Last Sunday our pastor spoke about how we might respond to the younger generation. He briefly mentioned mentoring and brought to our attention 1 Timothy 4:12
1 Timothy 4:12Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
12 Let no one despise or think less of you because of your youth, but be an example (pattern) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.
Mentoring is a passion of mine. Even if it is not your “passion” we as older women have those in our circle of influence who are of the next generation. We have opportunities to mentor or “model mentor” all around us. If you have our children then you are certain of this. I realize that Paul was instructing Timothy as a young leader in the church however his advice stands for all of those we hope will be entrusted with truth long after we are gone. Although a Christian as a young adult I don’t believe my life and beliefs were quite as contrary to the current culture as they are today. The next generation has huge hurdles to overcome and it really is up to us to encourage and help them as Paul did with Timothy. Although the culture may seem a greater challenge today God is the same yesterday as He is today, His truth and good news never change. Nor do His promises and instructions for a successful life and ministry.
I have found the easiest way to infuse faith into the lives of those I have the privilege of relationship is to cultivate 2 things. First my relationship with the Lord, it has to remain vital and alive today. Obtaining a fresh word daily is imperative if I am to be ready with God’s answer when a question arises. Only then will I be able to gently declare truth and remind another who He is, and what He says. That is the greatest encouragement we will ever be able to give. If we want to see our children grow we feed them and we make sure we are giving them the very best. We study what will provide the most nourishment.
Isaiah 59:21Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
21 As for Me, this is My covenant or league with them, says the Lord: My Spirit, Who is upon you [and Who writes the law of God inwardly on the heart], and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouths of your [true, spiritual] children, or out of the mouths of your children’s children, says the Lord, from henceforth and forever.
As His words come out of my mouth they will also come out of the mouths of our spiritual children and for generations after us….
The second thing I must cultivate is to be intentional in developing loving relationships. That requires time. Time spent really listening to the challenges another has. Loving them intensely while they make their own way on their personal journey. Being ready with a word of encouragement or truth they can hold onto. As we learn faith lessons we should be sharing them. Sharing our struggles and challenges with transparency and then sharing how God has come in and met our needs. It is the testimonies of our generation which will enable the next to build memorial stones of their own.
One generation shall laud Your works to another and shall declare Your mighty acts.
Then there is prayer. Ok, I guess there are three things…..
Author Mark Patterson wrote, “If you determine to circle your children in prayer, you will shape their destinies…your prayer will live on in their lives long after you die”.
With our grown children and those we mentor our focus needs to be on listening, a readiness to share the goodness of God and His power in our lives and then a commitment to pray. While we cannot protect them from every harm and difficulty we can be proactive to guard them. We can pray for wisdom, protection, strength and favor. We need to ask the Lord to reveal to us what ever strategies the enemy might have to trip them up and then pray strategic purposeful prayers.
I have often shared prayers for our kids but here are just a few reminders for those God has entrusted to your prayer care:
Psalm 91:11 (AMPC)
11 For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service].
That they will be filled with joy and peace:
Romans 15:13 (AMPC)
13 May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.
Pray for bubbles of joy, peace and hope in their lives!
That God will bless the works of their hands and grant favor: ( A favorite for my kids..)
17 And let the beauty and delightfulness and favor of the Lord our God be upon us; confirm and establish the work of our hands—yes, the work of our hands, confirm and establish it.
That all of their needs will be met:
19 And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
There are so may promises we can pray for them, when we are with them or far away….The very best thing we can do is to ask the Lord what to pray but when we are at a loss grab a scripture and pray, His word never returns to him void!
Tuesday afternoon I had the privilege of standing with a young woman who has allowed me access to her life. I have walked where she is walking, I had to face the challenges she is facing and God has proved faithful in my life. So it is easy for me to have faith for her and to encourage her to pray, declare God’s promises and rest in His love for her. Easy because I have the memorial stones to prove He is always faithful. We need to put those stones in place for another to step on. When I was praying for her the Lord graciously brought back to me what I had been reading in my devotions that morning from Psalm 37.
Psalm 37:3-7 (AMPC)
3 Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.
6 And He will make your uprightness and right standing with God go forth as the light, and your justice and right as [the shining sun of] the noonday.
7 Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.
For two consecutive mornings God had led me to Psalm 37. I know it well and was not quite sure why the Lord continued to lead me there. That afternoon I realized It was just prep for a prayer that would be coming!
You see that is all we need to do. Stay in the word. Be ready. Invest in the life another and enable them like Paul did with Timothy to be an example in word, conduct, love, faith and purity.