By Deborah Haddix
Have you ever found yourself distracted or your mind wandering during a time of prayer for your grandchildren? Thinking about your to-do list for the day, what to make for dinner, or how to be three different places at the same time?
Ever felt as though your prayers were stale or mechanical? Or that they had become so vague they were virtually powerless? How many of us are guilty of offering up a quick, “…and Lord bless my grandchildren and keep them safe?”
Praying for our grandchildren is too important a task to be entrusted to our left-over time and energy. If we desire to make a difference in their lives through our prayers, we must be intentional and consistent. Our prayers must be specific.
One way to become more intentional, consistent, and specific in praying for your grandchildren is to journal. Prayer journals are a powerful tool in carrying out your primary function of praying for your grandchildren. Journaling your prayers benefits your grandchildren as the journals serve as reminders to you, their prayer warriors, to regularly lift them to the Lord in prayer. Journals can also help you pray more specifically for your grandchildren as you record events in their lives or your thoughts toward your grandchildren. If you share your journal with your grandchildren, they also benefit from the dialogue with you regarding your personal modeling of prayer.
Journaling not only benefits your grandchildren, it benefits you in several ways. First, the art of writing connects to parts of the brain. It’s good for you. The act of writing also helps you stay focused during your prayer time with God. Next, recording your prayers for your grandchildren will allow you to take a closer look at what is happening in your own mind and heart and will help your personal relationship with God go deeper. Finally, completed prayer journals provide you with a recorded family history of what was happening at a certain period of time in your family.
Journaling as a tool for praying for your grandchildren can take many forms. You might choose a more traditional approach and decide to write out each of your prayers for your grandchildren in a notebook or internet journaling site. Or you might devote a notebook to your grandchildren and in it record requests, praises, answers to prayer, and your thoughts on the entries made in your notebook.
For those who are more visual, you might create a journal full of photos of your grandchildren and use the photos as prompts for your prayers. You might choose to write out your own prayers beside the photo prompt or write out a scripture prayer inserting your grandchild’s name in the verse.
As with any other type of journaling, there are no rules (and no grades)! The important thing to remember is that your journal is not a keepsake album. It is a tool for helping you become more intentional, consistent, and specific in your prayers for your grandchildren. Design your journal to be uniquely you. Make it your own, but be sure it is “doable” for you. If you are a verbal personality, you might find writing out your prayers and requests to be most beneficial. If you are visually motivated, one of the options with photo prompts would probably be the best choice. Rather than lengthy prayer lists, your journal will be full of photos of your grandchildren, and what grandmother’s heart isn’t stirred by photos of her grandchildren?
No matter how you decide to use journaling as you pray for your grandchildren, both your grandchildren and you will become beneficiaries of the practice. Your grandchildren will be blessed by having a grandparent that lifts them up in prayer intentionally and consistently. They can also face each day knowing that a loved grandparent is praying specifically for them. And you, the grandparent, in addition to doing something that is good for your brain, can be drawn closer to God through journaling as you pray for your grandchildren.
One final, beautiful benefit of journaling your prayers for your grandchildren is that your completed journals provide a record of God’s faithfulness in the lives of your grandchildren. The journals become a visual reminder to you and your grandchildren of God’s continued presence in their lives.
Deborah Haddix is a Board Certified Christian Life Coach, Speaker, and Writer whose passion is to empower women to embrace God’s design for their life and their relationships. Through the sharing of stories, thoughts, ideas, and inspiration, it is Deborah’s prayer that you will trade in the cultural norm for the Gospel Peculiar. She would love to partner with you as you embrace God’s design and walk with intention toward His very best for you. Deborah lives in Ohio with her husband, Don. They have three grown, married children and eight grandchildren.