Stephanie Rische

Stubbing My Toe on Grace

Grandma’s Prayer April 13, 2012

Filed under: Gratitude — Stephanie Rische @ 7:54 am
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“Grandma, how can we pray for you?” I asked.

For the 40 days of Lent, my husband, Daniel, and I did an experiment of sorts, and each day leading up to Easter we prayed for a different friend or family member.

I was especially curious what my grandma would request prayer for. She’s in pretty remarkable health, physically and mentally, considering she’s almost 90. But even so, she no doubt has her share of aches and pains she might want relief from. Or, I figured, she might ask for prayer for Grandpa, whose health has been gradually declining in recent years. On top of that, she has 12 children, more grandchildren than I can keep track of, and even some great-grandchildren now. There were plenty of items she could have ticked off for a prayer list.

But after a pause, she surprised me with her response. “You know,” she said, “I’ve spent most of my life petitioning God for things. But at this stage in my life, I find I have just one prayer left.”

I held my breath, waiting for some profound spiritual insight.

“I just want to say thank you.”

I knew phone etiquette compelled me to say something, but an unswallowable lump had lodged itself in my throat.

Grandma broke the silence. “God has been so faithful to us. It’s easy to forget all the beautiful things he has done,” she said. “I’ve spent so much time asking. Now it’s time to be thanking.”

The day Daniel and I chose to pray for Grandma and Grandpa fell less than a week later. That day Grandma found herself by Grandpa’s side in a hospital room. It was “just” the flu, but in his weakened condition, the doctors were concerned. He was dehydrated, and his white blood cell count was alarmingly low.

I confess that my mind was distracted as we prayed: Would Grandma change her request if she’d known what was coming? I wondered. Does she regret not asking for protection, for healing, for a physical miracle? What good is thankfulness, after all, when you’re sitting beside the hospital bed of someone you love?

But I know Grandma better than that. No doubt she was sitting by Grandpa’s side offering prayers of thanksgiving even at that moment. Thanking God for giving her this man in the first place. Thanking him for the 66 good years they’d had together. Thanking him for being God, even now.

I hope I can learn that kind of graceful praying someday. And with a model like the one I have, I hope I won’t have to wait until I’m 88.



Question: What can you say thank you for today?


18 Responses to “Grandma’s Prayer”

  1. Dan Elliott Says:

    What a wonderful spiritual legacy you have, Stephanie! And I’m encouraged by the prayer experience you and Daniel undertook over the last several weeks.

    A few months ago, I started keeping a Gratitude Journal, writing down at least one thing per day that I’m grateful for. One thing I’m grateful for today is the way you and Daniel are carrying forward your godly heritage, which is a great foundation for your marriage.

  2. Mom Says:

    And we thank our gracious Lord that Stephanie is blessed to work with you and the rest of the special Tyndale family!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Stephers, Thanks for the sweet post about your Grandma’s prayer request. I think I can learn from that too! I have a lot to be thankful for too! I am blessed that God has blessed me in so many ways! -Daniel.

  4. Nancy Rische Says:

    Life is so much better when we approach it with thankfulness. There is always something to be thankful for in every situation. As always a good reminder,

  5. alice Teisan Says:

    I’ve missed more posts than I thought. Beautiful. How true that prayer is so much more.

  6. […] grandpa was just in the hospital again. He and Grandma have been planning their 90th birthday bash for some time, and now it’s just […]

  7. Stephanie,
    This post reminded me so much of my parents, who were faithfully and persistenly thankful for all of God’s goodness until they went to tell Him personally at 94 and 95 years of age. What big shoes we have to fill!!
    Thank you for a beautiful post!

  8. Tamara Says:

    yes, yes, yes! My first and last prayer is always “Thank You” or sometimes “I love you” love and gratitude wrapped up in grace…thank you for sharing this story….

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