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Reflecting my Journey Praying for My Grandchildren

January 9, 2018
 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. Encouragement 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. Primary Prayer 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. Communication 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

Weekly Prayer for Grandchildren #1

January 8, 2018
Pray your grandchildren will learn to ask God to help them make decisions. Their decisions may seem small to us, but they may appear significant to them. Share with them about how you ask God to help you with your decisions. By Lillian Penner, Co-director of the Prayer Ministry of Christian Grandparenting Ministry.

Start the Year with a Grandparents Prayer Group

January 4, 2018
Years ago, Esther stood in the gap for her people, the Jews when their lives were physically threatened. Today grandparents can stand in the gap with prayer for their grandchildren in the same way as their spiritual lives are threatened. I would like to invite you to become a part of a Grandparents @ Prayer group where grandparents pray together for each other’s grandchildren and families. At this time groups are meeting in the U.S, Philippines, India, South Africa, and in Australia. There is an urgency for the power of prayer to keep the hearts and minds of our grandchildren from falling captive to the enemy’s deception and lies. We are engaged in a spiritual battle that requires the spiritual weapon of prayer. As grandparents, we can make a significant difference in the world by praying regularly and deliberately for our grandchildren and their parents. We have an opportunity join together to touch the lives of another generation powerfully. Grandparent @ Prayer (G@P) intercessory prayer groups consist of small or large groups of people meeting once or twice a month for approximately one hour at a designated location for prayer and fellowship. Groups are meeting in retirement centers, schools, churches, and homes weekly. The New Year would be a great time to get started, just ask a few grandparents to join you, try it for a few months, and see what you think. Many grandparents have told me that they appreciate a safe place to share their concerns for their grandchildren. If you are interested in learning about Grandparents @ Prayer groups, go to https://christiangrandparenting.net/grandparents-at-prayer/ for locations, testimonials and complete the form to let us know about your interest. If you are involved in a grandparents prayer group already, will you please email me to tell me about it. By Lillian Penner, Co-director for the prayer ministry of Christian Grandparenting Network. lpenner@christiangrandparenting.net

Have a Blessed 2018 as you pray for your grandchildren

January 1, 2018
I will be posting a Weekly prayer for Grandchildren taken from Scripture to pray for your grandchildren starting next Monday, January 8, 2018. God has given us a gift of communication, which we call prayer. He has even given us a book of instructions of how to communicate with Him. I like to use His Word in my prayers, which are powerful and will not return void, I have found praying Scripture has changed my prayer life. A considerable force of God’s power is released as we relinquish our concerns for our grandchildren to Him and commit ourselves to pray for our grandchildren intentionally.   Prayer is not a production; it is an intimate personal conversation with God, the creator of the universe. Isn’t it exciting to think we have the privilege to communicate with the creator of the universe? Since our world is in moral and spiritual decline, we are in a battle for the minds and hearts of our dear grandchildren. The enemy is trying to steal their hearts and the plans God has for them. It is urgent that we stand in the gap to pray for the spiritual, emotional, and physical protection of our grandchildren and their parents so they don’t become victims of our culture. However. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Isn’t it wonderful that we have the privilege to bring all of our concerns to God? He is always available and sitting at the right hand of God waiting for us to come to him. His line is never busy, He never puts us on hold, we don’t have to press a number for our language, we don’t have to leave a voicemail, and He is available 24/7. I think God loves to hear us praying His Word to him as we pray for our grandchildren. When we pray according to God’s Word, we are in line with His will, enabling us to pray with wisdom and power, according to Hebrews 4:12: “The Word of God is full of living power” (NLT). I have found it helpful to spend time in God’s Word to know His promises and commands because my mind is renewed to think His thoughts. His Word helps me to see my grandchildren’s needs from His eternal perspective instead of from my limited perspective. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. (James 5:16c, NLT) By Lillian Penner, Co-director of the Prayer Ministry of Christian Grandparenting Network, lpenner@christiangrandparenting.net

Will you join the focused 30-day Prayer Challenge?

