by Dr. Ken Canfield

A deep conviction I have about grandparenting is that there’s a spiritual aspect to it. I am more convinced of this every day. And that leads me to this:

One of the most important things we can do as grandparents is pray for our grandchildren.

And really it applies to our whole families. For those of us who believe in God and try to live our lives by his ways and his agenda, this is a natural and obvious conclusion. But just in case it isn’t so obvious—or in case you might need a reminder—here are a few reasons why this is so important:

First, because we want what’s best for our grandkids.

We can’t always be there for our grandkids, and their parents can’t either, especially as they grow and start exploring the world and find their own place in it. And most likely we won’t be around for much of their lives. So it’s good to recognize that the creator can watch over them and bless them much more and much better than we can, and for their entire lives. And we can seek his power and guidance for them.

Each of our grandchildren has a special place in our hearts. They have issues they’re dealing with and dreams for the future. Maybe there’s a difficult subject at school; maybe a relationship problem with a friend; maybe it’s a personal struggle that they can’t seem to shake. Maybe they need a special measure of courage or comfort. What about their future? What adjustments and challenges are likely coming in the next year or two? Or in the next 10 or 15 years? There are interests they will pursue, careers they will choose, possibly spouses and parenthood eventually. Pray through these concerns for each grandchild on a regular basis.

And second, we pray because it makes us better grandparents.

That’s what happens when we spend more time with our heavenly Father. Knowing him better and seeking his will translates into a clearer understanding of his plan for relationships and ways we can make better investments in our grandchildren. We line up our purposes with his, and as we grow as people it can’t help but spill over into our grandparenting.

Plus, it’s good to confess that we don’t have all the answers. Grandparenting is challenging and often complex, and we’d do well to humble ourselves and recognize our need for God’s help.

So, it’s a suggestion that’s simple but not always easy: pray for your grandkids. It isn’t all you can do, but it’s one of the best things you can do, and you don’t need any special equipment or an engraved invitation. All you need is a moment here, 15 minutes there, a half hour or two when you can. And of course a commitment to do what’s best for your grandkids.

What does prayer mean to you as a grandparent? What benefits do you see? Please leave a comment and join with other grandparents on our Facebook page here.