On the Journey
By Rick Hamlin

Prayers for Kids and Grandkids

You pray for them before they’re even born.

I was thinking about all those prayers we say for our kids and then our grandkids—no, I don’t have any grandchildren, but oddly enough, I’ve already dreamed about maybe having them someday. It doesn’t even have to be a biblical quiver full. I’d be happy with one or two.

I was cleaning out a closet over the weekend and I came upon the old barn someone had given us at a baby shower: painted wooden horses, ducks, sheep, cows, a dog and a rooster that could neigh, cluck, baa, moo, bark and cock-a-doodle-doo and in the hands of any child, trotting, flying, jumping, lumbering, waddling, sleeping in stalls or leaping to the roof. Someday our kids will play with them, I thought so long ago. Someday, Lord, we will have children. And that someday came.

The barn was on the floor of the living room and in the boys’ bedroom, the animals coming alive, until it got replaced with other toys, balls, bats, gloves, Legos, Frisbees. The boys left the barn behind when they went to school, bringing back books and clothes, and then they left for good. Occasionally they return, although we can’t quite ever convince them to go through things and throw out what they don’t need or won’t want. They grew up, leaping ahead of our prayers, flying ahead of our dreams.

Don’t need this old barn, I told myself. Might as well throw it out. That’s when I got to thinking of grandchildren. I could see young hands playing with the animals again, giving them new lives, new names, new sounds as they trot around their grandparents’ floor. Old dreams, old prayers replaced by new ones. You pray for children before they’re even born.

“I was thinking we could keep the barn,” I said to my wife. “For our grandchildren.” Someday.

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor of Guideposts magazine and the author of 10 Prayers You Can't Live Without. To learn more about the book and explore your own prayer journey, watch this video.

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Your Comments (2)

I certainly can identify with this thought. Still hanging on to some of our children's childhood stuff--“just in case".

Certainly we do - pray for children and grandchildren - none of our children are even married yet. We think of those who come after us, with hope and gladness that we may be smarter, kinder, gentler. We hope that all we have learned "the hard way" we might be able to be put to use.

I remember when I was having problems with my own son at about age 8, that my Dad advised, "Don't beat the spirit out of him." I'm not sure if I succeeded, for he went on to become a fairly headstrong teen, but now in his young 20s, has a kind heart and giving nature. I was glad for my dad's guidance, but the ensuing 10-15 years were very hard at times. Now, I have more of his perspective, and so I try to pass on words of "wisdom" to the younger parents I work with.

Oh, yeah, and I have a bunch of toys too... None of which takes batteries!