Welcome back, and thanks for joining us for Part 2 of our interview with Lillian Penner, the National Prayer Director for Christian Grandparenting Network. Last time, we learned about how Lillian became involved with CGN and formed G@P (grandparents’ prayer groups), as well as her vision for the prayer groups. Today, let’s see what words of encouragement Lillian has for grandparents.
What advice or encouragement do you have for grandparents who may be growing weary of praying for a difficult family situation?
This is a tough issue that many grandparents are facing today. I am so thankful that we have the opportunity to take those issues and lay them at the feet of Jesus. He is sitting at the right hand of God, waiting for us to bring our concerns for our children and grandchildren to Him.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we have a wonderful Helper. The Holy Spirit knows the needs of our children and grandchildren, and knows God’s will for them. He will intercede for us, if we ask, according to Romans 8:26-27. Often I don’t know how to pray for my loved ones, but I ask the Holy Spirit to make intercession for me, and it helps to take the heavy load off of my heart.
What would you say is/are the biggest challenges grandparents and parents face today concerning their (grand)children?
A major challenge with grandchildren is how to relate to them once they get into the technological age. Today, if grandparents want to relate to their grandchildren in the teen years and beyond, they need to learn how to email, text, and participate in social media, if they want to stay connected with them. Grandchildren have many opportunities to be involved in extracurricular activities, so they are very busy. Grandparents need to be able to keep up with them!
A challenge with parents is that they are so busy nowadays, it’s hard to find time to connect with them and the grandchildren. Some grandparents struggle to know their boundaries and also fall into competition with the other grandparents. I have recently talked with several grandmothers who are not allowed to have any contact with their grandchildren because of conflict with the parents. Additionally, about one-third of all grandparents are having to raise their grandchildren full-time.
It is so important that we know how to pray effectively for our children and grandchildren. There are just so many issues and struggles to deal with nowadays. Lillian, do you have any favorite scriptures that speak to God’s promises for our children and grandchildren?
My two favorites are:
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Thank you, Lillian, for sharing from God’s Word with us today. Knowing how to pray makes all the difference–in our lives and in the lives of our family. Next time we meet, we’re going to share with you the incredible prayer cards that Lillian has developed as a tool to help parents and grandparents more effectively pray for their children and grandchildren. We hope you will join us next Tuesday and learn how you can receive your own prayer cards for free!
Once again, in the meantime, please visit 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.