Text: Luke 11:1-”One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”’

1.0 What is a Spiritual Legacy?

1.1 A natural legacy is a gift of property, especially personal property, as money.

I Spent It All! You may have heard about the family who was gathered in the attorney’s office eagerly awaiting the reading of the last will and testament of a recently departed family member. It did not take the attorney long to read the very simple will, which merely stated, ”Being of sound mind, I spent it all.”

1.2 A spiritual legacy is anything handed down from the past.

  1.  A spiritual legacy points to a better life.

John 14:12-Jesus said: ”I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father.”

  1.  A spiritual legacy provides for my heirs.

2 Tim. 1:5-Paul said to Timothy: ”I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”

2.0 How Do I Establish a Spiritual Legacy?

2.1 Be Intentional!

Susanna Wesley’s Legacy: She taught each of her children the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:2-4) as soon as they could speak. She made them recite it twice daily: when they woke and again at bedtime. As they got older, she added other elements to their prayer regimen. They would be taught to pray for their parents and some of the promises found in the Bible. This was all based on their stage of development and ability to memorize.5

  1. To have a legacy of prayer means that you must possess what you want to pass on.
  2. You have to have a life of prayer!

Dan. 6:10-”Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.”

  1. SET a TIME of prayer (6:10).
  2. Three times a day Daniel got down on his knees and prayed.
  3.  He set a standing appointment with God because he believed in God’s ability to answer prayer.
  4.  There are 96 15-minute periods each day. Which one is your time of prayer?

SET a PLACE of prayer!

  1. The place should be one of solitude and familiarity-it’s your sanctuary from the noise of the world.
  2. A set place gives you predictability regarding the lack of disturbance or distractions.
  3. Your place of prayer should be personally inviting and comfortable.

A Special Place for Prayer: Dick Eastman in his book The Hour That Changes the World, writes: ”Consider Susanna Wesley. With nineteen children, including John and Charles, Susanna Wesley still found time to pray daily. This godly saint seldom gave the Lord less than a full hour each day for prayer. [She had no place to get away for prayer.] So, at her chosen time for spiritual exercise she would take her apron and pull it over her face. Her children were instructed never to disturb ‘mother’ when she was praying in her apron.” P. 15-16.

Note: Jesus had His special places of prayer: 1) He went to the mountainside to pray; 2) He went to the sea and prayed; and, 3) He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.

iii. SET an AGENDA of prayer!

  1. It is your job to establish an agenda for prayer.
  2. This unnamed disciple had things on his heart he wanted to speak with God about.
  3.  The agenda comes from the people, problems, places, purpose and promises you’re dealing with.

2.2 Be Spontaneous!

  1. Look for teachable moments with your kids.
  2. This unnamed disciple asked Jesus a vulnerable question that seemed spontaneous and unplanned.

Fact: ”According to the International Bible Society, nearly 85 percent of people who become Christ-followers do so between the age of four and fourteen.” This is the 4/14 window.

  1. Good parents seize teachable moments.
  2. They are for your child’s sake and not yours.
  3. These moments are not lectures or spiritual speeches. They are conversational talks that have one aim: To connect in a deep way.
  4. Keep in mind: There is no junior Holy Spirit and God is not a grandfather; only a Father.
  5. To raise a child or a grandchild who prays means that the child understands that:
  6. God does not push the pause button on their spiritual life until they become adults.

Heb. 4:16-”Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy, and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

  1. There is no junior Holy Spirit and God is not a grandfather; only a Father.
  2. They have full access and freedom to God’s throne room just like God’s adult children.
  3. God values and respects their prayers and they too can move Him.
  4.  Seek opportunities to pray with your child.
  5. Use the prayer exercises I offer in the book such as the Five-Finger Prayer.
  6. Pull out your smart phone and invite your child to pray with you about your list of Favorites.
  7. Create a Prayer Board-a large poster with pics of things or people your child wants to pray for. This makes for a wonderful agenda.

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About The Author

David Ireland is the lead pastor of Christ Church, a multi-site multiracial congregation in New Jersey. Ireland serves as a diversity consultant to the NBA and also leads chapel services for the New York Giants, New York Jets, and the U.S. Pentagon. He has written over twenty books and appeared on The Dr. Phil Show, CBS Evening News, and The 700 Club. He began his career in civil engineering with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering (Farleigh Dickinson University) and a graduate degree in civil engineering (Stevens Institute of Technology). Later he attended seminary, earning a master’s degree in theology (Alliance Theological Seminary) and a doctorate in organizational leadership (Regent University). He and his wife Marlinda married in 1984 and have two daughters.

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