You may live close. You may live far. You may have lots of time with your grandkids or a few precious hours. But I’m guessing that whenever you’re with your grandchildren, you take every chance to share your wisdom and experience. The familiar term “teachable moment” comes to mind.
Examples are easy to come by:
- Walking in the woods and seeing poison ivy is when you teach your grandchildren about poison ivy. (“Leaflets three, let it be.”)
- At your workbench, you teach them to “measure twice, cut once” and “sand with the grain.”
- In the kitchen, you teach them to wait until a drop of water “dances on the griddle” before pouring the pancake batter or to know a cake is ready to come out of the oven when you slide in a toothpick and it “comes out clean.”
- Taking your grandkids grocery shopping leads to all kinds of teachable moments: how to pick ripe cantaloupe, respecting other shoppers, math skills, and why you shouldn’t believe shocking tabloid headlines.
The life lessons you’re providing to that generation are especially important because mom and dad are often too busy. Your adult children know these life hacks, but they have not yet passed them on. Teachable moments take time. Parents just want to get the cake baked and the shopping done.
Perhaps more important than teachable moments are “prayable moments.” Taking advantage of prayable moments allows you to model how to pray, confirms the power of prayer, and opens the hearts of your grandkids about the needs of others. For example:
- You and your little grandson or granddaughter are doing chalk pictures on the sidewalk and you hear a siren or multiple sirens several blocks away. Stop and pray. You don’t know details of that emergency, but God does.
- A storm front is moving in. Pray for the safety of your family and your neighbors.
- You’re stuck in a slight traffic jam with your grandkids buckled in the backseat. Use that time to trigger prayer. Turn off the car radio and pray that – no matter when you get to your destination – patience reigns and God be honored.
- You pass a church where wedding guests are throwing rice at a bride and groom or you pass a car with a “Just Married,” sign. That’s a fun prayable moment. Offer up a prayer for those newlyweds and add a prayer of thanks for God’s gift of marriage.
- Through social media, radio, TV, or another source, you hear about a breaking national or international news event. Whether it’s good news or bad news, stop for a moment with your grandkids and express thanks to God that he is in control.
When you partake in a prayable moment, it may start a conversation about the purpose and power of prayer. That’s fine. Feel free to quote one of your favorite Bible verses on the topic.
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (Colossians 4:2)
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. “(Philippians 4:6-7)
Following up with a long conversation about how prayer has been a vital part of your life might be exactly what they need to hear. But also, don’t feel like you need to explain or preach. Make prayer a natural conversation between you and your grandchild and the Creator of the Universe. Just say, “Let’s pray about that.”
Make prayer a natural conversation
between you and your grandchild and the Creator of the Universe.
Just say, “Let’s pray about that.”
Or better yet, simply start talking to God. Your grandkids will pick up on and appreciate what you’re doing.
Inviting God’s involvement in the events of your day – large and small – is something you probably already do. The Holy Spirit has given you a sense of discernment that helps you see how God works continually in the lives of people all around you. But when you involve your grandkids you are helping them learn how to unleash a power that will serve them well for decades to come.
If you don’t already, begin to look for “prayable moments.” When you feel called to pray, do it. If your grandkids are there, even better.
Jay is a national speaker and best-selling author of more than 30 books including 52 Things Kids Need from a Dad, What If God Wrote Your Bucket List?, and Hooray for Grandparents! Visit his website to learn more at: http://jaypayleitner.com