Dearest Heavenly Father,
What a challenging year 2022 has been for everyone. It seems we all know someone who lost family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and classmates to the pandemic or maybe even to violence. There were verbal battles and lost friendships due to positions on social concerns and other issues like critical race, gender meanings, vaxing or not vaxing, masks or no masks, global warming or climate change, and being politically red or blue or even purple. Then there were theological divisions between reformed positions, free grace, creationism, and a host of other conflicts.
There is increasing hostility about homelessness, racism, law enforcement, and crime. Then there are natural” catastrophes like monster hurricanes, severe flooding, raging fires, devastating tornadoes, and deep freezes.
All these have brought a sense of human hopelessness.
The pain of 2022 has been portrayed on the front pages of our newspapers and in the auditoriums of our churches. According to a Barna statistic, 38% of U.S. pastors, with 46% of those under age 45, have considered resigning in 2021. If the trend continues, those statistics will only worsen for 2022 and will continue to get even worse in 2023!
Then we have the black eye given to the Bride of Christ, the Church. She has been led by too many pastors, Christian leaders, apologists, and evangelists, who have sinned with greed, moral impurity, worldly styles, and dictatorship-style leadership. These and many more have denigrated your Name in front of all the people of the world.
Dearest Father, in addition to all these appalling leanings, we are losing the next generation if most of that generation has not been lost already. Two studies we read conducted again by the Barna Group and USA Today found that nearly 75 percent of Christian young people leave the faith and the Church after high school. Intellectual skepticism is one of the main reasons. But how many of these young people were accurately taught the Bible in their homes or churches? Statistics have shown that adolescents today are sitting in school an average of 30 hours per week, often watching television, bombarded by commercials and sitcoms, playing video games, or connecting on social media. All these contrasts with the time spent weekly in the church classroom or worship service: 45 minutes. Generation Z has been identified as “the first post-Christian generation in the history of the United States.”
Here’s my prayer, oh heavenly Father, for our country in 2023: Would you revitalize your Church to rally young people to be sound in the faith once delivered to the saints so long ago to evangelize their world today? Would you light up the parents and adults with the brilliance of the truth of God’s Word that would ignite the new generation of young people with the power of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit?
Prepare a new generation of pastors who will model true Christlikeness, minister to those who are disenfranchised, mentor the next generation of spiritual influencers, message the flock of God with the accuracy, clarity, and urgency of the gospel and God’s Word, and manage the affairs of the Church and ministry with honesty, decency, and integrity.
Prepare a new generation of parents who listen to God, learn from God, lean on God, and live for God to be the examples of holiness, and then teach and train their children in God’s Word.
Prepare a new generation of teenagers who stand strong and last long for the cause of the Great Commandment of loving God and others and the Great Commission of presenting the message of salvation by faith alone in Christ and then growing to become fully obedient worshippers of God.
May this prayer not just begin a movement with a Biblical message but be echoed across our country and around the world!
Please, dear Father, use Make It Clear Ministries, Clarity Christian College, and other like-minded ministries and churches to heal your Church, our nation, and this world until Jesus’ soon return.
I ask these things in the Name of and for the glory of our mighty Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ!
Dr. Stan Ponz
President Make It Clear Ministries and Clarity Christian College