And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:76-79
Dear Father, I often forget about the other special baby promised and delivered in the Advent story: John the Baptist, the forerunner, the way-maker, the friend of the bridegroom. His birth and life are a beautiful testimony to the way, the gospel.
Oh, to become a man like John, whose joy was to decrease as Jesus increased. Oh, to be a parent like Zechariah, wanting only what you want for our children and grandchildren.
There needed to be only one John the Baptist, and yet there’s an ongoing need for many more of our kids to grow up living and loving as John did. What better story could we write, or what other story would we choose for our children, than for them to bring the light of the gospel to the to the dark places and broken people of the world—to be your servants in every sphere of life, in our communities and culture?
Father, we lift our children and grandchildren to you. For those who don’t know you, we ask you to bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus—make the gospel beautiful and believable to them. Rescue them from religion and non-religion.
For those who do know you, we pray that the gospel would go deeper and deeper into their hearts—assuring them of your tender mercies and sufficient grace. And we pray for the transforming work of your Spirit in their lives—making them more like Jesus, and freeing them for a life of service in your church and kingdom.
Our prayer for our children and grandchildren is the same one we offer for ourselves: guide us into the heart and habits of the gospel; guide our feet more surely onto the path of peace; lead us deeper into the ways of shalom—into your commitment to redeem your people and make all things new through Jesus. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ glorious and grace-full name.