Read an Excerpt
A Moment with God for Grandparents
Prayers for Every Grandparent
By Kel Groseclose
Dimensions for LivingCopyright © 1999 Dimensions for Living
All rights reserved.
Creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God.
Gracious God, Grandma and I are two members of creation who wait with eager longing for the revealing of more grandchildren. We already have five, but we'd like many more. We're not being greedy. It's just that they bring us such joy!
You were wise not to let grandparents be part of that decision. All we can do is wait patiently, pray faithfully, and offer gentle words of encouragement to our children and their spouses. Perhaps you could speed up the process if you'd whisper in their ears and speak to their hearts. We'd really like to be expectant grandparents again.
THOSE BLESSED BEGATS
Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren.
—Matthew 1:2 KJV
Creator God, look what you started in that garden with Adam and Eve! They started the "begatting" process, and several millennia later we're still going strong. As long as your people are responsible in how this happens and caring in the way they raise the results, I think it's a wonderful plan.
Our immediate family was gifted with six offspring. Five of those are married and have produced five grandchildren. It's good to know this was your idea in the first place and that we're part of an endless line of blessed begats. Thank you, God; it gives us comfort and courage.
GIFTS FROM GOD
Little children, you are from God.
—1 John 4:4a
Yes, indeed, children in general and grandchildren in particular are gifts from you, O God; and very special gifts, at that. I happen to think that this Grandma and Grandpa's grandkids are the cutest, brightest, sweetest, and most-talented youngsters in the world. That's what I'm supposed to believe. You don't expect me to be objective, do you? I'm their number one fan, their loudest cheerleader, and their most loyal supporter—next to you, of course, Lord. What's wonderful is you've also made it so that every grandparent can have the best grandchildren in all the world. What a clever and diplomatic God you are!
WE GATHER TOGETHER
Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; / call a solemn assembly; / gather the people. / [A]ssemble the aged; / gather the children, / even infants at the breast.—Joel 2:15-16
Eternal Parent, this text sounds like one of our family gatherings, except we're seldom solemn and don't ever fast; there's usually a ton of food. Whether we eat or not, our family gatherings are significant events. Everybody talks at once yet somehow hears everything. We catch up on the latest news, see how much the grandchildren have grown, and stay up too late. We give and receive multitudes of hugs and kisses. When it's over, our house is a mess and our bodies are weary. But our grandparent souls are crammed with happiness, overflowing with joy. O God, provide us with another reason to gather, and make it soon.
THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA
Then he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end."
—Revelation 21:6a, b
There's a unique bond, O God, between the youngest and the oldest members of the human race. Sometimes it almost seems as if we're in cahoots with one another. We have this common understanding about what really matters in life. It's not about making money, driving a new car, keeping your bedroom clean, or eating your vegetables. It's about being together, loving one another, and finding joy every day. So this grandpa blows soap bubbles with grandchildren until his elbows are soaking wet, gives wheelbarrow rides until his back is stiff, and watches butterflies gracefully sip from flowers; call it my second childhood, if you like. I call it marvelous!
THE "GOOD OLD DAYS" MYTH
Don't long for "the good old days," for you don't know whether they were any better than these!
—Ecclesiastes 7:10 TLB
O God, it's tempting for us grandparents to glorify the past, to believe it actually was as wonderful as those stories we tell about it. Yes, we've had wonderful times in bygone days, but there were plenty of struggles too. Help us increasingly mature individuals to both cherish our memories and to accept the changes and challenges of the present moment. May we regale our grandchildren with tales of our personal histories, yet be alive with them here and now.
This is the day you've made for us, Lord, not yesterday (Psalm 118:24). Let us rejoice and make these the "good NEW days"!
CHOOSING YOUR OWN WRINKLES
The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
—Psalm 16:6 KJV
O God of the Ages and the aging, I know this Scripture refers to property boundary lines. But suppose it also has a message for faces like mine that show the effects of having lived quite a while. Though I may not have a choice about getting wrinkles, I can decide to put them in pleasant places. I have a few worry wrinkles etched across my forehead. But, Lord, you and I have placed other facial lines in good spots—those happy crinkles around the corners of my eyes, the smile creases beside my mouth. Now when a grandchild innocently asks, "Grandpa, where'd you get all your wrinkles?" I shall reply, "From God. Aren't they beautiful?"
