This is a spiritual battle for the souls of the next generation; these young people are the next wave needed to carry the banner of Jesus Christ into this increasingly dark world. There is so much at stake. Not only is every single one of the 60% leaving a son or daughter whose eternity hangs in the balance, but they are also the future lights meant to go forth into the darkness. Satan wants nothing more than to lure our young people away from eternity with their Savior and get them off the battlefield, onto the sidelines.
The Bible is clear that our war isn’t against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. – Ephesians 6:12
So, if the battle is a spiritual one, we need to fight it as such. We cannot go into this fight for the next generation simply thinking that better programs, larger events, or modern marketing is going to win the fight. Instead, we need to look at the Bible to learn how to fight God’s way.
The Bible makes it clear that prayer is one critical element that Christians must use because it is powerful and effective.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. – James 5:16-17
Prayer isn’t powerful because of us. No, its power and effectiveness comes from the fact that we are bringing our pleas to the Creator, the King of Kings, our Rock and Defender. God hears our prayers and he is the one that is able to answer them.
Over and over in the Bible we see that God comes through for believers and answers their prayers, doing the impossible!
When the Assyrian army had surrounded Jerusalem and all the odds were stacked against King Hezekiah, he goes before God in the temple and cries out for deliverance. During the night, the angel of the Lord comes and puts to death 185,000 of the Assyrian army! Elijah, who was mentioned previously in the James’ passage, prays that it would not rain and it didn’t for three and a half years! In the New Testament, we read about Peter in prison in danger of losing his life. The Christians are gathered together praying for him earnestly. Not only does God miraculously answer their prayers and free him from prison, but Peter shows up at the house where the believers are still praying!
When we call on God and ask him to come through for us, we call on a God who isn’t limited by human standards. He has the power to do the impossible and when he does, then we don’t get the glory, he does.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21
Next, we need to approach this “giant” issue the same way David faced Goliath in the Bible. When David sees the Philistine giant mocking Israel and God, he didn’t cower in fear. No, David rises up in Spirit-filled defiance.
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” – 1 Samuel 17:45-47
We too, like David, can fight in boldness and confidence, trusting in the Lord to win the battle. When we fight for God’s kingdom and his glory, then we can trust that he will rise up and give us victory over the enemy.
There is hope for the next generation! This battle is far from lost. Yet, it is not a battle to be fought only by teen parents. It is a spiritual battle for the next generation that should matter to everyone. In this fight, God doesn’t need perfect soldiers that are specially trained. No, we simply need to be Jesus followers who are willing to let ourselves be burdened by this mission and then fight according to God’s battle plan.
How can you start?
- Join our prayer movement to fight for the next generation by signing up for the Jericho Initiative.
- Consider starting a prayer team at your church for the youth in your congregation.
- Commit to praying for your kids and with your kids every single day.
- Ask God how he can use you to stand up and fight back for the next generation.