Have you ever noticed that life seems to go a little easier when you have prayed about things before they become a crisis? Have you noticed that when you first start praying it seems like "All heck breaks loose?" Have you walked with the Lord long enough to know the truth that prayer changes things… starting with my own heart first?
Do you worry about your children and whether they will continue to walk faithfully with Him in the years to come? Do you want to see a family legacy of godliness that will have a powerful role in this world long after you're gone? Have you ever even had the time or energy to think beyond the battle you're engaged in today, to envision a hundred years from now? I know, most days getting through today's tough enough!
About 20 years ago, the Lord taught me a little principle that I have already had the privilege of seeing work out in my life and want to pass on to you. I believe that it will, over time, hugely begin to lighten your load and increase your fruitfulness for God's kingdom. That principle is the concept of multiplying your prayers throughout all your generations.
"My prayer is not for them alone, I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message… John 17:20"
When my children were little, in fact before my youngest daughter was born, the Lord taught me to pray according to the above verse. What do I mean? He taught me to ask Him that when ever I prayed for my older daughter Jennifer for Him to remember those prayers and apply them to any other children that I might have. Then one day I realized I should ask Him to apply them to my grandchildren. Then my vision began to increase and I thought, "My imagination is limited, but His isn't, why don't I ask Him to apply these prayers to anyone who is ever born, married into or adopted into my lineage?"
Over time, I began to realize that when I prayed for my marriage I could ask him to apply those prayers to my children's marriages yet to come. When I prayed to find what He had called me to do and the courage to do it, I realized my struggles could become prayers that would affect the lives of those I will never meet on this side of Heaven. When I prayed for the President God wanted elected this next election, I could ask God to accomplish those prayers in every election, for every President yet to come. Over time He began to open my vision beyond the immediate needs of my own family into the unknown lives of generations yet to be born.
Now… you need to understand the magnitude of thinking and praying for my descendants a thousand years from now is totally overwhelming, and it staggers my tiny little faith levels! I'm very limited in my own imagination, but I do have enough faith to pray for my own life and the lives of those around me (hmmmm, I probably have faith the size of a mustard seed) and that's all the faith it takes to change my generations… one prayer at a time. It's easy to do because it relies on His awesome "Godness," which is so far beyond my tiny imagination. It relies on His strength and memory, not my own.
When I read the verse above, I realize that I am walking in the power of Jesus' prayer for his disciples two thousand years ago and that prayer is still as active and powerful TODAY as when it was prayed! It's power will never diminish and it will remain active FOREVER! I am slowly coming to fully believe in the power of this principle as applied to praying for this day forward in my own life as well.
Over the 20 years I've been praying this way, I've watched my children grow in areas that I had HUGE struggles to grow in… and it just "happens" in their lives because the prayers needed to win the battle have already been prayed. My children in so many ways are decades ahead of where I was at their ages, and I believe will far exceed my spiriual fruitfulness in their lifetimes. It's an exciting, empowering thing to see happen before my eyes… yet it is a light burden and an easy yoke because it is based on the power of God's ability to remember and bring to pass the prayers offered up to Him, and not upon my own feeble faithfulness.
If you don't have children… it doesn't matter. You can pray for your family around you and your nieces, nephews and the generations yet to come as if they were your own. "Sing… you who never bore a child…because more are the children of the desolate woiman than of her who has a husband, says the Lord. Isaiah 54:1" There are no limits with God.
Lord, this concept is too big for my little faith to grasp, but teach it to me. Open my eyes to how I can pray today and effect every single tomorrow yet to come, by your power, strength and grace. Show me how to pray for my children. Show me what to pray for my family, my marriage and the world around me. Then Lord, I am asking you to multiply those prayers for all who will be coming in my family line… by birth, by marriage, by adoption or any other means. Even if I never remember this principle again, I know you will never forget … because you are the all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present and most especially all-loving God! Enlarge my vision. Expand my understanding of prayer and of you, the God who answers prayer. At times everything feels too hard for me, but I rest in the fact that nothing is too hard for you"
Audrey Jeanne Roberts