Praying for Grandchildren with Lillian Penner

Thank you for joining us again as we speak one more time with Lillian Penner, the National Prayer Director and founder of G@P (grandparenting prayer groups) at Christian Grandparenting Network. As we mentioned last time, Lillian has developed a great resource for grandparents–a prayer card that offers suggestions and scriptures for how to pray for grandchildren.

Before we get into the specifics of the card, let’s find out from Lillian how they came about.

Lillian Penner

Lillian Penner

Lillian, when we last talked to you, you shared with us two of your favorite scriptures that you believe really speak to God’s promises for our children and grandchildren. How did these and other such scriptures provide inspiration for creating your prayer cards?

Scriptures like these made me excited to pray, because I knew that I was praying God’s will for my grandchildren. After I got excited about praying the scriptures, I wanted to be able to share them with others. I thought a good way to do that was to develop a prayer card filled with God’s Word and promises concerning our grandchildren.

After I created the prayer cards, I’ve had many grandparents tell me they like these and other resources that I’ve provided for them. I then decided to pull these resources together into a book called Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for your Grandchildren. Right now, I have prayer cards that help with praying for children, grandchildren, children specifically in school (preschool to college), and for grandchildren’s various life stages (from infants to married grandchildren). Additionally, my blog at http://www.grandparentingwithapurpose.com offers other resources and help for grandparents who want to be intentional about imparting the things of God to their grandkids.

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Lillian’s cards are designed so that a different suggested prayer and accompanying scripture can be prayed each day of the month. On her “Praying for Children and Grandchildren” prayer card, some prayer ideas include praying for compassion, direction, friendships, obedience to God, wisdom, salvation, peace, and self-control. Each prayer suggestion is one sentence, with a blank where the praying grandparent would insert the child’s name to make the prayer personal. A corresponding scripture follows each prayer.

The simple ideas are meant to serve as prayer starters, a launching pad of sorts for your prayers. Once you get started by saying the suggested prayers, it’s then time to allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you into a deeper more personal prayer for your grandchildren. He will show you the specific needs of each grandchild so you can then pray more effectively.

Lillian, I know these cards will be a blessing to any grandparent who uses them. Can you tell our readers how to access these cards?

The best way to get the cards is to download them from www.christiangrandparenting.net for free. From the website click on the prayer link, which will take you to the cards. You may also contact CGN to purchase hard copies of the cards.

Thank, you, Lillian! I hope all of you will take advantage of these prayer cards and share them with your family and friends as well. I also hope you have enjoyed our time with Lillian Penner and learning more about the awesome work she is doing across the country to help grandparents as they pray for their grandkids.

Meet Lillian Penner–Helping Grandparents Pray (Pt.2)

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.

Lillian Penner

Lillian Penner

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.

The Prayers of a Grandparent

It’s Thanksgiving week and I’m sure you’re counting your grandchildren among those blessings you’re thankful for. Have you told God lately that you’re thankful for your grandchildren?

And while you’re at it, what else would you like to talk to God about on behalf of your grandchildren? If you’re anything at all like me, my prayers can get mighty general, which means vague. This can be a problem because if our prayer are general or vague, how will we recognize when God answers them?

But what if we make our prayers specific? For me, that takes effort. I have to work at it. I have to think carefully, pray deliberately, then record my prayers carefully. But then the results are amazing. I can actually see concrete answers to my prayers.

What about you? Have you ever tried to make your prayers very specific? Need some help? In a related article I wrote titled “How to Pray? Be Specific and Find God” I wrote:

What, specifically, do you want from God? What would you like Him to do for you? Is what you want within His will, meaning it doesn’t violate His good and pure personality? If yes, then get specific and ask Him.

So think about it.What would you like God to do for you in regards to your grandchildren? What do they need? And I’m not suggesting what they might want, or even need, as a gift for Christmas. I’m thinking more along the lines of what do they need to be spiritually healthy? Do they need salvation? Do they need strength to stand against a society that is increasingly moving away from God? Do they need to make more godly choices? Do they need a desire to read God’s Word more? To walk more closely with God? To learn more about Him and His Word through a true desire to take part in a good church?

Get specific with God and see what happens. You might want to record your prayers in a journal. Then you’ll also have a place to record God’s answers!

In our book, Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ, each of the 20 chapters has a suggested prayer at the end of the chapter called “One Way to Pray.” The suggested prayer was inspired by the events of the story in that chapter. I know one thing that helps me when I get stuck in a rut with my prayers is to hear how someone else might pray. I find it always inspires and refreshes my own prayers.

