Like many of you, my social media was lit up this week with pictures of kids going back to school. I have to admit I love seeing all their smiling faces, and I’m always surprised at how fast my friend's little ones have grown. Babies we once held in the nursery are now tweens, and the tweens I taught in Girl’s Ministry are now young brides. How did this happen! It makes me feel so old!
This summer, as I’ve seen these pictures and more, I’ve been saddened by a startling truth. While some kids that I’ve watched grow up in the church to continue following Jesus, not all have. Some are ignoring Him, and others have completely walked away from Him.
It breaks my heart.
Just because a child is raised in church doesn’t mean they will grow up to follow Jesus. Each person has to make their own commitment to Jesus. We all need our own personal relationship with Him. Everyone has a choice. Some choose to walk away.
Of course, as a former church kid, I knew this. I’ve watched many I grew up with turn from their faith. For some reason, I was different when they were my peers than children that I loved.
This realization has caused me to start praying every day for the children in my life now. No matter how small they are, I’m praying that they will come to know Jesus at an early age. I pray that the Holy Spirit will draw their little hearts to salvation and that they will make their commitment to Jesus. I’m praying that they will love God’s Word and their local church. That Christianity won’t just be Mom and Dad’s religion, but it will be something they possess deep in their hearts.
I’m praying that God will help them to stand firm in their faith in a world that is trying every means possible to tear their faith apart.
I’m praying they will be a light in the dark world instead of having the darkness influence them.
I’m praying for the little ones to have an early experience with Jesus, for the tweens and teens to continue in the faith they know, and I’m praying that the prodigal sons and daughters will come back to Jesus.
For all those heading off to college for the first time or returning for a few more years, we need to pray that they will be able to stand for the Gospel, for truth, and live a godly lifestyle against everything that is going to be thrown at them. As too many people know, it's easy to fall away from the faith in college--even a Christian college.
Yes, I know they aren’t my kids, but they are the children of my brothers and sisters in Christ. As part of the family of God, I’m lifting them to Jesus by name each day.
As we enter into another school year, I want to encourage you to do the same.
If you have children, pray for them every single day. And pray for their friends who might not have someone making this same commitment.
This generation needs prayer like none that has gone before.
If you’re like me and don’t have kids in your home, commit to praying for the ones you know.
Pray for your grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors, the kids in your church, and your friend’s children.
For the rest of this year, let’s commit to pray for the souls of the children that we know.
Because there is no guarantee that being in the church will make them a Christian.
Whether or not they are raised in the church, Satan wants to steal this generation. He’s throwing things at them that were simply unheard of in generations past.
That’s why I’ve committed to pray—I hope you will join me!
Keep those photos coming!!!
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry.