Who taught you to pray? Like me, maybe your parents taught you about prayers. I learned to say prayers as they put me to bed each night. Often, our parents enrich our understanding of the importance of spending time with God each day. Perhaps they taught you this familiar, simple prayer:
We Grew Up
Many of us moved away from home when we ventured off to college. Once we graduated, we set off searching for jobs and futures, which left us far from our parents. Maybe phone calls and Facetime keeps us connected, but it is still not the same for our parents. And, we might visit them on holidays and vacations but not as often as they would like. The love we hold for mom and dad did not change, just our circumstances in life.
More time passes, and one day we find ourselves in the roles of adults and parents. Hopefully, we continue the practice of daily prayer time and pass it on to the next generation of children. But, the prayers we uttered in childhood gave way to ones focused on our kids, careers, and needs of our busy lives. We pray for ourselves and the next generation. But, what about our parents and the older generations?
Parents on the Sidelines
As the world marches on, our parents change their roles in our lives. Where they once stood front and center in our lives, they now watch us from the sidelines. Most parents cheer us on, all the while succumbing to the ravages of time. Sometimes, they might hide their difficulties, so they don’t interrupt the lives of their children. They only want what is best for them, even at the risk of their own health and safety.
Before we all become saddened by these thoughts, we must remember this is the expected life cycle. Even back in Biblical times, children grew up and left their parents. Our purpose here is to encourage each of us to remember the sacrifice our parents made for us to enjoy our lives. Part of that responsibility includes making sure we pray for them too. Life keeps moving us forward, but we need to make time to look back. Cherish your parents by praying for them daily.
Verses about Aging
What does the Bible say about caring for our parents? Here are some verses to look at about parents and aging:
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.”Exodus 20:12
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you, and I will carry you; I will sustain you, and I will rescue you.”Isaiah 46:4
“Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers; 2. older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”1 Timothy 5:1-2
“Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly, and revere your God. I am the Lord.”Leviticus 19:32
“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed.”1 Peter 5:1
“Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.”Psalm 71:9
“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”1 Timothy 5:8
“But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.”1 Timothy 5:4
Remembering Our Parents
God cares about us even as we age. And when God cares about something, we are called to do the same. Do not neglect to care for your parents with your prayers. Understand that as they age, they will need your help in many ways. Here are some ideas on how to show your parents some appreciation during their golden years.
- Call them as often as possible.
- Listen to them and emphasize.
- Be an advocate for their care and needs.
- If you are far away, ask others to help around the house with mowing or cleaning.
- Encourage them to stay active.
- Create memories by doing things together.
- Encourage them without being bossy.
- Send cards and drawings made by their grandchildren.
Praying for Parents
My parents are gone, and I miss them daily. If you still have yours, cherish these days because one day they will be gone. Now is the time to do as much as possible for them. Be an example for your children, so they know how to care for you in the future. Growing old is a gift from God, and it is our job to make those final years as golden as we can.
Heavenly Father, I find it hard to watch my parents slow down as they age. Thank you for your gift of parents and family. Thank you for all the time I get to spend with them and all the things they taught me through the years. Strengthen them in mind and body. Provide for their needs. Let them continue walking with You in grace and growing in Your wisdom. Please help me to understand their needs and grant me the wisdom to know what to do for them. Teach me to honor my parents today and always and let me be a good example for my children to follow. Allow their final days to be filled with Your comfort and love. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Grace and Peace to you,
Yvonne M. Morgan is a Christian author, blogger, and speaker.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”