In my prayer time this morning I was thinking about and praying for the many children of our congregation who were raised up in our church and are no longer currently walking with the Lord.
As a church congregation we should be concerned about the numbers of children who become adults in our midst and yet do not accept our faith. We must ask ourselves if we are equipping them well to face the challenges of this world and to know why they believe what they believe so that when they are challenged in their faith they can stand firm on God’s truth and not be tossed about with every wind or wave. We must strive to raise up children to have a deep faith of their own before they go out into adulthood.
The primary responsibility of this lies with the parents of each child yet the church also plays a vital role. We must offer opportunities for discipleship that are deeper than just a surface-level question and answer or fun and games. And we must come alongside parents and encourage them to be discipling their own children in their own homes during the week. Parents can’t give to their children something that they don’t possess themselves.
The conditions in our world are deteriorating and persecution against Christians is increasing. They are facing difficult circumstances. A deep abiding faith in God and a great knowledge and hunger for God’s word is their hope. It is vital that we do what we can to invest in eternity by investing in discipleship of our young people.
We are in a spiritual battle for the souls of these young people… our grown children who have heard the truth. Keep praying for them as they enter into this world so that Satan doesn’t steal from them the seeds that we have planted of God’s word and His truth. Pray that God’s word takes deep root in their hearts and minds. Pray that God gives them opportunities to step out in faith and to stand firm so that He can build their faith and show them the way they are to go. Pray for the parents of these young adults that they continue to speak truth to them.
There is much that a congregation can do for each individual family and young adult. When we follow God’s ways of encouraging one another, praying for one another, and speaking truth with love Satan cannot win.
We must also walk in humility with the understanding that each child must make his or her own decision to follow after Jesus. Each child is unique and there is no perfect parenting or church programming recipe that will guarantee salvation for each one. Yet we can be a mighty prayer force surrounding them with a hedge of protection and encouraging them to walk with God. We can be a living example of what it looks like to follow hard after Jesus Christ.
I hope you’ll join me in praying for those young people who know God’s truth and are walking with the world. Cover them with grace and mercy, love them well, and speak God’s truth to them every opportunity you have. Don’t gloss over or cover over sinful lifestyles, but be honest and direct to lovingly restore them to God.
Enter by the narrow gate for the gate is wide in the way is easy that leads to destruction and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness but is patient toward you not wishing that any should perish but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
As Paul said to Peter, “And I am sure of this that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
Father God, I pray that You will restore to us those years that the locusts have eaten that You will continue to draw to Yourself our children who we have taught the truth and done our best to raise up in your ways Lord. I pray that your Holy Spirit within them will lovingly draw them back and will convict them of their sins. May we be a church full of grace and mercy, encouraging those who have strayed to return to the fold, celebrating when they return. Amen.
Point them to Jesus. Speak God’s truth with love. Love them well. Don’t turn a blind eye to sin, but address it. Stand firm in your faith. Live a life that shines forth as an example of submission to Jesus. Keep praying. Be encouraged. Press on.