grandmother: the power of a praying grandmother

Did you know that grandmother elephants lead the entire herd? Join me at Beloved Prodigal this week as we shares a guest blog from a son’s perspective, while Bettie’s son, Sean, gives voice to a portion of his story!

Sean: I’m excited to join you today at Beloved Prodigal because I know first-hand the power a praying mother/grandmother has for their prodigal children and grandchildren. What an incredible role they play! No matter what I have faced over the years, I knew Mom and Grandma were always praying for me. They didn’t give up on me or judge me for my faults but they led me to the Father with encouraging words and direction.

This week, my daughters and I learned an incredible fact about elephant herds. We learned that grandmother elephants lead the entire herd! They are the experts at finding food and water and they tell the herd where to go. In other words, they direct the traffic!

It might be funny to talk about grandmother elephants on a prodigal blog, but I couldn’t help but think about a similar role God has given our mothers/ spiritual mothers and grandmothers/ spiritual grandmothers for their families. It’s their prayers, directions, and persistence that lead the family to spiritual food and water.

May you be filled with hope as you pray for your families and lead them to everlasting water. Your love and encouragement will impact them in ways that others can’t. A big thank you to my Mom, my spiritual mothers, and my grandmothers for your wonderful leadership in my life.

Sean as a baby, with his Dad and his Grandma Gilbert

Bettie: When I read over my son’s words, I wept as I remembered a distant time when Sean’s Grandma (my husband’s Mom) called me with a very specific question. Her heart was heavy, almost desperate, for her children and her grandchildren, and she longed for Scripture promises to pray over them.

I told her I would pray and call her back (long distance phone calls were not cheap back then!) And just a few weeks ago, I found the notes in my old journal that I had shared with her in that return phone call so many years ago:

“I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.” Isaiah 44:3 NIV
“the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.” Proverbs 11:21

But Sean’s Grandma did not know the trials and the wandering time that Sean would face not long after she and I prayed together. He was only a young teen then. Grandma Gilbert’s life on earth was ended just a year later when a tragic car accident left her fatally wounded. We all thought we had more time with her.

But Jesus knew the things that she needed to speak while she was still with us. Jesus knew the truths that Sean needed to hear from her, truths that feel prophetic now all these years later. In fact, the words were not what he wanted to hear when he was younger. He fought against them, and told me that he was NOT going to be what she said he would be.

What had she said? “Sean, I think you will be a preacher some day.”

Two weeks from now, Sean and his wife and four young daughters will all be heading to Guyana, South America, to join the staff at Youth-With-A-Mission, where preaching will be part of his assignment. Oh, yes, the Lord knew how to speak into a young one’s life through the love and the words of a praying Grandma.

In a stack of books I found when we were cleaning out her home, I found her well-worn copy of Prayer by O. Hallesby. And these words were underlined, and smeared with tear stains:

“To pray is nothing more involved than to lie in the sunshine of His grace, to expose our distress of body and soul to those healing rays which can in a wonderful way counteract and render ineffective the bacteria of sin. To be a man or woman of prayer is to take this sun-cure, to give Jesus, with His wonder-working power, access to our distress night and day.”

Jesus will hear our every distress, and bring His power into every word we pray, because He is our only cure!  Weary Mom or Grandma, will you join us as we pray?

“Dear Jesus, We come before you now and lay our distress before you. Help us to give our desperate hearts openly to you. Thank you that you hear every cry, and you long to meet every word with your amazing might and power. Thank you that your Word is life and breath to us. We hold tightly to those promises you have given to us. Grant us eyes of faith to believe that you will rescue our sons and our daughters. Help us to hold onto your Word that tells us the seed of the righteous will be delivered. We cling to you as our only righteousness here in this place today. In your precious name we pray, Jesus, Amen.”

**Linking here with… #glimpsesofhisbeauty and #graceandtruth

26 thoughts on “grandmother: the power of a praying grandmother

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    1. Dear Michele, Yes it is a “hidden calling” to join in praying for those hearts of our grandchildren, isn’t it? Oh may I realize more and more that it’s truly a gift to lift those little lives to Jesus.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Anna, Oh, yes, how deep is the Father’s love for His children! I am so grateful that the Lord helped us to share our hearts here, offering it all back to Him. Thank you for your prayers for us in the sharing here, my dear friend! Love to you also!


  1. Such a powerful testimony for unceasing prayer for our kids/grandkids. I love knowing a bit more about you Bettie and love hearing from Sean too.

    Bettie-thank you for pointing us to legacy and how prayer does make a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary, thank you for your encouragement and kindness! I am so thankful that the Lord put that word “Legacy” before me at the beginning of this year, and opened my heart to see where He has been preparing the way before me, and before my children also. Truly those prayers have brought God’s mercy into so many places of our lives. And, I want my heart opened even more, going on from here, to see the beauty of praying for those I love!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Barbie,
      Yes, aren’t those little hearts so precious, as we offer them up to Jesus? I pray that I will continue the legacy of prayer started before me also! Blessings to you!


