Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Hand Down the Faith with Mystery Bags - Handprint Prayer Reminders

If you have been reading my posts here on Grandmas with Heart blog and facebook pages, it does not take long to realize I care very much about handing down a heritage of faith to the three sweet rascals with whom God has blessed my life – otherwise known as my three grandsons! It also does not take long to see I am intentional about praying for them. I know God hears, listens to and answers my prayers; it is the most powerful thing I am able to do for my grandsons - and for my grown children as well. So, when I found the following idea on Pinterest, I knew it was something I would try for sure and something which would make an excellent Mystery Bag project.
First of all, let me share with you something my oldest grandson said to me when he was just four years old. He walked up to me one day when he was at my house, and as seriously and as matter-of-fact as you can imagine, he said; “When people get old, they get holes in their brains.” Then, with his brown eyes twinkling and a big smile on his sweet face he said; “This is why you forget things, grandma!” I did mention my grandsons are little rascals, didn’t I?! Well, at least he is a very sweet rascal, because he followed this very “rascally” thing to say to his grandma with a hug!
Well, it is true, I do forget things sometimes. We all do. God knew this about us (not necessarily the part about the holes in our brains) and this is the very reason why in Numbers 15 He told His people to wear tassels on the bottom of their robes. It was not to make a fashion statement. It was for a specific purpose – to help them remember God. Each time they saw the fringe, they were able to be reminded of God and how they belonged to Him and they needed to obey His commands.
I appreciate reminders – it is why I wear a necklace with photos of my grandsons. Each time I see or touch it, I am reminded to pray for them - and my grown children. Along with providing me an opportunity to show others how sweet my three rascals are (I am a grandma, after all!) it is a reminder for me. And the idea I found on Pinterest follows this idea. What is the idea?
It is an idea for making paper handprints of your grandchildren’s hands – no matter their age.  For this project you will need . . . 
  • Paper lunch bags - one per grandchild
  • Construction paper - one piece of each grandchild's favorite color for their own bag and one of your favorite color for each of them as well
  • Crayons/markers 
  • Scissors
Gather your grandchildren and let them empty their Mystery Bag. Ask them to trace one of their hands on the paper which is their favorite color and then draw or write a specific prayer request from them to you on their paper handprint. While they work on this, talk about how God has promised to listen to, hear and answer their prayers and make a paper handprint of your hand for each of them with the paper they have which is your favorite color.

Then cut them out. Each grandchild will give you their handprint for you to keep in your Bible and you will give each of them one of your paper handprints. Each day as you read, you’ll see – and remember – your grandchildren and their requests - and they will be able to do the same with your handprint. As God answers, they may send or give you a new handprint with their new request . . . and you will do the same with them. For grandchildren who live a distance from you, send them paper (perhaps in each child’s favorite color - and your completed handprint) and ask them to trace their hands and draw/write a request on it for you to pray about for them, then send it back to you.
Plus, then on the back of each handprint, write a verse which God has laid on your heart to pray for them, individually. If you have a grandchild who has not yet turned to God, you might pray John 3:16 or John 12:36 for them. For a grandchild who is struggling with temptation, you might pray Ephesians 6 and ask God to help them put on His armor. Ask God to give you a verse for each grandchild – He will!
There is nothing more powerful or important which we as grandmas (or grandpas) are able to do for our grandchildren than to entrust them into God’s hands . . . there is no better place for them! As much as we love our sweet rascals, God loves them infinitely more. Plus, if we are able to help them learn to remember to pray, we are doing something important and essential in handing down the faith. So, try this simple way to be intentional about praying – and remembering - whether you have a "hole" in your brain, or not!

And, save the handprints. Write on them how/when God answered. When your grandchildren become parents, give them the handprint prayers from throughout their lives - what a powerful way to show them God answers prayers and encourage them to be parents - and one day grandparents who pray.

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose

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