When my grandparents moved, some of their belongings were passed along to their children and grandchildren. One of the things that went to my parents’ home was one of my grandmother’s many bibles. Just last year, I was browsing through it and discovered pencil marks with dates, times, and names marked next to passages in God’s Word. Next to a Psalm, I found my name scribbled with something like, “A prayer for Missy, 1996” in the margins.
After showing my discovery to my mom, I soon found out the reason for my grandma’s prayer. In 1996, being almost two, I wasn’t walking yet, nor was I crawling. My preferred mode of movement was scooching on my bottom rather than using my hands and knees like most of the other kids.
In that scribbled prayer, I saw my grandparents’ faithfulness to intercession. I had proof that, indeed, when they said they were always praying for me, they meant it. Even down to praying that I would leave my scooching ways behind and get up on my little legs and walk 25 years ago.
Discovering her notes in her Bible was an inspiring moment for me. It has caused me to contemplate what the impact of their prayer has been in my life. How much of the grace, strength and wisdom that I’ve received in my life is a result of my grandparents’ prayers? And, how much of the godly woman I am today and my desire to know and love God is because of my grandparents’ faithfulness to interceding for me, their granddaughter?
This has made me seriously consider where I would be without my grandparents. How amazing and encouraging it is for me to know that every day of every year of my life, they’ve been praying for me. My heart is full of gratitude for their commitment. I am confident that without my grandparents’ unwavering dedication to interceding for me day in and out, I would be a lot less “rich in the Lord.”
I thank them endlessly for choosing to show up for me every day through prayer, even when we haven’t talked in a while because day-to-day life has gotten in the way. I’m grateful for how they instilled in me the significance of steadfast intercessory prayer. Mostly, I’m eternally thankful for how they have lived their lives completely dedicated to Christ. I am one blessed granddaughter.
P.S. Today, my grandparents and I text frequently. We send messages, updates and pictures of our lives. Without fail, my grandma always adds on a scripture passage or two of God’s faithfulness: “He keeps us as the apple of His eye” or “from strength to strength”.
Top photo of woman praying with an open Bible, from Bigstock.com, © Copyright Tinnakorn, stock photo ID: 264824791
Copyright © 2021 Grandly: The Strategic Grandparents Club.
Grandly: The Strategic Grandparents Club is a program of the Sword of the Spirit. This program was founded in 2016 by Mike Shaughnessy as a resource to equip grandparents to share their faith with their grandchildren. Grandly teaches grandparents to “Think, Pray, and Act Strategically” in the lives of their grandkids. It recognizes that grandparents occupy a special role in the lives of their grandchildren, and if properly trained, can make an outsized impact on their spiritual lives.
As a youth minister, Mike knew the difference grandparents could make in the lives of their grandchildren. He wondered if it could happen more often. It wasn’t that they lacked the faith. What they lacked was a strategy. If grandparents learned how to think, pray, and act strategically, the way youth workers did, something marvelous would happen. It has. Strategic grandparents have become missionaries to their own grandchildren.
We equip grandparents to be “youth workers” to their own grandchildren. When we ask grandparents, “What is your biggest concern?” Most answer “our grandchildren,” not their retirement or the next vacation. Many see that their grandchildren are not getting the spiritual and moral formation they need, and feel equally unable to address that need. We currently equip grandparents to be youth workers through two venues: our website (grandly.org) and our “Do It Grandly” Seminars.
Our website reaches a network of grandparents who are interested in learning how to think, pray, and act strategically. We publish bi-weekly online articles that provide encouragement, motivation, and practical tools on how to pass on their faith to grandchildren. Through our “Do It Grandly” seminars, we help grandparents to grow in their relational skills while providing insight into contemporary youth culture, giving them valuable tools for building impactful, Christ-centered relationships with their grandchildren. These seminars provide a way for Sword of the Spirit grandparents to re-enter internal (their own grandchildren) and external (their own peers) missionFor access to inspirational articles, sign up for a free membership at www.grandly.org.
Melissa (Missy) Giles, one of 13 grandchildren, is a talented photographer, and lives in Minnesota.