“When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel.” -Judges 2:10
They sat on the far left corner of the stage, half hidden behind the pedestal so that you could only see about a dozen heads with varying shades of grey hair. They weren’t famous or the honorary guests and if you saw them on the street, your glance might quickly pass them by.
Unless you noticed the peace in their eyes or heard the joyous praise of their God when you said hello, how are you? They’re the ones that don’t complain. The ones who survived wars, famine, persecution and betrayal. They’ve raised large families and still look at their wives with the deepest love and respect, even after decades of marriage. They love simply and give generously. They want nothing of the world and would be happy to give the shirt off their back if asked.
But what really sets them apart is their heart, because for nearly half a century, if not more, they’ve been carrying the church and the children of God in prayer before the Heavenly Father. They’ve laid hands in healing. They’ve heard confessions. Gave baptisms and guidance. They’ve seen souls saved, but they’ve also cried in anguish when one of theirs left the flock. Some of them saw people raised from the dead. They’ve ministered in prisons, in underground gatherings, in Siberia and in the most modern of today’s churches.
The pages of their Bibles are worn with love, and Bible passages flow easily from their mouths and from their memories. They can’t have a conversation without sharing how awesome their God is. Their faith is indescribable, but is also hated by the World, and sometimes by other believers. Because they’re the real thing.
They come from all the corners of the world, but their lives are intertwined in the most intimate way possible – brothers, pastors, ministers, apostles, evangelists…men of God. And as I observed these preachers and pastors at a church conference, the Spirit stirred in me and urged me to pray for my generation.
Because what happens 10 or 20 years from now? When the grey hair fades to white and eventually, each one of those men is called home? Who will take their places?
I know my Father and I believe that there are young men across the world who are in training to become prayer warriors, ministers, husbands, fathers, pastors, disciples and maybe even martyrs. They may be few, but they do exist and they have a huge calling on their lives to lead God’s people on the narrow way in these last days.
Will you join me in praying for the next generation of our church leaders, preachers, pastors, husbands, sons, and men of God?
PS. If you’re curious about the harlotry metaphor mentioned in today’s readings, check out our study of the Proverbs 7 woman which explains how the church can play the harlot, even in today’s modern age!