Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! (2 Peter 3:11-12, NASB1995)
As grandparents and parents we must understand legacy praying.
I take walks on a college campus – there are several large buildings, unkempt and decrepit, with a name above the entrance. Someone at some time left a legacy financial gift for the building.
Is there a true legacy in this life?
Suzanna Wesley, the mother of 11 children, while sitting in a kitchen chair in the morning, would put her apron over her head to pray. Two of her children were John and Charles Wesley, founders of the Methodist movement – her prayers from 300 years ago are still having impact today.
That’s legacy praying.
I’m shifting my prayer focus to what I call legacy praying… yes, still for myself and the ministry of DisciplingAnother… but also for my children and grandchildren. Psalm 103 teaches that the righteousness of fathers and mothers can be extended to our children’s children.
What I’ve learned about legacy praying…
- Praying in the Spirit. Romans 8 teaches that when we don’t know how to pray, the Spirit intercedes for us with His groanings and words not understood by us. We don’t know the future of our children and grandchildren, but the Spirit of God does.
For legacy praying, learn to pray in the Spirit.
- Prophetic blessings. In Genesis 49, Jacob prays for his 12 sons, soon to become the 12 tribes of Israel. The prayers of Jacob should be studied by parents and grandparents – an awareness of faults but also discerning of the Spirit’s calling in each child’s life.
Grandparents can speak the calling of the Lord into the life of a grandchild through legacy praying.
- Discern their Scripture. The Lord has given me verses of scripture for my grandchildren. Often when I pray for them, I quote these verses. I also look for opportunities to speak to them, in my own words, their verses. These words do not sound like scripture, just brief comments, spoken in daily interactions with them.
As we move from parenting to grandparenting, we move from direct oversight to influence.
Influence requires relationship. Children listen to their parents because parents hold a “carrot and stick” authority. Grandchildren listen to us because they love us – a love earned through spending time with them.
Also, we buy them lots of things!!! Yes, bicycles rust, but the memory of what “my grandfather did” remains through life.
The prophet Daniel is an example of legacy praying. In the final chapter of Daniel, after receiving amazing insight into the future of the world, Daniel was told to go his way. He was to speak the prophecy to the nations without an understanding of its meaning.
As grandparents praying for our grandchildren (and children), we will have insights which will not be received by our grandchildren (and children). They live their own lives and often resist our words. Our words can seem more haranguing than encouraging.
But we have the spiritual weapon of legacy prayers.
Daniel was told in the last verse of the book of Daniel, “Be faithful to the end, and then enter into your rest. At the end of time you will see your reward” (OGV).
This is legacy – what remains in eternity.
Our legacy should not be rusting wealth or deteriorating buildings. We should invest in eternity with our grandchildren…
Through our legacy prayers!