Two weeks ago, Letty and I got to baptize our grandson, DeeJay. Actually, DeeJay is technically our step-grandson as he is our daughter-in-law’s son from a previous relationship before she married our son, Daniel. But for all intents and purposes, to us DeeJay was always our grandson; even before Daniel and Casey got married.
DeeJay is a very spiritual 8 year-old. He wanted to get baptized ever since he asked Jesus to be his Lord a couple years ago through CBC ‘s Children’s Classes (called “KidSpace”). And he wanted me and Grandma Letty to do the “dunking”; which was his way of saying how we have impacted his life spiritually. We couldn’t have been more proud or humbled at the same time!
As we got into the baptismal, I flashed back to over 30 years ago. Letty and I were engaged to be married and we were praying for our life together. During our prayer time, we had an “Abrahamic” moment; you know, like when Abraham saw the stars of the sky and God said, “Your descendants will be this numerous” (Gen 15:5). In the same way, we sensed the Spirit of God telling us, “Pray the biggest prayer you can pray.” And so we took a deep breath and prayed the biggest prayer we could think or imagine:
We asked God that He would lead every one of our descendants and their spouses to become followers of Jesus Christ until He comes again.
To us that was and is a “ginormous” prayer. There are so many things that go wrong in life; so many twists and turns and obstacles that come between people and God. There is free-will; which I believe God honors (and is still sovereign). There are no guarantees in life. Even in the Biblical genealogies there are generations within godly lines (like David’s) that fall away from God. We wondered if our prayer was even in the realm of possibility. And we wondered if we prayed too selfishly – like James’ and John’s mother who asked Jesus to give top positions to her sons. But pray this, we did (I’m sounding like Yoda now). And pray it, we do – on a regular basis, with our whole heart.
The interesting thing is that even though we prayed the biggest prayer we could, God didn’t tell us whether He would answer it for sure or completely. If we sensed anything from God after praying that prayer, it was a slight nod and a smile. As if He were saying to us, “I like that prayer.” But He was also saying to us, “Let’s see if you really mean it. It will require a lot of work and faith on your end and My end.”
And so DeeJay’s baptism symbolized the first-fruit of our third generation coming to Christ. We are the first generation and our three sons and daughter-in-law are the second generation. Who knows how many more generations we will have before Jesus returns? What made this occasion even sweeter was that DeeJay has been “grafted” into our family. Like Rahab and Ruth in Christ’s line, God opens up opportunities for other families to join into ours; thus giving us greater opportunity to see “God’s family” grow.
But I’m also learning that big prayers require big faith and big work and big commitment. That’s the difference between a prayer and a “wish.” It is hard enough to keep my heart focused on Christ; it is extra hard to raise children and grandchildren to follow God’s ways. But as hard as we work on it, we see God working even harder – with Truth and Grace. Prayers get answered as we join in what God is doing.
Nine days after DeeJay’s baptism, I drove Letty and the grandkids to Back to School Night at Letty’s school. On the way, Aiden, my youngest grandson (4 years old), asked me point blank, “Grandpa, how can Jesus come into my heart?” His brother’s baptism made him spiritually curious. So right there in the car, we explained the Gospel, in simple terms, to Aiden (with good helpful commentary from DeeJay, who was now an “expert” in the faith). And right there in the car, Aiden asked Jesus to come into his heart as His Savior and Lord!
Five down; thousands to go…
God is still nodding and smiling. And why not? He loves it when a prayer comes together!
What is the biggest prayer you can ever pray?
How have you wrestled with big prayers to God?