit-filled prayers with great faith and perseverance.

Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” (John 15:7).

God’s Word produces praying Christians because “all Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). How could we ever hope to pray effectively and continually without a fresh breath from God? And how could we ever hope to receive a fresh breath from God if we are neglecting his Word which the Holy Spirit inspired to empower and edify our soul?

What is the best way to love your children and grandchildren? By persistently praying for them and asking God to convict, save, guide, fill, empower and strengthen them with his grace and mercy. Your prayers will not only be a blessing to them today and this month, but also in the years to come as you store up prayer for them.

None of your children or grandchildren were predestined to spend eternity in Hell. How do I know that? Because “Christ died for sins once for all,” (1 Peter 3:18) and “God wants everyone to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Your children and grandchildren are included in “all.”

So, when the Lord brings you home to Heaven one day, what spiritual inheritance will you leave your children and grandchildren? Leaving them financial wealth is worthless if they don’t know Christ and are not living for Jesus.

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska. 

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