It’s a common malady – best of INTENTIONS, remaining just that!
We wake up in the morning INTENT on praying for our grandchildren, but the day rolls along. The next thing we know, we’re in bed. Head hitting the pillow, we realize we never took time to pray.
With a love for our grandchildren that only a grandparent can know, we long to have a positive impact on their lives. INTENT on praying for their specific needs, we often find ourselves, instead, uttering a quick and vague, “And, Lord, bless ____________.”
Christian grandparents in love with the Lord, full of “grandparent love,” heart’s desire for being a powerful prayer champion, yet this is (more often, than not) the story of our days? Good INTENTIONS not materialized.
What are we to do? How do we move from holding the best of INTENTIONS in our hearts and minds toward seeing those INTENTIONS actually carried out?
Specifically, what does it look like to live with INTENTION when it comes to praying for our grandchildren?
5 Ways to Pray with INTENTION
- Make the commitment. Don’t just think it in your head. Write it out… and sign it, perhaps on a beautiful sheet of stationery. There is just something about writing things out that evokes a sense of follow-through. Post your written commitment where you will see it daily, and you provide yourself a visible reminder to pray.
- Schedule prayer. Spend some time looking over your daily schedule and routine commitments. Try to identify a good (normally available) time for prayer. Are you at your best and available on Monday mornings? As a rule, do you get away from your desk and go to a quiet spot each day for lunch? Is your home fairly quiet in the evenings just before bedtime? Consistency is key.
- Be deliberate. Once you’ve identified the best time for you, set some triggers that will help you remember to pray. The triggers will also help to guard your prayer time.
- Write your new “prayer” appointment on your calendar.
- Set your phone alarm for “prayer” time.
- Use physical objects as reminders to pray: a post-it note on the refrigerator door, a special bookmark in your Bible, an item of jewelry, etc.
- Set up some accountability. Share your commitment with someone – at least one other person. The simple act of sharing something aloud with another person adds accountability. And when we are going for change, accountability is good!
Share your commitment by:
- Telling your spouse.
- Inviting a grandparent friend to join you in this commitment.
- Setting up a small group. Gather some grandparents and meet at regular intervals (in your home, at a nearby coffee shop, at the park) to share requests and pray.
- Joining or starting a G@P (Grandparents at Prayer) Group.
- Attending or hosting a Grandparents’ Day of Prayer
- Sharing it with the person/people for whom you are making it.
- Persevere. Whatever you do, don’t give up! We are human. We are flawed. Even with helps, reminders, and accountability, we are bound to “mess up.” New habits take a while to develop. Give yourself time. Rest in His grace.
How about a couple more tips for consistency and follow-through?
- Connect the new habit you want to develop (praying for your grandchildren) with something you already do on a consistent basis – Pray while you have your morning coffee, on your lunch break, while you fold the laundry, or walk the dog.
- One grandchild. Pray for him/her everyday at coffee time or every Monday as you begin your week and sip that coffee.
- More than one grandchild. Pray for each one on the same day of the week – Susie on Monday, Charlie on Tuesday, Frannie on Wednesday.
- More than seven grandchildren. Consider praying for one child per week until you have prayed for each child. Then repeat your cycle. Ten grandchildren = ten weeks. Then begin again.
What tips do you have for praying with intention? We’d love to hear and keep the conversation going. Please share in the comments.
Christian Grandparenting Network is issuing a call for grandparents around the world to unite in prayer on behalf of their grandchildren on Grandparents’ Day of Prayer (September 9, 2018).
To learn more visit: Grandparents’ Day of Prayer