It happens in every family — the kids grow up. Move out. Establish their own homes and families.
That is the way it is supposed to work.
~Except for a recent case in New York when some parents had to go to court to try and get their 30+ year old to move out of their house. Seriously- he didn’t work or contribute, but expected them to keep supporting his life. Hint: If you have to go to court to get your adult son out of your house, your parenting issues started decades before. Parenting matters folks.
Alright- back to the point. Kids are SUPPOSED to grow up, get married, have kids, and keep the process going. As many of my children have taken this grand adventure in the past few years, I discovered my role in their lives drastically changing. Adults get to make their own decisions, even when those adults are your kids!
One lovely outcome of these marriages has been grandchildren.
Oh, GRANDCHILDREN. My grand girlies have lived up to the hype I heard for years from those who were crowned “grandma” before me. I love, love, love being a grandma.
The three precious granddaughters we’ve been blessed with so far have fueled my prayer life to new levels of seriousness. The Lord works generationally. He always has. His instruction and laws were for His people, but He added that they were to teach them to, “your children’s children.”
One of my main life scriptures is in Psalm 78 where the Lord explains the WHY of having a generational vision.
For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel
Which he command our fathers that they should teach them to their children,
That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children,
That they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God,
but keep His commandments,
And no be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
Our Kids Are In Trouble
Reports of the waning American church abound. Our kids are leaving Jesus and the church, especially when they get to college. What has happened? Why do they not believe anymore? We could blame media, video games, the internet, or any of the other influences that pollute our culture.
But maybe, just maybe we should start a little closer to home — or to be more specific — we should begin WITH the home. Possibly we haven’t been following God's instruction of training them from the beginning. But even intentional discipling of our kids does not guarantee results. They have the annoying habit of becoming an individual and making their own decisions- some of which will break our hearts.
So, now that they are grown, and we are living with their choices that we can’t change for them, are we done?
Um… NO! Obviously. We must NEVER stop our ministry to our kids. But we had better make some adjustments.
What To Do: PRAY
The empty nest does not mean our job as parents is done. It shifts and changes, but the job never ends.
How do we keep parenting?
My spiritual mentorship job with my children did not end when they moved out of the house. But it changed, just like my other parenting roles changed. I no longer take them to church, read them the Bible, or require spiritual disciplines in their lives. But my prayer life over them has exponentially increased. We must continue as long as we breath is pray.
Just like Psalm 78 said, I pray: for my children, my children’s children, and the children yet to be born. This really just continues what I have already been doing.
~ As my babies grew inside me, I prayed for their hearts that I had not yet met.
~ When they were born, I prayed for the strengths and weaknesses I observed.
~ They grew to volitional human beings and I prayed for their minds.
~ They fell in love and I prayed for that relationships, and their ultimate marriages.
~ The married couples had children and I started the process over, praying for my grandkids.
My generational desires fuel my prayers for my kids. The gradual progression of my prayer life naturally led me to this destination.
But while I pray for my grandkids, I pray EVEN MORE for their parents.
Why? Because the way faith passes from one generation to another is the greatest church growth strategy of all time.
The biggest Christian influence my grandbabies can have is to grow up in a home that loves and serves Jesus. The best gift I give to my grandchildren is praying for their parents.
Parents: your kids are like mine. They NEED you to pray for them! Need. Need. Need.
They world they navigate treacherously calls out to them, "Pursue wealth. Doubt truth. Live for self. Question everything. Hate the opposition."
How our kids respond as adults to these lies and temptations affects their lives. And how they live will steer their own kids either toward or away from Jesus. The gift I give my grandkids is praying for their PARENTS.
What To Pray: Psalm 78:7-8
There are so many Scriptures we could use to pray, but let’s take today’s prayer from the scripture we started with: Psalm 78. In verses 7 and 8 the Psalmist gives the “why” for the condemnation. They are exactly what I DON’T want my kids to do with their own families, so I flip those to word my prayers.
The problems cited in this section say:
Not having confidence in God
Forgetting works of God
Not keeping God’s commandments
Being stubborn and rebellious
Not preparing their heart
Spirit not faithful to God
Here are the prayers I extract from those:
Dear Lord, for my children, for their children, and for the children yet to be born, I pray that You would please:
Help them place their ultimate confidence in You and You alone
Cause them to remember all You have done. From the creation of earth to the intimate way You work in their lives, may You cause them to never forget.
Convict them of the life-giving joy that living by Your precepts will bring so that they can obey You, even when it is difficult.
Steer their stubbornness to only be stubborn for You and for obedience. Direct their rebelliousness to rebel against the world and its lies, but never against You.
Motivate them to put in the effort and time to prepare their heart to serve You, through study, time in Your Word, and relationships with other believers.
Help them submit their own spirit to Your Holy Spirit so that they will faithfully follow You, no matter what opposition or difficulty they face in their lives.
I hope these prayers give you some ideas of ways to pray for your own kids and the generations that are to come. Our faithful prayers, crying out to the God who hears and petitioning in faith to the Lord who answers, blesses our kids and our grandkids beyond imagining.
Let’s battle for our kids and the generations coming from them, every day.
What are ways you remind yourself to pray regularly? Share in the comments below and let’s help each other be faithful prayer warriors.