Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come. [Psalms 71:18 KJV]
Since I am now grayheaded, this prayer is ever so appropriate! I’ve grown old and gray, grown past:
Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children's children will I plead. [Jeremiah 2:9 KJV]
I am now in the stage of pleading with the Lord for my children’s children’s children. The older ones are reaching the age where they understand that they must be accountable for their actions and that they are responsible for the consequences. That brings them to a non-Bible term, the age of accountability.
One of David’s children died before that age.
Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. [2 Samuel 12:21-23 KJV]
And a grown child, quite accountable for his actions, who died in rebellion with his father.
And, behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the king: for the LORD hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee. And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son! [2 Samuel 18:31-33 KJV]
This was not a short mourning, either.
And it was told Joab, Behold, the king weepeth and mourneth for Absalom. And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people: for the people heard say that day how the king was grieved for his son. And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people being ashamed steal away when they flee in battle. But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son! [2 Samuel 19:1-4 KJV]
My son did not come to know the Messiah as his savior until twenty years after he was baptized. His going forward then was a desire to do as others rather than the conviction of his need and the understanding of his actions. His adulthood remained troubled and unstable. After twenty-some years of praying specifically for his salvation, he told me that he knew how important religion was to me, it just wasn’t to him.
Religion? That’s not important at all. Why do people think it’s “religion”? Because they haven’t come to the convicting realization that it is a personal relationship with the God who created and loves us.
When my son did, he called and said, “I understand.”
So, “this generation” now pleads with the Lord for “every one that is to come”, knowing that their decisions will be just as personal.