Anyone who thinks the Bible is boring hasn’t read the twelfth chapter of Acts. It is filled with drama, conflict, intrigue, history, opposing characters, and a resolution that sets our minds spinning.
The year is 44AD. It’s approximately ten years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. The early church is being severely persecuted by Herod Agrippa, a man who comes from a cruel family line, which includes Herod the Great (grandfather) and Herod Antipas (uncle). Agrippa’s approval rating among the Jews skyrockets when he has James beheaded. This popularity explosion unleashes an insatiable monster within the ruler. He has Peter arrested and chained between two armed sentries until his scheduled execution. Jewish law forbids carrying out a death sentence during Passover; therefore, Agrippa must wait to feed the ravenous monster inside him.
Peter sleeps soundly during the predawn hours leading up to his execution. That is until the angel of the Lord strikes him on the side and orders, “Get up quickly” (Acts 12: 7). An action adventure doesn’t get any better than what happens next. Peter’s chains fall off. Then, the prison door swings open, and he follows the angel past the guards to the iron-gate leading into the city.
This passage attests to the fact that when we come together to pray, miracles happen. Luke, the author of Acts, tells us not once but twice that the early believers were praying for Peter’s release. By repeating himself, he emphasizes the correlation between their prayers and Peter’s miraculous release from prison.
The early believers coupled prayer in conjunction with other spiritual disciplines, such as fasting or Bible study. When we pray together as the Body of Christ, also known as corporate prayer, we are praying in conjunction with the spiritual discipline of fellowship. What does this information about corporate prayer have to do with us? EVERYTHING!
Our grandchildren are navigating their way through a world where topics like abortion, addiction, bullying, divorce, gender crisis, pornography, peer pressure, social media, and teen-age pregnancy have become household words. All the while, our grandchildren are being deceived into believing there is no God.
It’s time we heed the lessons the early church taught us by praying together for our grandchildren. We need to pray—not only at church but in each other’s homes, not only on Sunday mornings but at other appointed times, as well.
I encourage you to join or start a Grandparents@Prayer group. Affectionately known as G@P, these groups consist of two or more grandparents who pray together regularly for their children and grandchildren. Each group is as different as its members and the grandchildren for whom they pray. One group is made of four grandparents who meet in someone’s living room every week. Another group is made of twenty-five grandparents, different denominations, who meet at a centrally located church every two months. And another group is made of two sisters who pray over the phone on Monday mornings before they go to work.
Is God’s Spirit encouraging you to start a Grandparents@Prayer group? If so, Christian Grandparenting Network wants to help. We have assembled the following list of FAQ’s that answers most of the question we receive:
Question: How many grandparents are needed to start a G@P group?
Answer: Two or more praying grandparents. Christ said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them,” (Matthew 18:20).
Question: Is there a limit to the number of grandparents in a group?
Answer: Theoretically, no. Many groups find it beneficial to limit the number to 8-12 members and then to break into two groups when the initial group exceeds that number.
Question: How often do G@P groups meet?
Answer: This decision should be determined by your group. Some G@P groups meet weekly, bi-monthly or monthly. The most important thing is the group meets on a regularly scheduled basis.
Question: What is the structure of the meeting?
Answer: Structure should be determined by your group. Some groups begin with fellowship, while some begin with a brief devotional. Others meet only to pray.
Question: Where do the groups meet?
Answer: Normally, meetings take place either in homes or at churches, where there is a limited number of distractions. Once again, this decision is determined by your group.
Question: How long do the meetings last?
Answer: One hour is the recommended time limit. (This prevents getting off-topic.)
Question: What resources do you recommend?
Answer: Some of the G@P groups are using the book Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for your Grandchildren as a discussion guide. The book provides helpful resources for intentional prayer and challenges grandparents to model a standard of moral living in an immoral world. The book is available for $10.50 including shipping at http://www.gdptpr.com.
Christian Grandparenting Network recently published a prayer devotional designed for G@P. Entitled Filled with Wonder and Awe, it’s available as a free download on our website. Free Resources – Christian Grandparenting Network
Question: What is required from the members?
Answer: Grandparents need to give a verbal commitment to being a part of the group. While situations arise and emergencies occur, grandparents are urged to attend as many meetings as possible.
Question: What is the cost?
Answer: There is no monetary cost. Christian Grandparenting Network simply requests groups to contact us with the facilitator’s email address and the group’s meeting times.
Question: How are privacy issues handled?
Answer: G@P groups provide a safe place for grandparents to share openly. We recommend ensuring privacy in the following manner:
- Each group needs to stress that whatever is shared within the group is confidential; whatever is shared within the group, stays within the group.
- Any grandparent concerned about privacy issues should refrain from referring to his or her grandchild by name. Instead, “my grandchild” or “my grandchildren” should be used.
- Relationships will form as the grandparents pray together. Privacy becomes less of an issue with groups who have developed trust among their members.
- Grandparents need to pray only for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. By restricting prayers for extended family members, neighbors and friends, privacy issues are decreased.
If you have more questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
God is raising up an army of grandparent warriors committed to praying corporately for their children and grandchildren. We hope you will join us.