How many times have you heard in Christian circles over the years, the testimonies of men and women talking about how their mother had been praying for them for years before they turned to Christ? I feel like I hear this all the time.
What is it about faithful, prayerful mothers and their children? What is it that often wakes them up early to pray for their son or daughter or what is it that compels them to sneak into their kid’s bedrooms at night and pray over them?
A MOTHER'S PRAYER IS NATURAL
I’ve really been thinking lately about the intentionality that I notice my wife has as a mother. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m the dad, and I pray a lot for my kids, but I’m not afraid to say my wife is so much more intentional about it than I am. And I don’t think it’s something she has to do much planning for. It seems like she’s just naturally driven to pray for our kids in a way that I have to personally work for. It just seems so natural to her. I know it probably is work, but that’s just what it seems like in our household.
I think about my life and I remember my own mother. She would often come into my room, even as a teenager and come pray for me. I would see her in the mornings sitting in her ‘study chair’ reading the Bible and praying. She had four kids, and we were a handful, so I’m sure most of that time was praying for us (mostly my younger brother probably...just kidding bro).
I don’t think this is uncommon. A mother’s prayer is so powerful. It seems like it’s the Lord’s ‘go-to’ move to lead his children to repentance and a deeper walk with God.
I cannot think of (and if you can please comment or email me to let me know) a particular place in the Bible where it talks specifically about a mother’s prayer, but I think from some of the basic passages about prayer we can draw some pretty clear implications for why a mother’s prayer is so powerful and seemingly effective.
In Luke 18 Jesus tells his disciples a story about a persistent widow. He tells them upfront the point of the story in verse 1,
“he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.”
The story is pretty familiar to most of us. There’s a judge in a particular city and there is a widow who keeps asking him for justice against her adversaries. He consistently refused to help her in any way until he finally says to himself, "dang it! This woman is annoying.” (That’s my translation) “Even though I’m a jerk of a guy, I’m going to help her because she will not stop bothering me.”
It’s an interesting parable because this judge is not even a good judge. He doesn’t fear God or respect man. Yet even he can be bothered to the point of helping this widow.
So Jesus turns it on the disciples and tells them that if a judge like this would help this widow out, because she bothered and pestered him to death, the same can be said of us in prayer.
I recognize that he’s talking directly to his disciples and I know that it applies to all of us, but I think there is something within our wives that drives them to bother God with their prayers for their children.
“Day and night” it says that the widow asked the judge to give her justice. “Day and night” our wives find themselves on their knees for their children. God, like this judge, hears these consistent prayers and moves to answer.
Obviously God is not annoyed with us for continuing to ask for the same thing over and over again. I think he’s actually inviting us to pray about the same thing over and over. Not because he’s a jerk and just wants to hear us beg him over and over, but because he has a sovereign plan to move in response, in his timing, to our prayers.
DON'T LOSE HEART
Remember the point of the parable? “…that they ought always to pray and not lose heart."
Do you ever lose heart in prayer? I do. I’m not sure how much of our family's story you know, but we met a child in Guatemala, Selena, seven years ago, and because of the current Guatemalan laws cannot move forward with our adoption. I’ve been praying every day for seven years for her and for the laws to change. Why hasn’t God answered those prayers? Why didn’t the judge answer the widow's request the tenth time she asked instead of the 100th time?
The truth is, you probably all have something similar in your own life. Maybe it’s a wayward son or daughter. My heart breaks for you. Don’t lose heart today. God doesn’t want you to lose heart. God wants you to pray. He wants you to bother him over and over with your prayers. God is a good father who knows what we need before we even speak a word. But he’s a God that loves to hear those words offered up to him in earnest petitions for the things that matter in our lives.
I’m thankful for my wife. I’m thankful for my mom. I’m thankful for my grandmother. All of these women consistently praying for their children. It matters. Don’t lose heart. I know it’s easy to lose heart. God hears your prayers.
Stop reading this blog and ask him again.
Josh Walker (@joshdwalker) is the co-founder and owner of One Fifty Media House, a Houston, TX based Audio and Video Design Team. He is the writer and author of music products such as Family Devo, Grammar Time and Hymns For Selena. He is married to Angela and has two beautiful children: Nathan and Charity Joy.