August 25, my children put together a wonderful (almost) surprise birthday celebration for me. It was a very special time–I felt very loved and cared for by my family, friends and the Lord. September 6 our son turned 37–so we were able to celebrate him with family–again it was very special.
However, September 8 was even more amazing! Our church has started doing a very special “water baptism” Sunday each summer. The children’s ministry teaches on water baptism a few weeks before–preparing their hearts. The Sunday of, the preaching pastor also teaches and shares about this step of obedience. It is a very special day.
A few weeks ago I had talked with four of my grandchildren about baptism. They were not interested–citing various reasons why they would/could not take part. Each of these children have each personally encountered Jesus as Savior, so I really was surprised at how adamant they were about not following this next step. It was curious to me that they felt sooo strongly they weren’t going to participate. (Too cold, don’t want people looking at me etc–I just said, well I guess you simply aren’t ready.) But I began to pray against these obstacles.
During my birthday celebration there were words given about our family legacy. It was very special and encouraging. My adult children are all committed to following Him, but I saw a picture of piece of aluminum sheet metal separating the next generation from that legacy. I began to pray seriously about this resistance.
I woke up Baptism Sunday morning praying that the Holy Spirit would make each one’s baptism significant to them. I had no idea of who was going to get baptized. It was so strong on my heart–that I just kept praying about it all morning. Praying for the sermon as the pastor preached on different scriptures concerning baptism. At one point I thought–we don’t know what is going to happen. Certainly all the people who witnessed Jesus’ baptism did not know that they would be hearing a voice from heaven! For this special day, all the elementary children join their parents in the main sanctuary for the service. Something amazing happened during the preaching of the Word or the worship–but three of my grandchildren had their hearts changed and chose to be baptized! How surprised, blessed and excited I was to be able to witness their obedience! After the service they told their folks of their desire! What a joy it was to see their parents join the pastors in the pool and participate with these precious children. There were 28 people in total who followed Jesus into the waters of baptism that day. My heart is full–praying for the rest of my grandchildren to make their own decision when the time is right. They were so excited. Only the Holy Spirit could have help them overcome their fears and reluctance. They were so so happy they did it!
I did not know how the Lord would answer my prayer that day. I did not know that the Holy Spirit had me praying for my own grandchildren–I am so glad I followed the Spirits leading and prayed anyway. The amazing thing is several of our other friends children were baptized the same day–different towns and even in different states! What is the Lord going to do with this “class” of disciples? I certainly will keep praying, watching and believing for them to fulfill His purpose in each of their lives. The other wonderful fact is that their grandfather’s birthday was September 9. I still am not sure how much Heaven’s citizens know about what goes on in earth–but I know it must have made him happy too!
Dear ones, do not give up praying. Those girls were very adamant just two weeks before how they were not going to be baptized. I kept praying. I did not pressure them, condemn or cajole, I just said ok. You must not be ready yet. It is about Jesus and following Him, not about your likes and dislikes and left it. Their parents also talked and prayed with them. Do not forget to rely on the Holy Spirit to bring the changes you need or others! He does good work!