God has been challenging me over the last few months to have a generational faith; a faith that doesn't stop when I die, but lives on as a legacy to future generations, either in my children or in others. The following is what God has taught me. I hope it blesses you too.
I was first really challenged by this when reading Charles Spurgeon's autobiography. His great grandfather had been convicted to pray for future generations, though they were not yet born. This was a new thought for me, so I have started doing this these past few months. This is an example of some of my thoughts when I pray.
Father, cleanse us from all unrighteousness and give us peace;
Set us free from the sins that bind us and blind us;
Give us victory to a thousand generations, to the end of time, that we might be a people who love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength;
Equip us to love our neighbour as ourselves;
Pour out your Spirit on us Father, for many generations, that we might understand your word and stand on your word and obey your word;
Tear down our strongholds, our idolatry, our witchcraft;
Destroy the unclean;
Lead us through the narrow gate, on the narrow way;
Help us understand the gospel and be light in sharing the gospel to all people;
Challenge us Father to walk in righteousness, holiness and Truth;
Do all this Father, for all generations that they might know you as the Living God and worship You forever, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus I ask this;
There have been big changes since I started praying this way, three times a day.
Changes in my own life.
Changes in my boldness in sharing the gospel.
Changes in the lives of others.
Since starting to pray this way a few months ago, I have, on average, had opportunity to share of God's faithfulness to me, with non-believers, twice a week. In nearly every situation, the often stranger has started the conversation and led me this way. I've never had it so “easy”. But, as we both know, it's all God! Prayer changes things.
I have learned that generational faith isn't just prayer. It's far more than that. How I live my life influences the future generations. Psalm 24:3-6 says that the one who is pure and clean before God, with no idolatry or falsehood will receive blessings and forgiveness from God for future generations. So, I have been asking God to tear down any idolatry or falsehood in my life, so that I might live 'Light.'
Psalm 78:1-8 speaks of the importance of teaching the future generations two things:
- The history of God's deeds and faithfulness over the past thousands of years.
- God's law and requirements and the gospel of forgiveness
God reminded me again about the importance of this, for if we don't teach our children and the future generations, then they will forget God's deeds and His commandments and become stubborn and rebellious. I have written about this in the past, and spoken of how I had become lazy and relied on Sunday Schools and Christian Schools and Youth Groups to disciple my children. It is NOT their responsibility. It is mine and my husbands. We are the one's God will hold responsible. So, for the past year, I have sat with my three children most days and studied God's word in depth, sharing my stories of God's faithfulness and His deeds in my own life. Trying to show them the reality of my faith. Trying to show them the preciousness of the gospel.
Finally, God has shown me the importance of writing down the stories of God's deeds in my own life for the future generations. I've been challenged to write down the stories of His faithfulness in detail. Even if it is only for the eyes of my children, it is worth doing, because we all know how we forget easily. This is a legacy of gold we can leave our children. For me, I found I would tell others of God's amazing stories in my life but I have never really written anything down for a future generation; other than informally in my journal or on here.
“Let this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may praise the Lord”
So, I have decided to make a start. I have purchased a document box and have started to write down the deeds of God's faithfulness in my life. At some point, I will collate the pages into a book and give it as a gift for my children.