If you know me, this article is for you. If you’ve ever discovered my arrogant heart by teaching me or disagreeing with me, this is for you. In a more general sense, if you’ve ever tried to collaborate with or constructively critique another person, and they lacked the teachability or humility...
In a previous article, I analyzed the assault our children, and all of us, are facing in this world. I listed the three brands of deception which Satan uses to keep people from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ: Vanity, flattery, and blasphemy.
What hope is there for our children and grandchildren growing up in this world, where they are swimming in this sea of vanity, flattery, and blasphemy?
After reading Psalm 12, you can see why David is praying and why we need to do the same. So, I want to offer a strategy for prayer and for action rooted in three truths about God.
1. God listens
We need to pray for our children. We need to do this in the family, we need to do this as a church. Psalm 12 is a model for us to follow. When we do, we should lay out before the Lord the pressure that they face.
God listens to you when you pray for your children. So pray for them, and keep praying for them. Don’t stop, don’t get discouraged, and don’t give up.
Ask some friends to commit to praying for your children with you and join them in praying for theirs. If you don’t have children of your own find a way to connect with some younger people and pray for them.
2. God speaks
The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. (Psalm 12:6)
God’s Word is pure. He says things that you may not want to hear, and things that are hard to hear. But these are not to harm you, they are to heal you. God’s Word will bring conviction to your soul, an awareness of your own need, but it is pure, and it will always do you good.
Satan does everything in his power to keep you from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ. But light is greater than darkness. “The entrance of God’s Word gives light” (Psalm 119:130)!
How does a person come to the knowledge of the truth where Satan darkens minds and hearts through his vanity, flattery, and blasphemy?
God who said “Let light shine out of darkness” has shone in our hearts to give is the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
That’s how a person is converted. The entrance of God’s Word gives light.
God says, “My Word will not return to me empty. It will accomplish the purpose for which I sent it.”
Parents, grandparents, bring the Word of God to your children. Do it in the home. Let’s keep doing it do it together in the church. Our children are living in a world saturated with dark lies. But light is greater than darkness. When the light shines, the darkness cannot overcome it.
Let’s not lose our confidence in the Word of God. This is living seed, and through this seed God brings new birth: “The words of the Lord are pure words… You, O Lord, will keep them” (Psalm 12:7).
3. God saves
Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone. (Psalm 12:1)
You will guard us from this generation forever. (Psalm 12:7)
Here’s how you can pray for your son, daughter, or grandchild who doesn’t have godly friends, who doesn’t have the benefit of a faithful ministry of the Word: “I’m not depending on their friends. I’m depending on you. Lord, I’m asking you to intervene. Save!”
Psalm 12 is one of only a few psalms that includes an answer. The book of Psalms is a collection of prayers (people talking to God), but in this psalm God speaks to us, and he answers while David is still praying!
“I will now arise,” says the Lord; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.” (Psalm 12:5)
That’s your hope. That’s my hope. You can trust God to speak. You can ask God to save. That’s how you pray when you fear for your children.
God gave to Karen and I the gift of two sons. We are so grateful that they love Christ and have married women who love Christ too. Now that we have two granddaughters, one on each side of the family, we are very aware that they are growing up in a world very different from the one we knew in our childhood.
They are growing up in a culture where there is no longer a Christian consensus that is as widespread as in the past. But I want more for them than to go along with a Christian consensus.
Here is what I am praying for them: I want them to be saved, to know Christ, and I to love God. I want the flame of the Holy Spirit to be lit within their heart. I want God to lay hold of them. In such a way that they will be wholly different than the world in which they live.
A Vision for the Next Generation
I pray we will increasingly see such radical and wonderful salvation in the generation that lies ahead. As people pray not only cultivation of a consensus, but for the radical salvation for people like Saul of Tarsus. Remember, he said: “I was a blasphemer and a violent man. But I was shown mercy.” And his whole life was transformed.
And instead of drifting along in the comfort of belonging to the majority, he lived for the glory of Christ and for an eternal reward.
Is that you?