GRANDCHILDREN SPOILED WHILE YOU WAIT
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap."
—Luke 6:38a, b
O God, you have given us every good and perfect gift, lavished your love upon us, and basically spoiled us with an abundance of beauty, with promises and hope and joy. So why shouldn't we grandparents be able to spoil our grandkids? I don't mean we should spoil them rotten by providing every material thing their hearts desire or by letting them get away with unpleasant behavior. You don't cater to our selfish whims or condone our unloving attitudes; nor should we with our grandchildren. But we can shower spiritual blessings upon them and be extravagant in offering our love.
AN INSIDE JOB
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
—Ephesians 3:20 The Message
Remind me, Gracious God, that grandchildren are gifts to be cherished. You haven't given them to me to make me look good or feel important. They're not on this earth so my billfold can be filled with a zillion pictures. Nor is their purpose to make me proud of their grades, athletic prowess, musical talents, or any other outward accomplishment; that's all gravy. Help this grandparent never to push from the outside and always to nurture from the inside. May I be your Spirit's partner in gently bringing out the best in my grandchildren.
WHEN YOU CAN'T GET YOUR HANDS ON THEM
So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth.
Maybe it's not you who is doing the scattering anymore, Lord, but people today certainly don't stay close to home. We've got family members across the mountains in Seattle, one in New Jersey, and another one up North; it is difficult for us to "get our hands on" our grandchildren—to be able to spend time with them. And too, they're busy with their work and activities. I know we can always hold them in our hearts, and we do. But sometimes our laps feel empty and our arms get lonely. In the meantime, we send cards, e-mail, talk on the telephone, share photographs, and remember them constantly in our prayers. And we yearn for that time when we can be physically with them again.
THE STRENGTH OF SITTING STILL
Their strength is to sit still.
-Isaiah 30:7b KJV
The prophet Isaiah thought it was a weakness of the Egyptians, and perhaps in battle it is. But, Dear God, for grandparents, sitting can be a source of strength. We may not have as much energy as we once had. Our "get-up-and-go" may have gotten up and gone. We have other gifts to offer, though, such as stability, confidence, and quietness.
The day is surely coming when I shall have to trade my "Super Gramps" T-shirt for something more modest; so be it. Let me sit in a rocking chair and snuggle with my grandchildren and perhaps my great-grandchildren. I'll listen, watch them play, read books while they sit on my lap, and be very content.
THE CARE AND FEEDING OF GRANDPARENTS
You shall be happy, and it shall go well with you. / ... May you see your children's children.
—Psalm 128:2b,6 a
This is a kindly reminder, isn't it God, for us to take proper care of our bodies. We want to live long enough to see our children's children—that is, to become grandparents—and to have adequate strength and health to enjoy the experience. Make no mistake about it, those grandchildren need us to be there for them too.
Motivate me, Lord, to eat nutritiously, to exercise regularly, to get enough sleep, and to go to the doctor for checkups. There are others, perhaps quite a number, who value my wisdom, enjoy my company, and need my love. So help this "old man" to take care of himself!
I have been young, and now am old, / yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken / or their children begging bread.
O God, you probably thought up the idea of grandparents to keep society optimistic. We do bring a certain healthy perspective based on years of experience. We've seen a lot, had some tough times, and are convinced of your faithfulness. No matter what happens, we've been around long enough to know we're never alone; you are our constant companion. We're able to see the big picture, the historical view. We don't get upset over short-term troubles, because you are in this for the long haul. Anyway, from your point of view, a thousand years are but as yesterday (Psalm 90:4). Teach us to relax, to cherish each moment, and to trust you completely.
HOW MUCH YOU'VE GROWN
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
—2 Peter 3:18
As a child I used to dread our large extended-family gatherings. I enjoyed the food, running around with cousins, and my Aunt Hettie's homemade chocolates. I barely tolerated, however, those repeated pats on my head while a grandparent exclaimed, "My, how much you've grown! Just like a weed. You'll soon be taller than your daddy."
Well, now, God of grace and glory, somebody ought to be checking on us grandparents to see how much we've grown; not in girth, of course, but in faith and love. Those pats on top of my head I can still do without. But, Dear God, keep close track of my growth in faith and in the knowledge of your Son Jesus Christ.
BLESSED ARE THE PLAYFUL
Thus says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem.... And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing.
