I had a praying Grandma, so did my husband. I’m sure many of you had or have praying Grandmas. They are special aren’t they? My husband’s grandma had 20 grandchildren and countable (but not by me) great grandchildren (i.e…a lot). In the early 80’s, after all her grandchildren had reached adulthood (or close enough) she claimed that all 20 of them had never been involved in drugs. It struck me back then, that was a significant answer to prayer for her. In the 60’s and 70’s drugs were a newer scare factor in robbing families of their young people and to Grandma Cole, skipping that scene was tantamount to eternal victory in her prayer life.
My own grandma came to faith later in life, I think she was in her late 40’s or early 50’s. She was a model Christian, rising early every day to read her Bible, study her devotions and to pray for all her family, children and grandchildren. Although drugs may have been of concern to her, salvation was her main focus. Because she didn’t raise her children to know Jesus when they were young, her heart was heavy with the burden of praying for them to have a saving knowledge of Christ. As her faith grew so did her burden for the family members who weren’t of her faith. I know that many times in my adult life her prayers kept both my husband and me on the narrow path.
Fast forward to today and I can make bank on the prayers of my children’s grandparents! I know that their grandmothers pray for them–often. The spiritual lineage that my children inherited is long. And while it may include notable denominational figures, missionaries, pastors, church elders, Sunday school administrators, heads of regional denominational organizations, etc… I believe it’s most valuable and committed warriors are their praying Grandmas. Prayer is God’s love language and praying Grandmas have learned that when it comes to prayer, nothing is impossible for their loving Heavenly Father.
Talking to God (i.e…prayer) is such a simple yet profound thing. I don’t know about all of you but talking to an invisible entity, hoping they hear, wishing they had “skin on” so that you could see their face while you talk, is an awkward thing at first. It takes practice, patience, skill and dedication. Skill because it’s a 2 way conversation and hearing God’s side of the dialog is acquired by listening, a skill many of us lack. Grandmas however, are blessed with the ability to listen both to God and their grandchildren. They have reached a place in life where they aren’t so fussy about how they sound, what they say and who is listening. They’ve seen God answer, heard his voice, know his ways and are settled in that knowledge.
As parents our reputation is on the line when our children stray from their training. We get caught up in fear and blame ourselves our prayers are anxious or guilt riddled. Not Grandma’s! Grandma prays with the confidence that this is something God already handled and we’re just waiting to see how. She knows that God isn’t going to allow that grandchild to get away, after all, he kept all her adult children from drugs–he can handle this too.
I am so wildly blessed that my grandma prayed for me. I have no doubt that because of her prayers I’ve been able to stay married for 35 years, keep my sanity while raising children, help my husband navigate job challenges, relocate and move as many times as I have without self imploding and ultimately, to stay committed to my faith with confidence all these years. She passed away almost 20 years ago and I still miss her to this day.
Because I was her favorite
I know grandmas aren’t suppose to have favorites, just like parents, but…I was hers. Being the oldest and only grandchild for 5 years was admittedly, a singular advantage, but I was also most like her. We both loved reading, sewing, crocheting, movies, lunching and shopping for clothes. She was an average cook who burned as many things as not. I especially try to burn my pot roasts like hers, burnt is best when it’s a pot roast.
Grandma could argue a subject to death. In fairness to her opponent she always tried to see their point of view. It made for interesting conversations, usually ones she had with herself! Often the phrase “Well, I shouldn’t judge, the Bible says ‘Judge not lest you be judged’ so I won’t judge” settled things for her. I wonder how she’d interpret the times today? Politically she might struggle with the whole POV thing…I’m glad that she doesn’t have to face it.
When Scripture says that the “effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (grandmas pray in the KJV) I always think of grandmas. Age has granted them a wonderful measure of maturity, grace and confidence in their faith. They’ve overcome the awkwardness of early prayer life and can speak freely and without guilt, fear or anxiety on behalf of their grandchildren. And they have time. Maybe some of their prayers are rushed but often, they can be still, pray without distraction and hear with the confidence of a life spent before God’s throne.
As Mother’s Day approaches, I hope that all of you have a praying grandma to honor. Ours is coming from Oregon to be with us that weekend. Grandpa passed away 18 months ago and she is navigating a new life after 64 years as his best friend, so this trip will be a first for her. We have plans to show her our city, take her to a graduation and honor her with a visit to our church and a family meal on Mother’s Day. All of our kids and their spouses will be here, including our “chosen” daughter.
We can hardly wait