How to Pray for Your Grandchildren

Our church hosted a grandparents’ prayer gathering not long ago, one where they offered a printed collection of Scripture-based prayers to help you know how to pray for your grandchildren. I wasn’t sure I needed the handouts—I had plenty of stuff to pray about—but the cards were pretty and well-organized, so I picked them up and took a seat in the little chapel where we were meeting.

How to pray for your grandchildren cards

The first thing I did was to open my journal and write down the names of all five of my grandkids. I figured that would help keep me focused. I can be like our dog Minnie sometimes, especially when it comes to prayer. Minnie sees a ball or a squirrel or whatever, and it doesn’t matter what she was thinking about before then. She’s gone.

Writing the children’s names gathered and grounded my thoughts.

Names of grandkids in my Growth Book Journal

Then I let my eye wander over the verses on the cards. They were listed topically, one after the other, with prayer prompts for anger, anxiety, confidence, direction, friendships, humility…. You get the idea.

I paused and asked God to show me, specifically, what each child needed and what he wanted to do in their lives. How might he want me to pray for each one of my grandchildren?

One of our grandsons, Grayson, is two years old. His baby brother was due any day, and as I thought about what Grayson might need, the verse under GENEROSITY began to resonate:  Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Timothy 6:18)

Grayson is a delightful kid, but I knew his world was about to change. No longer an only child, he’d have to share his home, his toys, his dog, his dad, and—most of all, at this point in his little life—his mom. He doesn’t always love it when my daughter holds other babies. He wants all of her arms. Sitting there in the quiet chapel, I began to ask God to make Grayson generous toward his baby brother. To help him be rich in good deeds. To equip him to be willing—eager, even—to share, whether it was his beloved toy excavator or space on his mom’s lap.

A prayer for your grandchild for generosity

And as I prayed, something interesting happened. God began to expand my vision, and I pictured these boys as adults.

I thought about how they might grow up to love and support one another, being generous with everything from their time (moving furniture, for example, into a college apartment), to their words (coming alongside one another in times of both mourning and joy), to their finances. My friend Susan Yates tells the story of a businessman who paid off his brother-in-law’s college debt in response to a prompting from God. The businessman didn’t tell anyone else what he’d done—he merely acted in obedience, putting love into action and fulfilling 1 Timothy 6:18.

Who among us would not want our grandchildren to care for one another like that?

I know I would. But I would never have thought about praying for a two-year-old’s generosity—let alone envisioning him as an adult who would be rich in good deeds and willing to share—except for the verse on that card. God’s word is powerful! 

And here’s the thing about praying the scriptures when we pray for our grandchildren—or anyone else. We don’t do the blessing, the healing, the providing, the protecting. That’s God’s job. Our job is simply to be the conduit for his power. Watchman Nee, a Chinese Christian writer, put it like this:  “Our prayers lay the track down which God’s power can come. Like a mighty locomotive, his power is irresistible, but it cannot reach us without rails.”

Watchman Nee quote about our prayers lay the track

Let’s lay the track down.

Because stories like God opening my eyes to how I might pray for my grandchildren—and prompting me to ask for generosity in one little boy’s life—are never just one-off’s. Our prayers continue to unfold, long after the words have left our mouths. As Ephesians 3:20 reminds us, God is able to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” And when we pray prayers birthed out of time spent in Scripture—when we anchor our prayers to Christ’s words, and allow them to animate our desires—we tap into a power that goes beyond anything our mind can conceive.

We welcomed Grayson’s baby brother, Henry, on March 1. One of my favorite ways to pray for my grandchildren, right from the start, is to pick a prayer verse that lines up with their actual birth date. The verse I’m praying now for our 3/1 baby is rooted in 1 John 3:1 – “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)t

I’m asking God to let Henry know, now and always, the lavishness of God’s love.

Big Brother welcomes the new baby



To access prayer cards like the ones shown in the photo above, click here to visit Grandparents@Prayer. And if you want a collection of prayers for your adult kids as they parent your grandkids–as well as bonus prayers for the children–you’ll find those, along with some encouraging stories and ideas for how you can pray for your grandchildren, in my book, Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children.

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