Different Dream welcomes new guest blogger, Liz Shultz, today. She’s here with the story of the power of a grandmother’s relationship with and her prayers for a grandchild with special needs. What an example for all of us!
A Grandmother’s Prayers for a Grandchild with Special Needs
“Wait, Grandma! Stop the movie! Stop it right there!”
Helen fumbled for the remote and punched the pause button. “What is it, Austin?”
“I want Jesus in my heart,” Austin answered, responding to the gospel message in the Veggie Tales movie now frozen on the screen. Helen prayed with him, “Jesus, come into my heart. I want you to live in me.”
“I don’t know if it sunk into his mind,” Helen explains when she remembers that day and considers the effects of prayer on her grandson’s growing faith, “but I know that seed of faith got into his heart, and my greatest prayer is that what is sown in Austin’s heart will manifest in his life.”
Helen prays that what she teaches about God will grow in Austin’s understanding and be displayed in his behavior. She knows the summer vacations and Christmas breaks that Austin spends with her are times to share her faith and cover him with prayers for his protection and future.
“When Austin is here, it’s seed time,” Helen says. “The greatest thing I can do for him is to sow that seed in his heart and pray for the fruition.”
One effect of Austin’s pervasive development disorder is that he struggles to understand and control his emotions. Helen is teaching Austin to pray to God for his assistance.
“When he becomes angry or aggressive, I say, ‘Let’s ask Jesus to help you,’” Helen says. “’ Let’s ask Jesus to help you when you’re mad. Let’s ask him to help your heart be happy,’ and Austin will reply, ‘Okay, Grandma, I’ll ask Jesus to help.’ When he shares or is polite, I tell him that makes Jesus happy, and Austin understands.”
They often pray together asking Jesus to help Austin make good choices.
“I pray that Austin will make a difference,” Helen explains, describing her hopes for her grandson to live a fruitful and productive future. “I pray that he lives to the full potential God created in him.”
“He is so full of love,” Helen continues. “He’s very aware of and sensitive to other people’s feelings. I pray that he always cares about others, and gives to others. I want him to seek to meet the needs of others, and know that he makes a difference in their lives.”
While Helen prays for Austin’s growing faith, she encourages parents who are struggling with a child’s disability to pray to God and trust in him.
“God knows and loves every child conceived on this earth. Jeremiah 29:11 says that God has a purpose and a plan. Those plans are for good and not evil, for a future and a hope. Never, never give up hope. When I feel weighed down by worries and what-if’s, I remember that God is bigger than my fear.”
“Hey, Grandma, what’s up?” Austin beams as he climbs the front steps, arriving for another visit at Helen’s house.
“There’s my Austin!” Helen greets him, welcoming another opportunity to pray with him and share her faith.
Your Prayers for a Grandchild with Special Needs?
Are you a praying grandparent? Feel free to share about your prayers for a grandchild with special needs in the comment box.
Liz Shultz draws on her experience as a single mother to write encouragement to other single parents. She blogs at howtobeasinglemom.com and contributes guest posts at desmoines.citymomsblog.com. Liz also volunteers with a ministry serving teen parents in the Des Moines area, and is completing a book about how her single mom experience led her to faith in God. In her spare time, Liz deconstructs pajama pants to create warm and comforting quilts. Her daughter married last year, so Liz and her husband are now eagerly awaiting the arrival of grandchildren.
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