O God, I had quite a mother, didn't I? She was the neighborhood granny. Kids came from blocks away to visit her. She entertained them royally. I suppose she was lonely living there alone after my father's death, though she handled it well. Her place was always filled with children playing "button, button, who's got the button," hide-the-thimble, and other old-fashioned games. Mother read to the children, visited with them, and always served a delicious snack before they left. She was playful to the very end. May our homes and streets be filled again with older folks and children at play.
THE ART OF NAPPING
So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept.
Things haven't changed much since Adam, have they Lord? You, of course, caused the first man to nod off; so maybe it's still because of you that we males, especially us grandpas, have perfected the art of napping. I prefer to think we're not lazy; we're simply setting a good example for our youngest grandchildren who need their naps! We grandpas are witnessing to the value and joy of dozing in a comfortable chair. We know that some things cannot be hurried and that patience is a virtue. Not to mention that our snoring provides a wonderful source for family laughter! The closest experience to heaven may be napping on the couch while holding a sleeping grandchild.
A LEGACY OF FAITH
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.
—2 Timothy 1:5
Wouldn't I like to leave my grandchildren the kind of legacy Lois left for Timothy! She passed on to her daughter and grandson a genuine and sincere faith. I'd be pleased to share a bit of material wealth with my family, to hand to them my treasured possessions. When it comes to inner, spiritual values, however, there's no comparison.
May I not be concerned about my bank account and stock portfolio so much as what's in my heart. May I leave my grandchildren a legacy of hope and peace, of caring and compassion. Let me be formed in the Lois mold of grandparenting. And may I accomplish all this with a minimum of sermonettes.
OLD DOGS CAN LEARN NEW TRICKS
And the one who was seated on the throne said, "See, I am making all things new."
—Revelation 21: 5a
Lord, if in the next life we shall all be made new, shouldn't we be preparing for it in this one? Even we old dogs, we grandparents, ought to be learning a few new tricks. It's possible; it just takes us a little longer.
O God of time and eternity, keep this grandfather's eyes open, his ears attentive, his mind receptive, and his body willing. May I never stop learning. Thank you for providing me with the best of all teachers—my grandchildren. They lovingly insist that I practice my new tricks; they won't let this old dog sit and vegetate!
He determines the number of the stars; / he gives to all of them their names.
It was a difficult experience for us all. But you, O God, comforted us with the wisdom of a three-year-old granddaughter. You knew how much it hurt when Great-Granny died, so you sent Ashley to be with us. We gathered at our house. Ashley's family brought McDonald's burgers; and while we ate, we hugged, cried, and felt lonely together. When Ashley went home that evening, she looked into the night sky, found the first star, and blew it a kiss. "Why are you doing that?" her mother asked. "Because," she replied confidently, "Great-Granny's in heaven, and that's her star." I hope it's also permissible for a grandpa to blow kisses to a star.
STANDING IN THE GAP
And I sought for [one] among them, that should ... stand in the gap before me for the land.
—Ezekiel 22:30a KJV, adapted
Grandparents are great for standing in the gap. No, not the clothing store that's popular with young people, although I've done my share of waiting there. I mean the role of being ready to step in when their parents need help. Our grandchildren all have a mom and dad who work outside the home.
If you aren't going to slow down the pace of this world, O God, then please, start calling more grandparents into the "gap standing" business. We're not cheap labor; we're active family elders who care. When emergencies occur, troubles happen, or parents are at their wit's end, make us willing to stand humbly in the gap.
DOING WHAT IS POSSIBLE
If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.
—Ecclesiastes 11:4 TLB
Forgive me, O God of infinite patience, for too often waiting for perfection before I act. I postpone doing anything until I'm certain there's enough money, time, and energy. I want gorgeous weather, detailed plans, and agreeable grandchildren. It's not going to happen, is it, Lord? Neither you nor they are impressed that I'm now the family patriarch and in charge around here.
Please send me a clear message, Lord; blow a loud horn in my ear, if you have to. Help me become more flexible, spontaneous, and adventurous. The image of a cautious, cranky grandfather isn't flattering. I may never be a wild and crazy guy, but I'd like my grandchildren to think I'm a good sport.
Excerpted from A Moment with God for Grandparents by Kel Groseclose. Copyright © 1999 Dimensions for Living. Excerpted by permission of Dimensions for Living.
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