When Mom saw a need, she would drop to her knees (well, figuratively—stupid arthritis) because she had great confidence that on her knees was where she would find the answers. When I was a child, many evenings my mom could be found sitting on her bed, with her bible open before her, and her head bowed in prayer. That picture is a perfect image of my mother and her resolute belief in the power of prayer.
I first saw this in action when I was a little girl. My mom loved her dad, but he was not a believer. This grieved my mom. For thirty years she fervently prayed for his salvation. I will never forget seeing my grandfather’s transformation when he realized he needed Jesus. And I now rejoice in the knowledge that they are fellowshipping together in heaven.
Mom often struggled with insomnia, although frustrating at times, she just saw it as an opportunity to spend more time at the feet of Jesus. On oh so very many days, as we would sit and talk, and share, and laugh, she would tell me about the burdens of her heart and all the loved ones and situations she had prayed about the night before as I blissfully slumbered in the next room. I was often inspired and awed by her capacity to love and think about the needs of others.
She prayed over her family—her husband and children, and later their spouses, her grandchildren, and great-granddaughter.
She prayed over her family—her husband and children, and later their spouses, her grandchildren, and great-granddaughter. She fervently petitioned God on our behalf. She prayed for our protection, that God would provide for our needs, but I knew her greatest prayer was that we would grow in our love of Jesus and honor Him with how we lived our lives.
She also prayed for people she had never met. She was the only person I knew who scoured Facebook for prayer opportunities instead of gossip. I was humbled as I watched her pray for people like Caleb Freeman and Opal Rose Trimble—both strangers to her, but she was burdened to pray for them. It was so neat to be a witness to her rejoicing when she saw God move and answer a prayer.
There’s an old Randy Travis song called When Mama Prayed. The verses of the song tell a story that belongs to another family, but the chorus, the chorus… well, the chorus could have been written for my mama.
The chorus says:
As my heart grieves because of her absence, my greatest desire is that I can continue her legacy. Sometimes I wonder how different my life would be if no one had ever prayed for me. There are people all around me with needs. Need for a savior, need for healing, a need for hope. I pray that God would open my eyes to those He puts in my path, and that I would bow at the feet of Jesus and petition Him on their behalf. I can think of no better way to honor my mama.