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, way-maker, and friend of the Bridegroom. As this Scripture reveals, his birth and life are a great testimony to the ways of the gospel.

Oh, to become a man like John the Baptist—whose joy was to become smaller in the world’s view that Jesus’ greatness might be seen by everyone. Oh, to be a parent like Zechariah, wanting only what you want for our kids and grandkids.

With palm’s up, Father, we relinquish our parenting agenda for the perfection of your plans. What better story could we write, or what other story would we choose, than for our kids to be a means by which your love and grace would impact the community and culture?

Father, we lift our kids and grandkids to you. For those who don’t yet rest in your grace, we ask you to bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus. 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; granting them sufficient grace and wisdom for each season of life.

Father, as parents and grandparents, help us to live and love in such a way as to make the gospel attractive to our offspring. Free us from ways and words, which hide the beauty of Jesus. We want to be bridges of grace, not obstacles to faith. Grant us quicker repentances when we fail.

So our prayer for our kids and “grand’s” is the same one we offer for ourselves: Father, guide us into the heart and habits of the gospel; lead our feet more surely onto the path of peace; restore our first love for Jesus and daily love for everyone else. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant.

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Scotty Smith


Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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