We hear parents praying for their children to overtake them spiritually; for a reach and acceleration that will take their offspring beyond their own experience with Jesus. It’s not just about wanting children to be in a good place spiritually. There’s a solid faith basis to the praying: the belief that the Lord progressively unfolds his ways. He uses today’s journey as a lead-in to a deeper tomorrow. The spiritual grasp and response in one generation* becomes the launch pad for the next gen to explore a larger space in knowing Christ and making him known. However, it’s not automatic.
If the norm of the parent generation is to step back, gear down and retire into a ‘we’ve done our bit’ mindset, then the energy to be shapers of the next gen has been lost. And if the norm for the rising generation involves conforming to the world, then passion to reach higher in the Lord has been lost. If the generations alive in Christ now are to fulfill their great mandates for the present and make a difference to the future, we can’t afford to settle for the common norms, no matter how convenient and comfortable they are. We need a new normal.
Nothing has a more powerful, trans-generational shaping impact on who we are, what we live for and who we become than love-fueled, Spirit-managed, Word-anchored PRAYER. Everyone in Christ believes prayer is important, but the urgent new normal goes beyond only believing; it’s about taking steps to grow as pray-ers. The prayer energy and creativity of the rising generation is vital! The maturity and stability of the parent generation is indispensable! Yes, there will be generational differences in the way prayer is done, but all sharing a passion to grow in prayer together.
Prayer was dominant in the early church, but our goal is not to return to where they were. Our aim is to fill the prayer space the Lord has prepared for our time in history. Its boundaries are larger than those of the early church and are beyond our current experience. There is so much space to grow into, parent and rising generations together. There are great works of God reserved for our piece of history, and their outworking is connected to prayer. Lord, give us hearts set on growing as pray-ers; make us a display of the new normal!
- What immediate steps can I take to grow as a pray-er; to live out the new normal?
- How can I encourage/serve the prayer growth journey of just one person outside my own generation?
*generation – used broadly in this post as age brackets