December 27, 2017
  New Years is always a good time to set a focused effort for the coming year. I plan to spend more time intentionally praying for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Do you have a plan to pray for your grandchildren in 2018 with purpose? I would like to challenge you to start 2018 with the 30-Day Praying with Purpose Grandparent Prayer Challenge.   Focused efforts bring success, and you will see many answers to prayer. Will you join me in the 30-Day Praying with Purpose Grandparent Prayer Challenge? The 30-Day Praying with Purpose Grandparent Prayer Challenge Intentional Prayer Matter  Impact the lives of your grandchildren through the power of prayer. Take the 30-Day Prayer Challenge. The Challenge equips grandparents to pray specifically, intentionally, consistently, diligently, and faithfully for their grandchildren for 30 days by way of daily prayer prompts, tips, and a host of suggested “optional” activities.   An opportunity for support, encouragement, accountability, and community are also available through the Challenge. Download your copy of the Challenge booklet today. Complete the Challenge with a couple of friends, use it in your small group, or share it with your church. Make the commitment and join with other grandparents around the globe as we Pray with Purpose. We want to invite you to join us in the 30 – Day Prayer Challenge beginning on January 1 and culminating on January 30. Be part of a community of grandparents – COMMITTING to pray for their grandchildren for 30 consecutive days. UNITING in purposeful, intentional, and specific HOLDING one other accountable in their commitment of intentional prayer. ENCOURAGING each other in one of the greatest investments they can make into the lives of their grandchildren. Download the FREE 30-Day Prayer Challenge Booklet HERE. Grandparent: One who is both a Prayer Warrior an a Prayer “Teacher” The 30-day Praying with Purpose Challenge was written by Deborah Haddix, Prayer team member of the Prayer ministry of Christian Grandparenting Network              

What is Your Response to the Birth of Jesus?

December 24, 2017
We had our family Christmas gathering last night, in which we included a birthday cake for Jesus and sang “Happy birthday”. My four-year-old great-granddaughter was thrilled to blow out the candles. Later that evening when her parents were putting her to bed she prayed that Jesus would not forget to go to his birthday party tomorrow. We were happy to hear her response to the birthday celebration for Jesus. She got the message. Let’s look at the response of the shepherds  After the angels announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, they immediately ran to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph and the baby was lying in a manger. Then the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel said about the baby. The people who heard their story were astonished. The shepherds returned to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God. Mary’s response   Mary quietly treasured all these things in her heart and thought about them often. ₁ Let’s look at the response of the wise men from the east  Later some wise men from the East were guided by a spectacular star came to their house fell down before baby Jesus and worshipped him, bringing expensive gifts with them. ₂ Look for a star of guidance in your own life, and be willing to follow wherever it leads you in 2018.  Now, what is your response to the birth of Jesus Christ?    Today is Christmas day, the tree will soon come down, and the decorations will be put away for another year. Are you glorifying and praising God for sending his Son into the world to save our sins? Are you worshipping the Lord and quietly meditating on His Word? Pray that your children and grandchildren’s response to the birth of Christ will be one of glorifying and praising God for the new life he provided. Pray they will stand as a symbol of hope in a dark world, adorned with God’s strength and beauty. Don’t pack Jesus away with the Christmas decorations until next Christmas. My prayer is that your response is to grow in your spiritual life so you will be able to be an even greater godly influence in the lives of your grandchildren in 2018. We are living in crucial times; our grandchildren need their grandparents to intentionally pray for them. By Lillian Penner, Co-director of the prayer ministry of Christian Grandparenting Network. lpenner@christiangrandparenting.net ₁ Taken from Luke 2:15-20 TLB ₂ Matthew 2:11          

What is your favorite Christmas memory?

