Today we’re going to hear from a very special guest: Lillian Penner. Lillian is the National Prayer Director for Christian Grandparenting Network. I’ve asked Lillian to share a little about her role in the organization, her vision, and any suggestions she has for helping and encouraging grandparents in their prayer journey.
We won’t get to all of that today, but we’ll be back with Lillian this Thursday as well. Let’s get started since we have so much to talk about with Lillian.
First of all, how did you initially come to get involved with CGN?
I received the special gift of grandparenting as I approached my midlife season. It was exciting to become a grandparent. However, I learned that along with this gift came a sacred trust to imprint another generation with the message of God’s faithfulness. Reflecting on my new responsibility, I realized my prayers were too general and vague, and I became frustrated with how I was praying for my grandchildren.
After I asked God for wisdom and read several books about prayer and grandparenting, my praying changed dramatically. I discovered God’s Word was a great resource to help me with my praying; not only for my family, but also for myself. Praying Scripture gave me more boldness and confidence in my praying.
While surfing on the internet looking for grandparenting resources, God directed me to the Christian Grandparenting Network website. After sharing my passion with them, they invited me to become their National Prayer Coordinator, a position they did not yet have. This would include writing devotionals and prayer suggestions on their website.
I recognize that these are challenging moral and spiritual times in which we live, especially for our grandchildren. A media-driven culture has desensitized our grandchildren and pushed the boundaries of a Christlike lifestyle. Today, the role of grandparenting has become very important because the rescue of our culture may well rest on the shoulders of praying grandparents.
What an incredible call we have for the second half of our life! As the National Prayer Coordinator for CGN, I want to help encourage grandparents to better understand the mighty and powerful force that prayer can be for our grandchildren in these times.
I understand that you have started something called the Grandparents @ Prayer Project. Explain a little about what that is and what your vision is for the project moving forward.
At Christian Grandparenting Network we have developed “Grandparents@ Prayer” or G@P. This is an intercessory prayer group that brings grandparents together to pray for each others’ grandchildren and families.
In the Bible, Esther stood in the gap for her people, the Jews. Today, grandparents can stand in the gap with prayer for their grandchildren. As grandparents, we can make a significant difference in the world by praying regularly and deliberately for our grandchildren and their parents. We have an opportunity to powerfully touch the lives of another generation for eternity.
Our purpose is to call grandparents around the world to intentionally and regularly gather to pray and intercede for their grandchildren, children, and communities.
Our goal is to encourage and provide resources that help grandparents become intentional prayer warriors on behalf of their grandchildren. This is accomplished through the personal discipline of intercessory prayer in the battle against the Enemy.
Our structure is that of small and large groups meeting for about an hour once or twice a month at a designated location for guided prayer and fellowship.
I see an urgency for grandparents to intentionally pray for their grandchildren in this morally and spiritually deprived world in which we live today. Moving forward, my vision is that we would have 100 G@P groups in the U.S. and other parts of the world by the end of 2013.
So, you want to reach 100 in about a year. How large or widespread is G@P today?
We currently have about 22 groups meeting throughout the U.S.
Lillian, for those grandparents out there right now reading this and wanting to get involved in a G@P prayer group, how would they do so?
Grandparents can get involved by going to www.christiangrandparenting.net then clicking on the prayer link and completing the form. They will then be sent information, including the locations of current G@P groups. If there are no groups in their area, we also have guidelines for how grandparents can start their own group.
Does G@P have a presence in churches, or is it restricted to individual and small-group participation?
The G@P groups are used by churches, small groups, and also individuals. Some groups start as small as one interested grandparent asking a friend to join him or her in prayer. Usually the groups will grow by word of mouth as others hear how they can get involved.
Thanks, Lillian, for introducing us to your prayer network. On Thursday we’ll discuss meeting grandparenting challenges through prayer, scriptures to encourage grandparents, and the prayer cards Lillian has developed to help grandparents more effectively pray God’s Word.
In the meantime, you can learn more about Lillian at her blogsite: www.grandparentingwithapurpose.com.
Lillian Penner is an author of Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for Your Grandchildren, blogger, speaker, and national prayer coordinator for the Christian Grandparenting Network. She has been active in church ministry for more than fifty years. Currently residents of Portland, Oregon, Lillian and her husband John have three sons and nine grandchildren.