  2. Dear, precious friend! I am in tears as I type these words! What an amazing woman of God dear Grandma Gilbert was, and it is just heartbreaking to think of how her life was cut so short. God surely knew how much she needed to pray those words, as you said, and isn’t it something how God looked ahead and saw that her life would soon end, and she had that desperate need to call you and ask for advice? Just amazing how God works. It is just so wonderful to know that your son is now serving God so faithfully, and you are seeing those prophecies prayed over him coming to fruition now, all these years later. I am not sure how it works, but if God permits those in Heaven to look down and see when their prayers are answered, Grandma Gilbert must be SO happy and rejoicing over Sean’s life and ministry. May God bless him and his family as they lay down their lives for the sake of the Gospel, and may He bless YOU, dear Bettie, for the many prayers you have prayed for your dear children and so many others. I know you are praying for my family and me, and knowing that is a huge comfort to me. Sending much love and many hugs to you today!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Cheryl, Yes, I think it was such a gift from God that she called me to ask for those Scriptures. God knew how much I would need them also! Isn’t it amazing to look back and see how close Jesus walks with us through those days of grief and loss? We are never alone! I appreciate your thoughts and prayers for my family also! I know that Sean and Gina are so blessed by all of those who have joined with them to pray as they go forward on God’s path for them. Oh, may we keep our hearts lifted to our Lord through all of these places where He keeps us! Love and hugs to you too my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lisa, Thank you so much for all of your encouragement! Your prayers and words of blessing mean so much, knowing that you have served in missions for so many years! Love and Hugs to you dear friend!


  3. I pray for my grandchildren daily, remembering that Paul reminded Timothy to hold on to the lessons that his mother and grandmother had taught him. I want each of my grandchildren saved and trusting in God with a heart for Jesus, but it is not so. But, I keep believing. Will pray for Sean and Gina and all the people working with them. So courageous, committed, and compassionate to serve the Lord. Regina

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement Regina! I know that Sean & Gina appreciate it so much. And, thank you for your reminder of Paul’s words to Timothy to remember his Mother’s and Grandmother’s prayers! I am so grateful that we can stand together and encourage each other to love and pray for those who come after us! May the Lord bring home His lost sheep, and carry our loved ones to Himself! Blessings to you!


  4. This gave me little goosebumps, Bettie. I love that grandma didn’t understand her urgency at the time, but God knew, and as you said, made sure she spoke those words of life over her grandson. Beautiful testimony, Sean and Bettie. Thank you for sharing. (And, prayers for your family as you head out with YWAM.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Brenda,
      Oh, yes, isn’t our God so good to see the number of our days, and speak His words into our lives? I am so grateful that Grandma did obey His prompting to share. I pray that I will be obedient to those same nudges as well. And thank you so much for your prayers for Sean and his family also! I know they appreciate each one offered! Blessings to you!


    1. Dear Leslie,
      Oh, what a blessing that you had faithful grandmothers as well. I am so grateful that the Lord has asked me to pause and look back at the gifts those dear ones offered me and my family through the years. What a blessing to point us back to HIM!


  5. This is truly beautiful. I remember my grandma praying us up even at night. She is frail now but she still does her prayers.
    Big hug to all praying grand mums and dad’s.
    Thank you for sharing your testimony Sean and Bettie. God Grant you a peaceful gospel outreach and safety too in Jesus name. Amen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Ifeoma,
      Thank you so much for your prayers over Sean & Gina and their mission! And, oh, what a beautiful testimony that you have of your Grandma’s prayers, and how she still prays even now. Our Lord is so gracious to gift us these beautiful souls who care so deeply for us. May we continue their legacy, and pray for our own younger ones now too! Love and Hugs to you dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bettie, I am finally getting to read your story. How beautiful to remember the power of prayer. We can’t understand prayer, but we know we are to pray, and we know God hears our prayers. He is always faithful! It is so wonderful and faith-affirming to witness His perfect answers in His perfect timing. I am so thankful to have had a mother who prayed for me, and modeled that I am to pray for my children and grandchildren. Thanks for sharing, dear friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Debbie,
      Oh, yes prayer is such a mystery isn’t it? To think that God who has all power and might, would call us to join with Him in these feeble-feeling words of ours? It’s just overwhelming some days. But what a blessing when He shows us, as He has done with your Mother, and with so many who have gone before us, the gift that is to be found when we do pray. Thank you for joining with me in prayer, too, dear friend! Your prayers are a blessing to me too. Love and Hugs!


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