A Prayer for the Next Generation

Many have asked for the powerful prayer offered by Rachel Carpenter during the services at our Portage Lakes Campus last Sunday. The transcript of "A Prayer for the Next Generation" can be found below and video from the live service is posted here as well. As we head into the weekend, and our special "Take Courage" series, please join us in praying for our families, children, youth, communities, and church as we humbly follow the direction Jesus leads.

Dear Father God,
You remind us over and over in your Word that you are always with us. You tell us not to fear and you draw us close into your Presence. You’re the only place we find refuge in the storms that surround us right now, Lord. You’re the only place we can find peace and strength. So we ask you for your words of truth and power to strengthen us. Thank you for your goodness, thank you that you know our personal circumstances and you have a plan. We look to you today, our Lord and Savior, it’s your face we seek.
Lord, we come before you with a heavy heart for our communities, families, and youth. We are struggling so much right now with the things happening around us, with our children. We know you can be their greatest comfort. We know you can step in and make a difference. Show us how we can best help them. Give us the words and actions that will help keep them from taking desperate steps, Lord. Let them see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that things like self-harm, violence, alcohol, drugs, and suicide are not the route to take. Lord, let your presence be felt in the lives of our young people and let your comfort meet all their needs.
In the Name of Jesus, we rebuke the evil one and cancel his plans to kill, steal, and destroy the lives of the next generation. We declare that he will not cheat them out of the rich and satisfying life that you purposed for them. We believe that you will restore to them the joy of your salvation.
Holy Spirit, shine the light of the Father’s love into the broken hearts of our young people. Remind them that He loves them so much He gave His one and only Son so that those who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life. Enlighten their perspective and help them to lift their eyes above their past hurts and present disappointments. Teach them until they are fully convinced that nothing can ever separate them from the Father’s love. Give us, the Body of Christ, a heart like the Father’s so that we will always be sensitive to one another’s needs and show genuine compassion. Give us wisdom to know how to reach these precious young ones. Warn their family members, co-workers, teachers, coaches, and close friends so that they do not miss critical moments of intervention. Show us how we can better connect with like-minded organizations within our community to form a strong alliance against the social, economic, spiritual, and psychological contributors to addiction, violence, and suicide.
We pray for this new generation, the young men and women of today. Shine your truth into their hearts. May they hear you in music, see you in art, and experience you through the love and care of family, friends, teachers, and the church. May their hearts recognize you as they encounter the power of nature, the majesty of the oceans, and the beauty in creation. Come sow your thoughts into their minds. May they discover wisdom as they read their bibles, discuss deeper issues of life, and encounter hardships and difficulties. Come weave your love into their dreams. May they find vision in their interests, opportunities for their talents, and aspirations for their abilities.
You are the hope of everyone on earth. Build your hope into their lives. May they sense this hope rising above their disappointment, desperation, and despair. These are temporary – your hope is eternal.
Magnificent Lord, You are our Savior. May this next generation of your men and women know you. And may we, the Church of Jesus Christ, lead the way.
In Jesus’ Name,

(Written by Rachel Carpenter, contributing sources: Prayers in Tragedy, Prayers for the Next Generation, Prayers for Suicide)