Suppose an enemy invasion was imminent. My home and family were in grave danger and they depended on me to protect them. I knew of an arsenal full of just the right kind of powerful weapons to fend off the enemy, and I had the key to it and the authorization to use the weapons.
If I didn't avail myself of those resources, my family would suffer the consequences and would be captured by the enemy. The same fate would befall my friends, neighbors, colleagues, church, and community. The ripple effect would be felt throughout the world.
I have such an arsenal and I have the key and I have been given the authority to use the weapons. The weapons are my prayers and the need is urgent.
In one survey of spiritual healthy families it was discovered that somewhere in the past or present there was a giant of prayer. He or she might have been ordinary, far from prominent or even noticeable. Nobody outstanding or striking. The person might not have been a giant in stature or recognizable as a spiritual giant. Quietly, unobtrusively, he prayed constantly for his family surrounding them with God's protection. He had their back with prayer, hedging them about with an invisible fence. Sometimes that person lived two or more generations back in the genealogical family tree. Sometimes that giant has never been identified.
I had such a giant in my family tree and so did my husband Ted. In both cases it was a grandparent. I will change the tense to say “We have such giants” since those persons are still alive and well in an everlasting dimension we call eternal life in the presence of God. And I believe they are still interceding for new generations who continue to be born in our family scores of years after they themselves laid aside their "earth suits" and passed from this mortal life.
Once prayed, prayers instantly reach the ears of Almighty God and will be answered by Him according to His own will and time through the mediatorship of His Son Jesus Christ and the groaning of the Holy Spirit. Those very prayers will keep being answered generation after generation in the lives of the men and women of our family tree without diminishing in efficacy with the passing of time. Perhaps their prayers will even gain momentum in power as the ages roll on! I know that I am the recipient of the prayers of spiritual giants in our family tree and so are all those in our blood line and those beloved ones who are grafted in through marriage and through adoption and other blended ways.
Thank you precious giants of prayer in the past in our family tree!
However, each generation needs to have at least another such giant to pick up the spiritual weapon of prayer from God's arsenal to intercede for their immediate family and “pray it forward” to the future generations, if Jesus still delays His return.
It is admirable to leave some material legacy for our children and children's children, if we are able. I am not in a position to do that. Perhaps my legacy is in the words in print that I am bequeathing to my progeny, and the words spoken from my heart to my beloved family. But it is even more spiritually effectual to focus on praying for my immediate family and my descendants, the posterity that I will never see, who will be born after I have tasted immortality. My legacy of indestructible prayers for them can contribute to opening their hearts to God.
The problem is, I don't feel like a giant of prayer or qualified to intercede for our family tree which is extending to more and more generations. Far from a giant, I feel more like a grasshopper! I feel weak and faint and more often than not I don't know how to pray. Well, apparently the Apostle Paul felt the same way. (Romans 8:26, 27) I don't feel that my prayers are muscular. Often I don't feel that my prayers even reach the ceiling let alone reach the ears of God. How can my prayers potentially influence the undying spirits of children yet to be born?
I must understand that of course the power is not in me or in my words or even in my prayers. By prayer I am tapping into the power in the hand of God. It is His power that will work in the lives of those whose names or relationships I will simply lift to Him.
We each have our particular family tree in this great forest of human life during this brief span of time given to us on earth. God has destined each of us to be born in this generation with the specific circle of relationships for which He makes us responsible if we are His children. The very fact that I know there is an enemy who seeks to drag down the souls of our family should cause me to run to the arsenal and grab the sword of the Spirit and stand my ground on their behalf.
It is a moot point whether I feel like a giant or not—I have a giant's work to do and I should be about my Father's business of prayer for my family and our progeny to come!