Entrusting Our Kids, Grandkids, and Ourselves to Our Grace-full Father

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 (ESV)

Heavenly Father, it’s easy to forget the other child of promise in the Advent story—John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah and friend of Jesus. John’s birth and life are a great testimony to your faithfulness, and the power of grace.

Grant us the joy that filled John the Baptist. And give us freedom to grow small in the world’s eye that Jesus might be greater in the world’s gaze (John 3:29-30). Also, please give us the perspective of John’s parents, Elizabeth and Zechariah (John 1:13-14). All they wanted was what you wanted for their boy. May the same be true as we consider the lives of our kids, grandkids, and ourselves.

What more could we possibly want for our children, than for them to love Jesus more than anything or anyone else in the world? What other story would we write for them than a story of resting in your love, growing in your grace, and serving you with joy? The assurance of heaven will always top acceptance into Harvard. May the gospel always be our measure of success.

So we lift our children and grandchildren to you. For those who don’t know you yet, grant them a saving knowledge of Jesus. Make the gospel beautiful and irresistible to them. For those who do know you, take them into even greater intimacy with yourself. Refresh their faith, stir their affections for things above, and grant them the peace you alone give.

Our prayer for our children and grandchildren is the same one we offer for ourselves: Father, guide our hearts deeper into the wonder, riches, and habits of the gospel. Free us to live the gospel, and love to your glory, between the two Advents of Jesus—loving mercy, doing justice, and walking humbly with you. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ holy and loving name.