Somebody went to the throne of Heaven,
Somebody lifted my name.
Bringing me into His holy presence,
Saying what I could not say.
Somebody showed me the
face of His mercy,
When darkness was all I could see.
Somebody pleaded the Blood of Jesus,
Somebody prayed for me.
My somebody was my Mom. I knew she prayed every day for me and my growing family. I would say she was a prayer warrior, but I don’t think she ever thought of herself in that way. She was just a simple woman, with a simple faith, who loved Jesus and her children, grandchildren and great–grandchildren with all her heart. When she died four years ago, I think I missed those daily prayers the most.
My grandparents had gone to heaven before I was born. My mom was such a blessing as a grandmother to my children. I wanted to be that same type of grandmother for my grandchildren. As our children grew, got married and moved away, I found myself having a hard time letting go of them. Since I wasn’t able to be physically with them, prayer became the way I could put them into God’s hands. Praying for my children and their marriages, and then their children when they came along has been the most precious ministry of my last 25 years.
The Lord has affirmed this ministry of generational prayer through many Bible verses: Psalm 71:18b (NLT) – “Let me proclaim Your power to this new generation,Your mighty miracles to all who come after me.” Psalm 78:5–7 (NLT)—”For He issued His laws to Jacob; He gave His instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them—even the children not yet born—and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting His glorious miracles and obeying His commands.”
I wish that I could take my grandchildren to church or Bible school. I wish I could sit with them and read Bible stories and teach them Sunday School songs. This doesn’t happen very often, but these moments are precious to me. My prayers for them have become my daily avenue of drawing them close to my heart and to the throne of God.
I wanted to find some practical ways to incorporate these prayers into my daily life. I try to go the gym two or three times a week, but I really hate to exercise. To motivate me and to redeem this time, I associate each piece of apparatus with a grandchild. While I’m spending my time on a particular machine I pray for that grandchild. Each grandchild has a specific Bible verse that the Lord has given me for them, that fits their personality so well. When I’m not sure how to pray for them, I pray that Bible verse.
I also have several prayer books that focus on praying for your children/grandchildren. While They Are Sleeping by Anne Arkins and Gary Harrell focuses on praying for specific character traits for them. Stormie Omartian’s The Power of a Praying Grandparent is also a great resource for praying about specific circumstances in their lives. I had given my own mom a Grandmother’s Bible, and after she passed away it came back to me. It’s full of devotions and specific prayers for grandchildren.
Our tenth grandchild was born in January. He was kind of unexpected, as his mother was 39 years old. I found myself more concerned about this pregnancy and birth than I had any previous one. Our gracious God gave me this verse very early on: I Samuel 1:27a, “For this child I prayed.” This became my heart’s cry every day, not just for Charlie (who was born safely and well), but for all my grandkids. In fact, I found this verse as a beautiful framed print at Hobby Lobby, and it now is on my bedroom wall surrounded by the pictures of our ten grandchildren.
Another way I share the wonderful legacy of faith and prayer with my grandchildren is to buy them a Bible for their graduations. I start reading it about 18 months before their graduations and highlight my favorite verses and put little post–it notes in it. They get this upon their graduation. I’m almost done with my third Bible. Just knowing that they may someday read their Grandma’s notes on God’s Word is wonderful.
My latest project is making prayer journals for each of them. I write out prayers each day using Bible verses, songs, or written prayers. I’m not sure when I’ll give the journals to them, but I want them to know that their Grandma was always praying for them. These practices give me such peace and joy.
When my Mom died, I missed knowing she was praying for me. I felt the mantle of praying for our family fall upon me. I pray for each of my siblings and their families (59 in all) by name, each day. Some of them, I know, don’t walk closely with the Lord. I’m grateful that I can intercede for them. God is so gracious to give us this gift of generational prayer.
Pastor Ron Dunn states, “I can leave my children (grandchildren) an inheritance of answered prayer. I can be confident that long after I’m dead God will be answering the prayers in the lives of my children that I prayed while I was alive. What a privilege and opportunity to leave our children the inheritance of wrapping them up in blankets of intercessory prayer.”
“Let this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may
praise the Lord.”
(Psalm 102:18 NIV)