It has been my observation that many grandparents spend a lot of time worrying about their grandchildren and too little time praying for them.They have become professional grade worri-ers and amateur grade pray-ers. Unfortunately, worrying is always a high-grade waste of time. It accomplishes nothing positive and, instead, tends to make us anxious and unhappy.
However, worrying can be a useful prompt – when it initiates a prayer response from us. A news article, a video, a radio report, a phone call, or a conversation – any of these can stimulate our unease in some area relating to our grandchildren. This unease tends to press the big, red “worry button” that kicks our anxiety into high gear. A little “re-wiring of the brain” is needed to turn that prompt around from producing distress to producing prayer. As soon as you recognize, “I am anxious”, or you sense the worry train starting to chug, stop and let that be the prompt to pray.
Sometimes grandparents feel they don’t know how to pray. Many will say inwardly, “Oh my God!” when they are concerned. That is a great start in the right direction. Add, “Help me!”, and the beginning of a prayer has just been spoken. Substitute the name of a grandchild for the pronoun “me” and a prayer has just been lifted up for that grandchild. From there, it takes almost nothing to go one step further and add in the concern that has caused the anxiety: “Jesus, be with my grandchild right now in their problem with . . .”
Instead of waiting for worry to prompt prayer for your grandchildren, consider setting a pattern of regular prayer for them. The following three things can help you to set that pattern:
- A written list of your grandchildren’s names – this gives you something to focus on.
- Devise something simple that you can use repeatedly, i.e. “Lord, this prayer is for NN, my grandchild, then add a need, and then say the Lord’s Prayer.
- Set a scheduled time to pray. Make that simple by giving yourself a time prompt. What do you do every day? Watch the news? Read the paper? Do the dishes? Use that as a prompt – a reminder for you to start praying.
For Reflection: Make your list of names. Next to each name, add your concerns or worries for that grandchild.
For Action: Take two minutes (or more) and pray right now.
Mike Shaughnessy is the founder of Grandly and the author of The Strategic Grandparent, the source of this article. You can get the book here: https://bookstore.wau.org/Search.aspx?k=strategic+grandparent
Copyright © 2022 Grandly Missions, Inc.