by Daniel Bramlett
When was the last time you saw a boy who couldn’t speak and whose life was convulsed by the evil spiritual authorities in control of it? I see them all the time. Kids who have been heavily influenced by the enemy are everywhere. We’ve always known kids are malleable. They’re a blank slate. The enemy knows this, too. He is taking every opportunity to shape our kids into his own image and character. We are seeing the effects of that right here in Southwest Arkansas.
I think everyone is upset (is that too light of a word?) about the teen shootings we’ve experienced. We need to understand this tragedy goes far beyond these two incidents. Our children have been groomed by the enemy to walk this path for years. If we are going to do more than just face the consequences, we are going to have to go much deeper than gun control. What we must do is handle the hearts of our kiddos.
To handle a child’s heart is to know them well; to take lots of time with them; to communicate meaning by the time you spend with them. To handle their heart, we are expected to speak truth to them. This truth cannot be framed in “do as I say and not as I do” statements. Kids want to know right from wrong. Either we model that for them or the enemy will do it for us. We are expected to discipline them; to show them the boundaries. And we are not the ones to invent these boundaries! We teach them God’s Word and heart and show the consequences for ignoring both. This is HARD work! But if we want to see change in our part of the world, this kind of work must begin to be done.
This is not a task we can just pick up. There aren’t enough Godly parents and grandparents in the world to pick up the kids who are being tossed around by the enemy. The Lord says through the prophet Zechariah, “Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit!” Only in Christ will we begin to see the righteous results we pray for. And only in prayer will we see victory.
In two weeks on May 29th a group of pray-ers will be meeting outside the new Hempstead County Courthouse at 7:00. The goal of this meeting is not to talk, preach or impress anyone. The goal of this meeting is to step into the process of taking this region back. This is not a new movement and we are not the first to pray. God has been working toward this end for some time now. Many of our Churches are standing up in the role of training Godly parents and raising Godly children. Our goal is to step into what is already being done. Will you join us?
Jesus met His disciples trying to cast out a demon in the midst of a crowd of confused people. “Why can’t this be done? Why is this boy so abused by this evil spirit?” Jesus addresses both crowd and disciples as “faithless” and then begins to attend to the boy. As soon as the evil spirit is in the presence of Jesus he really begins to act out. He throws the boy on the ground. Jesus asks the dad how long this has been happening and the answer is “since childhood.” How many times can we answer similarly!
The boy’s dad is desperate. He begs Jesus, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us!” We know Jesus can do anything. The disciples knew Jesus could do anything. But this dad was in the dark. So many parents don’t know because they haven’t seen; they don’t know the power of God. They think they and their kids are just bound to suffer. Jesus answers him, “Anything is possible for the one who believes!” The man cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” In a moment of utter brokenness, this man sees Jesus as his absolute last hope.
Jesus speaks to the boy, the demon comes out and leaves the boy laying on the ground as if he was dead. But Jesus knew better. He took him by the hand and lifted him up. Everything in this boy’s life changed from that moment forward. Later, when the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast the demon out, He responded “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
It is past time for us to confess our inability to fix this area and surrender our kids to Jesus. It’s past time for us to stop arguing about the best route forward and ask the only One who’s ever really known. The time for us to admit our failures and seek the Lord is NOW. Will you join us on the Courthouse lawn? Sunday, May 29th at 7 pm. This isn’t a fix-all prayer meeting, but it’s a start. It’s time to pray.