Each chapter also has blank lines at the end for your own “Prayers, Notes, or Ideas.” This could be a perfect place to record your own prayers for your grandchildren.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, why not create some specific prayers for each of your grandchildren and then this Thursday share with them what, specifically, you’re thankful for in regards to them as well as what you are praying for them?

Grandparents in the Bible

One of the many features of our book includes a section called “Grandparents in the Bible,” which can be found in every chapter. The purpose of this section is to highlight various grandparents in the Bible who influenced their grandchildren–and, in some cases, several generations–in either good or bad ways.

You will not find the words grandparent, grandfather, grandmother, nana, papa, or any other variation of these titles in the Bible. You will, however, find grandson, great-grandson, etc. And, you can determine lineage and realize there must be grandparents mentioned in the Bible through the genealogies given to us.

Just like in the Bible, we’ve listed those grandparents who followed the Lord’s commandments and therefore secured blessings for their future generations, as well as those who disobeyed God and brought curses on their future generations. It’s important to know what to do as well as what not to do!

Here’s an excerpt from one of our “Grandparents in the Bible” section:

Salmon and Rahab: Grandparents of Obed–

“Both ‘outsiders,’ the prostitute Rahab and the foreigner Ruth, were married into the family of Abraham’s descendants and the bloodline of Christ. God welcomes into His family, and uses for His good purposes, any person whose heart is tender toward Him, regardless of their family name or where they come from. No matter what your family may look like to you, He can use you and your family for His good purposes, too.”

The good news is that we know God poured out His wrath and judgment for all sin upon Jesus as He hung on the cross, which in turn, destroyed the power of sin and curse in our lives (2 Cor. 5:21Gal. 3:13).  Because of this, as believers walking in the authority of Christ, we now have the power to destroy generational curses in and to declare generational blessings upon our families.

If you know of prevailing sin in previous generations of your family that seems to keep re-appearing, through Jesus, that sin can be defeated once and for all so that your grandchildren, and their children, will not have to be enslaved to it. Praise God for His power in our lives!

I encourage you to take note of the grandparents found in the Bible and see how they were able to influence their families for the Lord. Also, use the “Grandparents in the Bible” section of our book to offer further insight into how God used these grandparents for His purposes–or, how they wandered from God, thus causing grief for their families.

Don’t ever give up on your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, or the generations to follow. Speak blessings over your lineage, pray God’s Word, and have faith that each of your future generations will be more powerful and more blessed than the one before it! You have the ability–through Christ–to determine what kind of legacy you will leave.

How Grandparents Can Partner with Their Grandkids’ Parents

One of the four sections of challenges in our book is the challenge of partnering with parents. In some cases, such as when the parents are also believers and they are not in opposition with the grandparents, partnering may come easily to both parties. But even under idyllic circumstances, struggles may arise.

The stories in our book about partnering range from Grandma stepping in to bring church to her grandson when her son and daughter-in-law won’t make family time for church, to a grandmother who had to help take care of her grandson when her son-in-law was in prison and her daughter went back to school, to a grandmother who stayed with her grandchildren for three months and helped her grandson overcome his many fears. (This last story is written by contributor, Ann Kronwald, who we will be interviewing later this week.)

As you can see, partnering may come in many forms. It may be as simple as providing the parents an extra set of hands or offering additional spiritual nurturing of their kids; or it may involve making life-changing sacrifices, such as taking in a grandchild for a period of time. Regardless of the level of difficulty, God’s grace will be available to help you handle it.

As you consider how you might best partner with your son or daughter, take time to invite the Lord into your situation. Here are a few ways you can do this:

1. Ask God about the specific ways you are to get involved. You want to make sure you’re not going to be overstepping your boundaries, but at the same time you want your efforts to be effective.

2. If you’ll be heading into a touchy situation, ask God to go before you and soften the hearts of those involved. Ask Him also to give you the words to say to your son or daughter so as to not cause offense.

3. Ask God to help you respond in love, humility, and in a Christlike manner to each situation you encounter.

4. Ask God to change your heart so that you are willing to be obedient to anything He asks you to do, even if it involves a major sacrifice or lifestyle change.

Perhaps the best way to partner with your grandkids’ parents is to pray for your grandchildren–whether their parents are doing so themselves or not. To help with this, we encourage you to take a look at Christian Grandparenting Network, which has many prayer-related resources, devotionals, and articles, including the Grandparents’ Prayer Card written by Lillian Penner.

And, we’d like to ask you: What is one way you’ve partnered with your grandchildren’s parents and how has God used your efforts?