December 20, 2017
The fragrances of holiday scented candles, cookies baking, and the pine Christmas trees are always inviting when walking into the house this time of the year. Recently I was watching the Food channel, and they were talking about how different foods bring memories to our minds. The fragrances of baking our favorite cookies, certain foods cooking can remind us of a time and place of the past. The aroma of a turkey cooking can remind us of going to grandma’s house and play with our cousins, and visit our aunts, and uncles when we were young. Many family favorite dishes that have been passed on through the generations, like Aunt Susie’s Christmas Jell-O salad, your mother’s dinner rolls, or grandma’s pecan pie bring back memories even though they are not with us anymore. In the picture, you will see my granddaughter baking Christmas cookies with me from a recipe that has been passed down through many generations in my family. The other day I met a friend at the mall for lunch, and then we strolled through several stores admiring the beautiful Christmas decorations. The mall was very festive with the music and sparkling glitter of the season. As we were admiring the beautiful tree ornaments for sale in the stores, she said, “Sometimes I think it would be nice to get all new tree ornaments. But then the new ones wouldn’t have memories.” I agreed with her because each year as I get our salt dough angels, snowmen, and Santa ornaments my boys, and I painted about 40 years ago it reminds me of those treasured memories. During this Christmas season, many families will be getting together for their Christmas celebrations consisting of food, gifts, laughter, and reminiscing. Let’s ask ourselves, “What kind of memories will we leave behind by the way we live our lives before our children and grandchildren.” In her book, Legacy of Prayer, Jennifer Kennedy Dean, writes, “All that I invest in my relationship with the Lord will yield a hundred-fold increase and will provide spiritual shelter for future generations” (Mark 4:8). As we invest in our walk with the Lord, we are investing in the lives of our children, grandchildren, and future generations. One of the most significant gifts we could give them would be the memory of godly praying grandparents. “Lord, help me to leave positive, godly memories for my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren” My prayer is that you will have a blessed Christmas as you celebrate the bitrh of our Lord Jesus Christ.By Lillian Penner, Co-director of the prayer ministry of Christian Grandparenting network, lpenner@chrtistiangrandparenting.net      

Have you heard The Candymaker’s Gift?

December 17, 2017
Today I would like to share with you a U-Tube presentation of The Candymaker’s Gift produced by my friends David and Helen Haidle. The Candymaker’s Gift is an excellent story to share with your grandchildren during this Christmas season about the real meaning of Christmas. You can show it to them, or you can send it to them in an email, great to send to long-distance grandchildren. Christmas season is an excellent time to share the message of God’s love with our grandchildren. You can listen to it on Tube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVXQpejFhrU Helen Haidle, an award-winning author of 54 books for children and adults, wrote the first book on the meaning of the candy cane. Helen wrote this fiction story after she had shared the symbolism of the candy cane with her Sunday school students. “The Candymaker’s Gift” won a C.S. Lewis Silver Award and a CBA Silver Medallion. To learn more about David & Helen Haidle’s Seed Faith ministry go to http://seedfaithbooks.com/shopexd.asp?id=163. The book is out of print, but limited copies are available on their website. By Lillian Penner, Co-director of the prayer ministry of Christian Grandparenting Network, lpenner@christiangrandparenting.net

Do you have a Birthday Cake for Jesus at Christmas?

December 14, 2017
One of our family traditions is to have a birthday cake for Jesus at our Christmas family gathering. The birthday cake is always a big hit with the children. They love blowing out the candles and singing “Happy birthday to Jesus “an excellent way to teach them about celebrating the birthday of Jesus. Don’t miss the value of Christmas traditions, especially making memories of celebrating the birth of Jesus. Questions to think about: What are your family traditions of the true meaning of Christmas? What do you want your grandchildren to remember about celebrating Christmas with you? Do you want them to remember the expensive Christmas gifts you gave to them? On the other hand, do you want them to remember something about celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, such as blowing out the candles on Jesus’ birthday cake or reading the story of the birth of Jesus from the Bible before opening the gifts? Ask God for creative ideas of how you can share the true meaning of Christmas with your grandchildren. Have you prayed about the gifts you are going to give your grandchildren for Christmas? Ask God to provide you with ideas of what you might do to encourage your grandchildren to think of others and their needs, not only their own during this Christmas season. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3) By Lillian Penner, Co-prayer director for Christian Grandparenting Network, lpenner@christiangrandparenting.net

Have you heard about “Life at the Pond” video series for your grandchildren?

