I was in Arizona recently promoting our youth work among a group of friends. While at one friend’s house, I saw a wall with a five matching clocks on it. Each clock was set to a different time zone: Seattle, Phoenix, Kansas City, London, and Beirut. Below each clock, there were pictures. I asked my friends, “What’s this all about? Are these your grandchildren?”
“Yes!” was the reply. They went on to tell me their grandchildren’s names and noted that their grandchildren lived in the five different times zones.
“The clocks help you remember who is where.” I volunteered.
“No,” was the reply. “This is our intercession wall. It helps us pray better. We got tired of just sitting and saying ‘Bless Tommy’ or ‘Be with Kaitlyn today.’ This helps us to pray for each of them very specifically. Standing in front of their pictures keeps us from being distracted. The clocks help us to actually pray for five minutes for each one.”
“How do you pray?” I asked.
They verbally tripped over each other explaining. “For each one we start with the Lord’s prayer, then…” The other jumped in: “We pray for the needs we know. We keep a list for each.” They pointed to a notebook on an end table.
“Then one of us recites part of a psalm like ‘blessed are those who walk not in the council of the wicked,’”
“…and the other prays how it might apply to that grandchild. Praying against the influence of evil is pretty easy to do.”
“Especially for the ninth-grader.”
They exchanged knowing looks.
Suddenly, I thought, “These grandparents pray strategically. They are motivated.” And it struck me: almost all the young people we work with in our youth program have grandparents. What would happen if they all prayed more effectively, that is, if they prayed specifically about the particular challenges their grandchildren are facing: peer pressure, rejection, teenage temptations, and major life choices?
What if we set up a way to have grandparents share ideas on how to do exactly that? We have.
Tell us what you do to pray strategically.
Mike Shaughnessy is the Executive Director of Grandly and the Editor of the Kairos Youth Culture Newsletter
Copyright © 2016 Grandly – The Strategic Grandparents Club.