Do you talk about your prayer life with your grandkids? I think it’s a great idea. I’m not suggesting you tell them everything, but sharing some of your prayer life will help shape your grandchildren’s spiritual journey. And those can be some of the richest and most rewarding moments you experience as a grandparent. 

Whether the prayers are written ones, prayers during holidays, at special events, or over the phone when your grands live far away, your prayers can bridge the distance and leave an inheritance more valuable than silver or gold. Beyond that, here are three suggestions that will help you share about this with your grandkids:

  1. Regularly ask, “How can I pray for you?” With young grandkids, this question may help you find out more of what’s going on in their lives. You might find yourself praying for a sick dog, a quiz at school, or a soccer game. But that’s OK because that may be what your grandchild’s world is all about right now. 

If your grandchild responds to “How can I pray for you?” with “I don’t know,” keep asking. Maybe next time tell her what you’re already praying for her. One day she will probably give you something meaningful to pray for, and that will be a big point of connection for you. But even if she doesn’t, remember that you are blessing her by reminding her regularly that you’re praying for her every day. That by itself can be a great comfort. You’re also showing her that she can come to you when she does have an issue or concern. 

  1. Look for ways to get involved. Sometimes God might use your grandkids themselves—and you—to help address a prayer concern. If your grandson wants to pray that more of his friends would come to church, maybe you could make breakfast for the group of buddies one Sunday morning, and then take them to church. Or if you’re praying for someone who is discouraged, sick, or lonely, brainstorm ways you yourself can show kindness to them or lighten their load. Too often, we pray, then sit back and expect God to do all the work. We can show our grandkids that sometimes God works out His good purposes through them.
  2. Occasionally pray over your grandchildren. One great way to bless and affirm them is to pray for them right in their presence. You can pray for your grandchildren’s health, their safety, their growing faith, their future decisions, their friends, and on and on. I would also suggest that you sometimes lay your hands on them as you pray, calling on God to bless them, even if it’s simply putting your hand on their head or shoulder. 

Praying with and for your grandkids might not sound easy at first, but it’s worth pursuing. If nothing else, the fact that they know you’re praying for them regularly—and they occasionally hear you praying for them—will build their confidence and sense of well-being.

Do you pray with and for your grands? What works best, and what have you learned? Share your experiences and thoughts with other grandparents on our Facebook page.

This was adapted from Dr. Ken Canfield’s book, The HEART of Grandparenting. Find out more and get your copy here