My grandmother use to say, “Don’t be lazy, put feet to your prayers.” I didn’t know what she meant until several years later. Now, I hope to teach my grandchildren the same lesson.
As my children were growing up, I recorded some of their most heartfelt prayers. One asked that there be cheese and crackers in heaven. Another, that all the babies thrown into the Nile, back in the book of Exodus, would come back to earth. These child-like prayers are humorous and inspiring but have no way to “get under them.”
As my children grew, they asked for wisdom to understand algebra or English. Those prayers could sprout feet through diligent study.
Putting feet to our prayers simply means to do our part while praying for or about a specific request.
My grandchildren, like my children, have asked for wonderful things. Such as no rain on their birthdays, snow days off from school and that they’d get their favorite toy for Christmas. Again, no feet needed. But when my grandson asked that a missionary get lots of birthday presents, I said it was time to get our shoes on.
Putting hope and action behind our prayers
As a grandparent, you may have more time for discussions of a spiritual nature and have lots of years invested in prayer. When your grandchildren stay for a sleepover, it’s the perfect time to introduce prayer with feet.
In the case of my little grandson, we changed his prayer. We got the shirt size of the missionary he wanted to bless and went shopping. We bought two, new shirts, a tie, and a sweater. Then we prayed they would safely get to the missionary and that he would like them. When we got a thank-you card in the mail, we knew our prayers had been answered.
Teach your grandchildren to partner with their prayers. When they pray about things that have readily-known outcomes, it will boost their faith and desire to pray again.
A prayer for a new bike may include the feet of doing chores or improving their grades. But a prayer for rainbows and unicorns… may take some miracles.