I inherited my paternal grandmother’s Bible. The feather-light pages crinkle with every turn, weighed down only by the ink from her handwritten notes.
It is evidence of what I already know to be true of both grandmothers⏤they were prayer warriors.
I also have my great-grandfather’s bible. Tucked inside is a torn piece of an envelope, darkened by age but lit with Zephaniah 3:17, written out in his handwriting. Not ever having met him, the asterisks and notes tell a story for which I’m eternally grateful.
Both bibles remind me of the blessing that is ours today because of those who prayed for us yesterday.
When I came to know Christ at 27, I was a single mom with two young boys. My heart ached over the sinful choices I’d made and their effect on my sons. Unfortunately, no one knew those better than me, also having come from a divided home.
I pleaded with God to allow the cycle of divorce in our family to end with me.
My prayers focused on asking God to give the boys a love for Him that trumped all others, for sexual purity, and for their future spouses. I had little to offer as an example and let’s face it, that kind of heart work can only be cultivated by the loving hands of a Heavenly Father.
Years later, those same hands brought two more-than-I-could-ever-ask-for daughters-in-law into our family. During the rehearsal dinner for our oldest son’s wedding, pictures from each of their childhoods, along with their dating years, slid across the screen. Toward the end, one image without faces fell into place. On the left side was a page from my daughter-in-law’s mother’s prayer journal where she prayed for Megan’s future husband. On the right was mine, praying for his future wife. God’s faithfulness brought both of us to tears. All those years we were praying for our children’s spouses.
We didn’t know their names but God did.
Last year, I began a prayer journal for each of our six grandchildren. The journals were purchased months prior but I kept waiting for the “right” time, the “right” words, the “right” way to do it. Ugh!
Perfectionism is a perfected tool in the enemy’s pocket.
So I set aside the need to have it right and began writing specific prayers and promises. I’m sure there’s a better and prettier way to do it but I’m not journaling for the sake of better or pretty. I’m writing down prayers for heaven’s sake…literally.
Here are five prayers I pray for them, ages 9 and under:
Salvation at an early age. I imagine to love and serve Him for a lifetime would be a glorious gift.
Their protection⏤spiritually, physically, and emotionally. There’s never been a greater need for praying spiritual protection over our children and grandchildren. With the child’s name in place of the blank space, this is written: Colossians 2:8: “Protect _____ from the captivity of hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”
A robust faith with roots that deepen and strengthen over time. “…just as you received Jesus Christ as LORD, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6,7
A vibrant prayer life throughout their lives. “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in Your presence.” Psalm 16:11 You and I know that a consistent prayer life rarely comes easy.
Godly friendships. Forming healthy friendships help to create solid relationships that often carry into adulthood. “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)
There are a couple of reasons I journal prayers:
- It helps me stay focused. My brain scatters as quickly as a squirrel dodging cars. I need to write most of my prayers down.
- Journaling leaves a record for future generations to see how they were prayed over.
Having said that, the common question, “What would you save if there was a fire in your home?” recently arose. I immediately thought of the kid’s prayer journals. What if I couldn’t save them? All the time that’s been taken for writing out the prayers would…
“Would what?” I sensed the Lord asking. I paused, looked heavenward, and smiled. Those prayers aren’t going anywhere. They are in His safekeeping.
In the end, the power lies in act of prayer, not in journaling them.
And that’s what matters most.
What’s one way you pray for children, grandchildren, or others? Join the conversation and share in the comment section below!