God blessed my husband and me with nine grandchildren between the ages of seven to twenty-eight years. As a long-distance grandmother for many years, I felt my prayers were too general since I was unaware of what was going on in their lives. I prayed God would bless them. Ultimately, I became frustrated and felt something was lacking in my vague, general prayers. I asked God to show me how to become intentional in praying for them.
After reading Grandma, I Need Your Prayers by Quin Sheerer & 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 my praying. God’s Word became like a manual for me to learn to pray more effectively since prayer connects me to the creator of the universe. Praying God’s Word enabled me to pray with more confidence and boldness. I was also motivated me to pray regularly and specifically for the emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being of my grandchildren.
The primary prayer for my grandchildren is that they will come to realize God loves them, accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, and follow Christ wholeheartedly throughout their life.
God has created each of my grandchildren for a unique purpose. I pray they will discover their purpose, be motivated to pursue them, and trust Him will provide the resources. Only God can provide fulfillment for them, which the world cannot give.
Holy Spirit Intercedes
Many times, I do not know how to pray for my grandchildren. However, after I learned in Romans 8:26 that the Holy Spirit intercedes for me when I do not know how to pray for them, my prayers took on new meaning. The Holy Spirit knows the needs of my grandchildren, so I ask Him to intercede for me according to His will. It is comforting to know I can put my concerns in God’s hand, shifting my concern to God, instead of carrying the burden myself.
Often my prayers are not answered as I ask or on my timetable, although, it is in the waiting that God does amazing things in my life and the lives of my grandchildren.
New channels of communication opened with my older grandchildren when I started asking how I might 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. To keep these channels open I like to call them on the phone or send cards for holidays to offer encouragement, to let them know I love them and pray for them. The electronic age in which we live now offers me new opportunities to stay in touch with my grandchildren. It is easy to send those e-cards, email messages, and texts.
I surprised my oldest granddaughter the first time I texted her, she texts back “WOW! You are incredible!” Occasionally, I try to text my older grandchildren to let them know I am thinking of them and praying for them.
It is important for me to communicate with my grandchildren that I love them and accept them even though I may not accept their choices at times. My interest in the details of their lives along with my desire to pray for those details shows acceptance and love to their hearts.
Photo Prayer Journal
In Cheri Fuller’s book, When Mother’s Pray, she suggested making a Photo Prayer Journal for your grandchildren. The Photo Prayer Journal is a working document to help you pray intentionally and effectively for your grandchildren. I developed a Photo Prayer Journal in a three-ring binder with a section for each grandchild. Each section has a profile sheet with their picture, information, and pages to write my prayer concerns, hopes, and dreams for each grandchild on which I want to focus. (You will learn more about the Photo Prayer Journal in the Appendix of the book.)
Blessings as a result
I want to share a note from my oldest granddaughter, a confirmation that praying for these precious grandchildren is never a wasted effort.
“Your phone calls, cards, and emails were encouraging and made a significant impact on my life, especially in my teenage and college years. Your prayers and encouragement have been rock-solid reminders of God’s truth in my incredible, crazy life-shaping years, and now in my married life. Your prayers help me surrender the craziness of my life to God.”
Using the Photo Prayer Journal in my prayer time has strengthened my relationships with my grandchildren. Whether they live nearby or far away, praying for them intentionally keeps me in touch. When I let them know, I am praying for them, my prayers can often be as powerful as my presence, especially when they are older and busy with their schooling and their jobs.
As a grandparent, I can have a major role in stabilizing and influencing the lives of my grandchildren by my example and my prayers for them during these turbulent years. It has given me purpose and fulfillment. I hope and pray that the seeds of prayer I plant today will yield a harvest of blessing for them in the future.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. (our grandchildren).”(I Corinthians 2:9)
“The Lord . . . hears the prayer of the righteous.” (Proverbs 15:29)
By Lillian Penner, Co-director for the prayer ministry of Christian Grandparenting Network., email@example.com