Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. Your faithfulness endures to all generations. (Psalm 119:89–90)
Are you a grandparent or do you hope to be one someday? Are you an “empty nester” or do you still have children in your home? No matter where you are in life or who is currently living in your home, there are children who would be blessed by your prayers. I hope to encourage you in the joy and privilege of praying for and with your grandchildren, surrogate grandchildren or future grandchildren. In today’s culture the authority of God’s Word is eroding and our children are facing the consequences of turning to man’s word as the authority (evolutionary takeover of creation, disregard for authority, gender confusion, etc.), it is more important than ever to pray for our future generations.
Just a few years ago I remember praying that my husband and I would be grandparents one day. Within five years of that prayer we were blessed with five children that would call us grandpa and grandma. Each child is a unique and special gift from God and we not only have the joy of having them as part of our lives, we also have the privilege and responsibility of praying for them.
Before answering the how question, it seems important to answer the question, “Why should we pray for our grandchildren?” The most basic answer for me is because God loves us and I love God, my grandchildren, and their parents, and I want all of us to be together one day in heaven.
We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
Now let’s get back to the question, “How should you pray for your grandchildren?” Should you pray for all of them daily? Does it matter if you kneel, stand, or sit? Do you need to be in a church, or in a special prayer room? Should you use a written prayer journal, a digital log or a list posted on a wall? I’ve tried all of these things and have sometimes gotten distracted by the “how.” I believe the most important thing is to remember “who” you are praying to. He is God our Creator, he is Jesus our Savior, he is the Holy Spirit who guides and encourages us. We, as grandparents just need to share our desires for our grandchildren that are according to his will, and we can know that he hears us and will answer our requests.
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. (1 John 5:14)
What you pray for your grandchildren depends on their needs and their age. That also brings us to another question, “When should you pray for them?” The first answer is before they’re born if possible, and then at a regular time and/or when the Holy Spirit encourages you to pray for them.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)
If you’re able to pray with your grandchildren and/or ask them if they have requests, this is a wonderful way to know what to pray for them. If you’re a long distance grandparent, a phone call, an email or a text are possible ways to get requests and to let older grandchildren know you’re praying for them.
Here are just a few ideas of different things you might want to pray for your grandchildren, from before they’re born to if they marry and afterward. Before birth pray that their parents will be prepared to love and care for them and that they’ll grow and love their family. For toddlers, pray that they will obey their parents and learn to love others. At preschool age, pray that they begin to understand not just how, but why we should be kind to others (Luke 6:31; Ephesians 4:32). For elementary age, pray that your grandchildren will want to know Jesus and be aware of God’s love for them and that they will learn and love God’s Word, view it as authoritative, and know how to defend it since it’s being so questioned in our society. Pray they will treat others with respect, and develop a hunger for God’s Word. For teenagers, pray they will be sexually pure, find friends who love God, will be disciplined to study and do well in school.
For grandchildren who are adults/college students, pray they will seek God’s wisdom and direction in all they do, including perhaps a future spouse who is a Christian and desires to study God’s Word. For married grandchildren, pray they will love and honor their spouse and turn to God for help and guidance in all things. Remember, these are just ideas to get you started. Some of these ideas could be prayed for grandchildren of any age and some of these will not pertain to your grandchild. Each grandchild is wonderfully unique.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:13–14)
When you pray God’s Word for your grandchildren, it will help you to pray according to God’s will. No matter what your grandchildren’s needs are, God’s Word has the answers to guide you as you pray. Here are a few examples of how to pray using Scripture for your grandchildren’s needs.
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that (insert your grandchild’s name)
__________________ will trust You with all his/her heart and not lean on his/her own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 (Trusting the Lord)
__________________ will have a deep desire to seek you with his/her whole heart and not wander from the instructions in your Word.” Psalm 119:10 (Hunger for God’s Word)
__________________ will confess with his/her mouth, that “Jesus is Lord,” and will believe in his/her heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, that he/she will be saved. Romans 10:9–10 (Salvation)
Journaling is a great way for you to share, remember, and see God working in your grandchildren’s lives. There are many ways to journal, but the simplest way to start would be to get a notebook and some paper. Start a page for each of your grandchildren with their name and a photo or two at the top. Write out each need or request, and the date, and then go back later and record when or how it was answered. If you’re able to spend time with each grandchild have them help you create a page or two by asking them questions about their favorite things, activities and/or any special friends. This will make your prayer time even more special and personalized for each child.
These are just a few ideas and examples of how and what to pray for your grandchildren. I am praying that each of you will be encouraged to start a more joyful, intentional, and consistent prayer time in God’s Word for your grandchildren and for your walk as well.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children (grandchildren) are walking in the truth. (3 John 4)