A Grandmother’s Prayer Pattern
by Sylvia Espinoza
It was Saturday morning of Labor Day Weekend back in 2000. My husband had left for work, and those visiting were asleep. I curled up in his chair to read the devotional from Our Daily Bread and spend a little quiet time with the Lord. As I reflected on the life changes that had come our way in recent times, I began to pray for each of our children as was normal for me to do. We were now not only parents, but new parent–in–laws and brand spanking–new grandparents. It had been as natural as could be to pray for the children over the years, but this morning, my heart pondered how I could be certain to pray for each one as the family was growing, while not inadvertently leaving one out.
Waiting for God to Speak
As I sat there asking the Lord to help me be an effective prayer warrior for the children, as clear as clear can be, here is what I heard Him say:
“Here is the pattern of prayer you will use. There are seven adult children, and one grandchild. In birth order, call out their names to Me, one by one, and for all the children that are within them. Next, ask Me for the salvation of their souls, and the souls of everyone who is dear to them. Ask that those who profess Me as Savior and Lord will draw near to Me, and walk with Me, every day of their lives.”
My heart pounded. Of course, calling out their names in biological order was very easy to remember! “Thank You, Lord!” I said in my excitement. But our Father was not finished with His instruction. I further heard Him say:
“The second part of this pattern is praising Me and thanking Me and asking Me to continue the blessings I have poured out over them…for Me to keep those blessings safe in the hollow of My hand. Begin with what you recognize right now, and as blessings become evident, include them as well.”
Obedience to a Prayer Pattern
Then He graciously let me exercise this prayer pattern for the first time, a pattern that came to be because my new grandmother heart was seeking an effective way to pray. So, there I sat, calling out each child’s name, beginning with our oldest, Rita.
As I asked, “And for all the children that are within them,” I realized He was having me pray for the salvation of future generations. The souls of everyone dear to them meant I was praying for relatives and friends my children love to be saved, too.
Indeed, our family continued to grow with more children–in–law and grandchildren, and it was a delight to hear myself call out those names, as well. In praying the second part, I began with what I recognized He had given them at the time and the list grew to where it is today: Each other, Places to live, Food to eat, Clothes to wear, Places to worship, Good schools, colleges, universities, Good jobs, Transportation (cars, trucks), to get to those jobs, Good bosses, Good co–workers, Good neighbors, Loyal friends, Trips.
The Blessing of Obedience
I call out this same pattern every time I pray for them and in recent years added reading Job 1:1–5 before doing so. Job’s regular custom was to purify his children by sacrificing a burnt offering for each one after they held their feasts in case they had sinned and possibly cursed God in their hearts. Job offered a burnt offering, I offer the names of my children and grandchildren, along with those of the grandchildren’s aunts and uncles and cousins because I’ve witnessed how much the grands love them. Across two decades of praying this way, I have seen the hand of God upon my children. It is no coincidence He has blessed them in ways I could not have imagined. At times, word will come of a blessing in their life. I know has come because of this grandmother’s prayer pattern He gave long ago that Labor Day Weekend morning. I encourage all grandparents to try it…and prepare to be blessed and amazed.
In His service,
Sylvia Espinoza (First Generation Community Member)
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