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6 & 7 April 2024 (Pastoral Page) WHAT WILL YOU PASS ON TO THE NEXT GENERATION?

By Mr Lee Kok Wah


Have you ever seen a hearse with a luggage trailer containing the belongings of the deceased heading towards the crematorium? Of course not! Overheard at a funeral: “What did he leave behind?” “Everything” was the reply. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it (1 Tim. 6:7, NIV). However, we may pass a spiritual legacy on to the next generation.


This generational approach to disciple-making is recorded for us in Psalm 78:1-7 (NIV): 1My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. 2I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old – 3things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. 4We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. 5He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, 6so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. 7Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.


At this weekend’s grandparenting seminar hosted by our church’s Family Life Ministry and Seniors Ministry, Bishop Emeritus Robert Solomon mentioned some of what we may pass on to future generations. In his book A Grand Calling: Biblical Reflections for Grandparents (Discovery House, 2021), Bishop Solomon shared some prayers for our spiritual legacy. I would like to quote five of these, to guide your prayers for your biological and spiritual children and grandchildren.


A prayer for passing on the faith.

Dear Lord, I thank You for giving me the faith in Christ my Saviour and for redeeming my life. I pray that this faith may also be found in the hearts of my children and grandchildren. I also thank You for the faith that has been passed on to me – the faith that has been preserved over the centuries through the testimony of Your church. Help me to know this faith and to cherish it enough to intentionally take time to pass on what I know to the generations that follow me (p93).


A prayer for our profession of faith.

Holy and heavenly Father, You have blessed me with the great deposit of faith that has been passed down from the time of the apostles to my present generation. Help me walk with You as I review the central tenets of biblical faith. Enable me to understand the foundations, and train me to help answer questions and objections that my grandchildren have in their minds and hearts. Help me to seek not to win arguments for their own sake, but to win my grandchildren for Your glory (p104).


A prayer for our practice of faith.

Heavenly Father, help me to fear and love you with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. Help me demonstrate my love for You by the way I am eager to please you and do Your will. May my profession of faith and practice of it be consistent and congruent. May my life match my speech. Enable me by Your Holy Spirit to live in such a way that my life becomes an encouragement and inspiration to my children and grandchildren (p115).

 

A prayer for passing on memories.

Almighty and loving Father, my life has been a journey, and You have been present throughout, both on good days and difficult ones. I have many stories to tell of your goodness and faithfulness, and I pray that you will bring them to my memory so that I can give thanks to you and share them with my children and grandchildren. Help me to use my creativity to help make new memories for my grandchildren – memories that will bring them to an awareness of Your love and truth, of Your presence and faithfulness (p152).


A prayer for our children and grandchildren

Dear heavenly Father, I am greatly encouraged that Your Son and Your Spirit are interceding for Your children on earth. Help me join this heavenly intercession by praying for my children and grandchildren. Enable me to bring my burdens and hopes to you in prayer. Help me to find unhurried time to spend time with You and to be able to tell You about each of my grandchildren. I know You care for them and that You want to bless them. Remind me to faithfully pray for my family and grandchildren. Give me this burden and fill me with Your love (p214).


In Jesus’ Name, amen.

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