December 11, 2017
You will be holding back the giggles as your grandchildren take you on adventures on the pond and everyday challenges with a smile. You will find each episode applies solid, biblically-based truths to life lessons that build character in your kids and provide more than a splash of humor along the way from a crew building lifelong friendships at The Pond. I will introduce you to the characters: Bill the duck just a wants a calm life on the pond. Methuselah the alligator is the wise one. Tony the frog is a loud fella. Floyd the turtle doesn’t completely understand the world around him, Dr. Holstein is a sharp but fragile chicken who lives at the nearby coop Kevin, Pat, and Mike are old friends. This video series will be an excellent gift for your grandchildren to teach them biblically based truths. You will find hours of family-safe entertainment with this five-video series and audio episodes. I would like to encourage you to take advantage of their 50% sale now at $34.95 for their 5 video series. Don’t miss the sale. Check out the website: http://lifeatthepond.mybigcommerce.com/dvds/ By Lillian Penner, author of Grandparenting with a Purpose, Effective Ways to Pray for your Grandchildren, www.gdptpr.com    

What is the meaning of the Christmas tree?

December 7, 2017
The Christmas tree, the most celebrated symbol of Christmas is an evergreen tree, representing life. The custom of erecting a Christmas tree is historically traced to the 15th century. “The tree was traditionally decorated with edibles such as apples, nuts, or other foods. In the 18th century, it began to be illuminated by candles, which were ultimately replaced by Christmas lights after the advent of electrification. Today, there are a wide variety of traditional ornaments, such as garland, tinsel, and candy canes. An angel or star might be placed at the top of the tree to represent the angel Gabriel or the Star of Bethlehem from the Nativity. “ [1] The branches of the evergreen tree, remind us of the many roles we have in our lives such as parenting, grandparenting, great-grandparenting. They also tell us of all the relationships we have with our family, friends, neighbors, our careers, hobbies, activities, sports, etc. As we submit, each of these branches to God He can adorn them with ornaments, as He develops our character, with the fruit of the Spirit. Let’s look at the ornaments on the tree representing the fruit of the Spirit. When we accept God’s unconditional LOVE in our hearts allowing His love to flow through us to others, he will give us JOY. Our hearts will be full of joy amidst the daily challenges of our lives because “The joy of the Lord will be our strength”. When we experience the JOY of the Lord as our strength, we will have PEACE. PEACE is calmness in our hearts amidst the challenges we face, extending through our lives to others. After our adorning with love, joy, and peace, we will are empowered with PATIENCE, an attitude that does not lose hope for others even if they irritate or hurt us. KINDNESS expressed with our words and deeds to a sad or lonely heart may be their connection to Jesus. Then GOODNESS will flow into good works from our kind heart reflecting the character of God attracting others to Jesus. Another ornament placed on the tree is FAITHFULNESS. Just as God is faithful to us, it is essential that we too are dependable and trustworthy with others. Faithfulness brings us to GENTLENESS, an ability to be pleasant, composed and controlled in the daily challenges of life. The last ornament we will place on the tree is SELF-CONTROL, which adorns our lives with the character of strength to restrain us from doing wrong. We cannot have self-control without all the other ornaments. Then the tree will be wrapped with a garland of God’s righteousness, and the star placed on the top directing people to Jesus. We will plug in the lights illuminating the tree representing Jesus the light of the world, a symbol of hope. Just as we have beautiful Christmas trees in our homes, our lives will be fascinating when adorned with the fruit of the spirit.   This year let’s give our grandchildren a spiritual application of the Christmas

Give your grandchildren the gift of a Praying Grandparent

December 3, 2017
Give your grandchildren the gift of a praying grandparent Pray this prayer and/or send it to your grandchildren. Dear Lord, I pray that ___________(insert grandchild’s name) will: C – Cast all their anxiety on God because He cares for them. I Peter 5:7 H –Humble him/her self before the Lord. James 4:10 R – Renew their minds. Romans 12:2 I – Be Imitators of God. Ephesians 5:1 S – Seek first God’s kingdom. Matthew 6:33 T – Trust in the Lord with all their hearts. Proverbs 3:5, M- Meditate on God’s Word. Psalms 1: A –Abound in their love of God and His Word. Ephesians 1:9 S – Stand firm in their faith. I Peter 5:6 By Lillian Penner, Co-prayer director for Christian Grandparenting Network, lpenner@christiangrandparenting.net
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