The right tools are key… to any job.
And when the job is one with an eternal impact, the tools are that much more significant.
Praying for my grandchildren IS my spiritual work. And for many years, I must confess, I went about this weighty work with no plan, no tools. I did the job, but not well. My prayers were often inconsistent and vague. I grappled with a busy schedule that many times squeezed out my prayer time. I struggled repeatedly with the feeling that my prayers were rote and stale.
Then I discovered some tools that helped to turn things around.
My Top 12 Tools for Praying for My Grandchildren
Calendar/Alarm. The first step I took in overcoming busyness and the resulting inconsistency of my prayer time was to schedule it. I examined my daily schedule and determined the best time of day for my prayers for my grandchildren. Then I set the alarm on my phone as a reminder until the habit was established.
As the grandmother of ten, I also use a calendar to aid with consistency. Two or three times a year, I set aside ten consecutive weeks for the purpose of “spotlighting” one grandchild each week. The rotation is recorded on my calendar.
Accountability. Another tool for helping with consistency. Three of my favorite ways to set up an accountability system are: (1) TELL your grandchildren that you are praying for them, (2) SHARE your commitment to praying for your grandchildren with another adult [and give them permission to hold you accountable], and (3) GATHER a group of friends together and form a “grandparent” prayer group.
Nothing UPS the likelihood of follow-through on your commitment like making it public.
Texts. One of the best ways to know what to pray for our grandchildren is to ASK them. A quick text, “How may I pray for you today?” provides much insight into individual prayer needs.
Parents. For the very young grandchild or the grandchild without access to a phone, we can still ASK for prayer needs by texting the child’s parent(s).
Pad and Pencil. Another tool for equipping ourselves to pray specifically for our grandchildren is LISTENING. When you talk to your grandchildren on the phone, via social media, or in person, be present to them. Listen intently. Then grab your pad and pencil and make note of things you heard; things you can pray for.
Prayer Resource Sheets. One of my all-time favorite tools for praying specifically. So often when I enter my prayer time, I find that my mind is either totally, completely, utterly blank or so jammed, packed full that I just am not able to think. Resource sheets are a handy guide to SPECIFICS – and most are available complete with Scripture references. Here are a few to get you started:
- The 30-Day Praying for Your Children Challenge by Bob Hostetler. (FREE and can easily be adapted to praying for grandchildren.)
- Weekly Prayer Prompts for your Grandchildren available here as a PDF download. (FREE Resource)
- Praying for Your Grandchildren and Children Prayer Resources available here as a PDF download. (A compilation of several resource sheets.)
Scripture. You simply cannot go wrong or wonder what to pray if you pray Scripture. If you have never prayed Scripture for your grandchildren, here are a few suggestions for getting started:
- Number 6:22-27
- Ephesians 1:15-23
- Ephesians 3:14-21
- Philippians 1:9-11
- Colossians 1:9-12
- Psalm 91
- Psalm 139
- The Book of Proverbs
Weekly Journal. A new-to-me tool this year. Once I text one of my grandchildren or their parent to ask for prayer requests, I record the requests in a journal. This has helped me not to forget any of their requests as I pray throughout the week. It also helps me remember specific requests for prayers after the child’s “spotlight” week is over and provides a place to record answers and blessings.
Praying in Color. Another of my favorite tools for praying for my grandchildren. I love praying this way for each child a couple of times a year. Click here for a little “how to” if you are not familiar with Praying in Color.
Once you’ve finished your “prayer,” try mailing it to your grandchild along with a little note. The “prayer” is sure to be a prized treasure.
Snail Mail Notes. Light up your grandchild’s face (no matter their age) by mailing little notes to them that tell of your prayers. They will be encouraged. So will you!
Legacy Journal. A prayer journal contributed to by all members of the family – no matter their age. A Legacy journal is a mighty tool for modeling prayer and encouraging “prayer” dialogue.
Praying with Purpose 30 – Day Prayer Challenge for Grandparents. A 30 day focus on praying for grandchildren. The FREE booklet contains several ideas and suggestions for engaging in a period of intentional and specific prayer. A Facebook group is also available as an additional source of support and encouragement during the current Challenge (August 13th – September 11th). While an organized group is currently observing the Challenge together, the Challenge can be completed by anyone at any time.
If you are just beginning to gather your prayer tools or are looking to add to your toolbox, you might consider Praying with Purpose: Helping Equip Your Grandchildren to Stand Fast in the Faith (available at Amazon – $14.99). The book is full of simple ideas for any grandparent who desires to develop a focused and creative prayer life. It is full of tools and prayer resource sheets.