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Finding Joy in Praying for my Grandchildren

 

 

 

 What a joy it is to have that precious little grandchild come running into your arms with hugs and kisses. The six-year-old calling to tell you she lost her first tooth or your seven-year-old grandson excited about making his first goal in his soccer game.

In addition to the senior discounts, grandchildren are one of the rewards of growing older. Mary H. Waldrip says it well, “Grandchildren are God’s way of compensating us for growing old.”

I grew up in a Midwest rural community many years ago. I didn’t encounter the temptations and pressures my grandchildren are facing today in this media-driven culture. Our society is teetering on the brink of moral and spiritual bankruptcy. I pray for protection from the evil deception in the world around them.

I have nine grandchildren, ages ranging from fifteen years to thirty-six years and four great-grandchildren under 5 years of age. As a long-distance grandmother for many years, I was not fully aware of my grandchildren’s immediate needs. I prayed that God would bless them, give them good health and protection. Ultimately, I became frustrated and felt something was lacking with my vague and general prayers. I asked God to show me how to become more deliberate in praying for them.

After reading Grandma, I Need Your Prayers by Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock, and When Mothers Pray by Cheri Fuller, prayers for my grandchildren changed dramatically. The books were full of practical advice, encouraging me to use specific scriptures in praying. Motivating me to pray regularly and accurately for their emotional, physical, and spiritual well being.

I want to share some of the practical advice I pursued.

  • I developed a Photo Prayer Journal in a three-ring binder with a section for each grandchild. Each section had a profile sheet with the grandchild’s picture and information about their school, church, friends, and activities. Followed with several blank pages on which I recorded my prayer concerns, hopes, and dreams for the grandchild.
  • God’s Word became a manual for learning how to pray more effectively for my grandchildren. Praying scripture unleashes the supernatural power of God in their lives. When I pray according to God’s Word, I am in line with His will. As I started claiming God’s promises and personalizing the scriptures for them, I experienced more confidence and boldness in my prayer life.
  • New channels of communication opened with my older grandchildren when I asked how I could pray for them. For the younger children, I consulted with their parents to keep abreast of specific concerns. Then I was able to pray more specifically for them.
  • A primary prayer for all my grandchildren is that they will come to realize how much God loves them. God will always be there for them. They will accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and spend eternity with Him.
  • Paul tells me in Romans 8:26 "when I don’t know what to pray for; the Holy Spirit intercedes for me. The Holy Spirit knows the needs of my grandchildren, so I ask him to intercede according to His will." It is comforting to me that I can put my concerns in God’s hand, leaving them with Him. It shifts the responsibility on God, instead of carrying the burden myself.
  • The love I have for my grandchildren would like to control their lives and keep them from pain, disappointment, or discouragement. Humanly, I want to rescue them and pray, “Don’t let anything bad happen to them.” To which the Lord may say, “I need to allow disappointment, pain, and failure so they will learn to trust and obey me so I can pour my blessings on them.” It’s crucial I pray for God’s will in their lives.
  • God has created my grandchildren for a unique purpose. I pray they will discover their dreams, be motivated to pursue them, and trust He will provide the resources.
  • It is essential for me to communicate with my grandchildren that I love them and accept them even though I may not accept their behavior. I like to call them on the phone; send cards for holidays, note cards, or e-cards to offer encouragement, and let them know I love them and pray for them.

Blessings as a result                       

 I want to share part of a letter from my married granddaughter. It is a confirmation that praying for these precious grandchildren is never a wasted effort. She wrote, “My grandmother’s phone calls, cards, and emails were encouraging and made a significant impact on my life throughout my teenage and college years. Her prayers and encouragement have been rock-solid reminders of God’s truth. Amidst my crazy and incredibly life-shaping year, her prayers helped me surrender the craziness of my life to God.”

 My prayers for my grandchildren have strengthened my relationships with them. The Photo Prayer Album has been an excellent tool for me to stay connected to them. Whether they live nearby or far away, praying for them intentionally keeps me in touch. Often my prayers can be more potent than my presence when I let them know I am praying for them.

 

Best of all, praying God’s Word has enabled me to pray with His power, direction, and wisdom. As their grandparent, I can have a significant role in stabilizing and influencing their lives by praying for them during these turbulent years. It has given me fulfillment and satisfaction in praying for them.

The seeds of prayer we plant today will yield a harvest of blessing in the future. My prayer is that you have been challenged to pray strategically and deliberately for your grandchildren. In Isaiah 44:3 God told the Israelites, “I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring and my blessing on your descendants”.God still promises to pour out his Spirit and blessings on our descendants. Don’t we want that for our grandchildren and future descendants?

The greatest long-lasting gift we can give our grandchildren

is the gift of our time and prayers.

By Lillian Penner, Co-director for the prayer ministry of Christian Grandparenting Network,  lpenner@christiangrandparenting.net

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