I want to do better this next year! I want to step away from the commercialized insanity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and even the commercialization of what some call “Giving Tuesday.” I have realized over the past several months how random, wimpy, and small my prayers are for the children that matter most to me. I want to do better next year for the sake of the next generation—my children, my grandchildren, the children of my church, and their children after them. I want to pray bigger, bolder, and more biblical prayers for them. I am wondering on this Giving Tuesday if there are 9,999 other people who would want to join me in this effort as we anticipate the beginning of a new year.
Because there is more to say than what I can explain in this post, I have written a small book called Big, Bold, Biblical Prayers for the Next Generation. I have also recorded a 5-minute videoif you would rather listen than read. On this Giving Tuesday I want to give youa copy of this book and encourage you to read at least the first 29 pages, and consider praying such prayers at least once every week in 2019.
My desire to do better began about this time last year, when a sense of urgency was rising at Truth78 (formerly Children Desiring God) because of some significant financial challenges. I was feeling desperate. I prayed earnestly and intensely, and urged others to pray with us about these concerns.
Two thoughts were troubling me as we prayed. First, as urgent as the situation seemed, I had no assurance that God would solve the funding problems we were facing. God is not bound by some promise that guarantees the viability of our organization. In fact, we were prepared to accept the possibility that God might be pleased to accomplish his purposes for the next generation without Truth78.
The second troubling thought was that I was feeling more urgent about relatively small things than I was about the greater things. Why was I feeling more desperate about diminishing sales than about more than half of children growing up in Christian homes forsaking the faith? Why was I not feeling as desperate about the complacency that we see in the American church toward faithfully passing the truth on to the next generation? Why was I not feeling more desperate about our brothers and sisters around the world who lack any resources to help them with the instruction of their children?
Jesus’ words at the end of Matthew 6 caused a significant shift in my approach to prayer and to the little problems I was facing in ministry. Jesus exhorts us not to be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’…But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
This passage suggests that my first prayers should be for the greater things—the big things—the Kingdom-sized things, as I trust God for the smaller things. Not that I should neglect praying for the lesser things, but rather I should prioritize my prayers toward the greater.
I also realized that my lack of assurance was due to praying for things that were not necessarily linked to any explicit biblical truth or promise. When asking for financial blessings, there is a measure of confidence we can have based on God’s promise to provide for our needs. But compare that confidence to the confidence we have when we ask God to grant that every knee bow and “every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”In other words, the more biblical my prayers are, the bolder I can be when I pray—which explains why, on this Giving Tuesday, I am inviting you to join me in praying big, bold and biblical prayers for the next generation. What might God be pleased to do if 10,000 people commit to praying big, bold, biblical prayers for the next generation in 2019? I can hardly wait to find out!
Share this book with others and encourage them to join us in prayer
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About the author: David Michael is a co-founder of Truth78. In April, 2014, David was called to serve as the Pastor for Next Generations at College Park Church in Indianapolis. For 28 years (1986-2013) David served under the shepherding ministry of John Piper; the last 16 years as the Pastor for Parenting and Family Discipleship. He and his wife, Sally, have two daughters and three grandchildren.