Last week, we considered the purpose of grandparenting. And in so doing, our discussion turned to five methods (or disciplines) we can use in fulfilling our purpose – prayer, modeling, observing traditions, sharing our God-stories, and speaking blessing.
Prayer, we determined is the discipline of intentionally, consistently, and specifically conversing with God on behalf of our grandchildren. Intercessory prayer is, in fact, modeled in Scripture and is our weapon in the spiritual battle being fought for our grandchildren (Ephesians 6:12-18). It also helps to connect us more deeply to our grandchildren as we learn their needs and turn to God on their behalf.
ESTABLISHING & IMPLEMENTING THE DISCIPLINE OF PRAYER
Prayer is a crucial tool in the discipling of our grandchildren. Our prayers reap many benefits for our children, our relationship with them, and for us. Through the practice of prayer, we can release to God what we cannot control ourselves. Additionally, our prayers for our grandchildren help us grow in relationship to God.
Tip #1 – Make the Commitment
We live in an age where it is very difficult to get people (no matter their age) to commit to much of anything. Prayer is important. So important, it is absolutely worth making the commitment to. Post your post in the ground for your family by making the commitment.
Silent commitments made in our thoughts don’t carry much weight. Get some skin in the game by writing out your commitment, signing it, and placing it in a visible place. Also, consider sharing your commitment with someone else – your spouse, another grandparent, or your grandchild. Nothing helps with follow-through like knowing someone else is aware of your commitment.
Tip #2 – Schedule Your Prayer Time
No matter our season of life, we are busy. And often, we allow that busyness to get in the way of our prayers. Instead of allowing prayer to be crowded out of your days, work to make it a priority.
Consider scheduling your prayer time by writing it on your calendar or setting an alarm on your phone. Learn to pray as you live by praying during wait times and while doing routine chores.
Tip #3 – Pray Specifically
When we do pray for our grandchildren, many of us tend to offer vague prayers on their behalf. Learn to pray more specifically by finding out what is going on in their lives. Listen when they talk to you. What needs are you hearing? Go to the source. Ask your grandchildren how you can pray for them.
Tip #4 – Pray Scripture
Any passage of Scripture can be prayed by simply inserting your grandchild’s name for any pronouns or by responding to the text. When we pray Scripture, we never have to worry about what to pray or question whether our prayer is okay. It’s a beautiful and powerful way to pray for your grandchildren.
Need some suggestions for getting started? Try Ephesians 1:15-23, Ephesians 3:14-21, Philippians 1:9-11, Colossians 1:9-12, or Numbers 6:22-27. And don’t forget the Psalms. Many of which can easily be prayed.
Tip #5 – Use Prayer Prompt Guides
Prayer Prompt Guides are wonderful tools when it comes to praying specifically for your grandchildren. And oftentimes, the prayer prompts are taken directly from Scripture.
To locate these guides, simply do a quick internet search. Type in something like “Scripture to Pray for My Grandchildren,” “Things to Pray for My Grandchildren,” or something similar.
A few of these tools are also offered as free resources through this site.
Tip #6 – Don’t Keep It to Yourself
Let your grandchild know you are praying for them. You know that feeling you get when someone shares with you that they are devoting some of their precious time to pray for you? Bless your grandchildren with that same feeling. Tell them. Text them. Send them a card in the mail.
Tip #7 – Model Prayer
Go beyond mealtime prayers and prayers at bedtime. Model a life of prayer for your grandchildren. Let them “see” you pray – in church, at prayer gatherings, first thing in the morning, on your knees.
Tip #8 – Pray WITH Your Grandchildren
While you are being intentional about praying FOR your grandchildren, don’t forget the value of praying WITH your grandchildren. Make it a point from time to time, or regularly, if possible, to spend some face-to-face time in prayer with your grands. And if face-to-face time isn’t possible because you are a long-distance grandparent, then get creative. Employ some form of technology — FaceTime, Skype, video chats so that you can pray “together.”
Tip #9 – Turn Things Around
Invite your grandchildren to pray for you. Share specific prayer requests with them. Whether or not they choose to pray for you, this act implies several important lessons. First, it helps to make your grandchildren aware that even adults need prayer. It lets them know that Grandpa and Grandma don’t have all the answers and are, in fact, still growing in their spiritual life. Additionally, your invitation demonstrates that the prayers of young people are important, and that we all need each other.
Sharing prayer requests with your grandchildren also draws in some of the other discipling disciplines. It is an excellent way to incorporate teaching and modeling opportunities. And it speaks blessing to your grandchildren as they feel entrusted with the privilege of praying for you.
Tip #10 – Create Community
We are God-designed for community, yet we insist on doing so much alone. Praying alone is important. However, praying in community provides much that praying alone cannot – things such as encouragement, accountability, strength, and togetherness.
Consider enlisting another grandparent or two or three and praying together. Perhaps you know some other grandparents in your neighborhood, at your church, place of employment, or the rec center down the block. Could you meet for coffee once every couple of weeks, for lunch break once a week, or in your home?
Prayer is a vital discipline for discipling your grandchildren. Which tips will you implement this week as you work to establish a habit of intentional, consistent, and specific prayer?