Praying for the Next Generation (2 Kings 21:2–3) - Radical

Praying for the Next Generation (2 Kings 21:2–3)

“And he did what was evil in the side of the Lord according to the despicable practices of the nations, whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah, his father, had destroyed. And he erected altars for Baal and made an Ashera, as Ahab king of Israel had done and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.”
-2 Kings 21:2–3

This is such a sobering picture because, in many ways, Hezekiah, the King’s father, had done many good things. Now we prayed based on 2 Kings chapter 20 about a major failing on Hezekiah’s heart and life near the end of his life. But he did many good things to lead God’s people to trust in God and to serve God, and to glorify God. But here we see his son who is reversing some of the good things that his father had done and not just his father Hezekiah, but going all the way back to Ahab the king of Israel and reinstituting things that Ahab had done when it comes to the worship of Baal and making Asheras.

We pray for the next generation that they would know you, that they would love you, that they would walk with you all the days of their life.

And as I read this, I’ll tell you where my mind just immediately goes. My mind immediately goes to the next generation in my life and my home. To my sons and daughter to your sons and daughters, if you have children, for some of you who are children, are students, teenagers listening to this, or even for single brothers and sisters who may not be married or have children, but just think the next generation to come. I read this in 2 Kings 21, and I realize the next generation will be tempted to turn toward all kinds of false gods and sinful patterns. So 2 Kings 21 just drives me and us to pray God, please cause the next generation that comes after us to worship you alone, to love you, to exalt you, to live for your glory alone, to experience your goodness, to obey your word and your law.

God, we pray that our kids and grandkids, some of whom are listening to this right now. God, we pray for the next generation, whoever comes to our mind when we think about the next generation. We pray even specifically for those people that they would know you, that they would love you, that they would walk with you all the days of their life. That they would not turn from you. They wouldn’t turn aside to false gods in this world. And God, we pray that you would help us all to live toward that end. Help us to live to faithfully pass the gospel on to the next generation. God, we pray, the fruit of our lives would be generations worshiping you.

God, I pray all the time for my children’s children’s children, who I assume I probably won’t have the opportunity to meet in this world should you tarry Jesus, and generations from my family continue, I pray that they would know you, that they would love you. They would walk with you. God, please, I pray that it’d be so. We pray that together for those who will come after us, and we pray that you would help us to live faithfully toward that end to model worship of you alone to show them your goodness and your grace and your glory in what they see in our lives. God, please help us to faithfully pass the gospel on to the next generation and in light of 2 Kings 21. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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