by Debby Craig
This Week’s Verse: 1 Samuel 1:27, “I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.”
I spent the day with my daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, today. She is married to my son Matthew and is a constant reminder to me of “The Miracle” that happened in our family. Periodically, one of Matt’s old friends will stop by to see them and she listens in awe as stories of his past are told. “This can't be,” she has shared with me. “I don't even know this guy they are talking about.”
He was addicted to alcohol and drugs at an early age. Our whole family lived this horror as he replaced all that was important and precious to him for that next fix. I tried to hide my broken heart, anger, disappointment, guilt, and shame, but frequently I would ask my Sunday school class, our small groups, and the Wednesday prayer service to pray for Matthew. I was always asking others to pray for my son. We are told in scripture to carry each others’ burdens to the Lord in prayer. I began to see God moving in Matt’s life and reported each incident to the people who had spent so much time in prayer for my son and family.
Then about six years ago, Karen Keim bought me a book called Moments for Families with Prodigals. I read it in one night. It was prayer after prayer for my son from the Word. They were my prayers. Then it hit me! I had been asking others to ask the Lord for Debby's most crucial “heart” requests. My heavenly Father longed to hear from me—from my heart—about my pain, my dreams, and lost dreams for Matt. This particular book taught me to pray from the heart in the language of a mother's heart. His language—the Word. I just took a passage of scripture, prayed my heart, and inserted my son’s name into the passage.
I was excited and of course I wanted to share this new found insight about prayer with others. I had never felt like I could pray in front of others before. There had to be other mothers out there, just like me, who were amateurs at praying with others or moms who were at their wit’s end or maybe just mommas who wanted to pray for their children.
So… we put a note in The Caller entitled “Mamas Rise Up” inviting moms to come and pray for their children. Some did! God sent Virgie Pearce, Judy Bucher, and Tomma Lu and for years, once a week like clockwork, we prayed and poured out our hearts for our children and their walk with the Lord or their salvation.
We are still praying together as “Moms in Touch” and have more moms than ever before. The Lord has answered our prayers and blessed us with many miracles. We have many testimonies to share about the battles that the Lord has fought for us and won. We are constantly in awe of His never-ending love for us and His Mighty Power. We also realize that Satan is very interested in our little group of moms who are praising and worshiping and expecting miracles for our children and grandchildren, for he has poked his nose in our business many a time. But once again, we have God and His word to do battle for us.
Unsurprisingly, in 2006 Matthew accepted the Lord Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. He has a brand new heart and it is evident to all that it is a heart for Jesus. He gives God all the Glory for delivering him from his addictions. He says quite boldly and comfortably “I've been delivered.” He prays about everything. He says to me often “Mom—have you prayed about it? Just pray about it!” I feel such great joy when I hear him talk in “God's” language.
The Lord took most of him and replaced it with a new Matt. After his salvation, when he would testify about what the Lord did for him, I was very often left speechless; I didn't know this new person the Lord had put before me. Where was the old Matt? But now, I don't even remember the old Matt. I actually had a hard time pulling together some past memories of the old Matthew to write this. Wasn't that a good problem to have? Praise God! Praise God!
Lord, thank you for opening my heart and allowing me to spill it all out to you in prayer for the lives of my children. Thank you and Praise you for saving my son and the answered prayers of our praying mommas group, and please continue to take care of our dear ones! In Jesus name, Amen.
Understand what you can and can’t do as a parent. Ruth Graham Bell, in Prodigals and Those Who Love Them, stated it very simply:
“We mothers must take care of the possible and trust God for the impossible. We are to love, affirm, encourage, teach, listen and care for the physical needs of the family. We cannot convict of sin, create hunger and thirst after God, or convict. These are miracles, and miracles are not in our department.”
1 Samuel 12:23, “As for me, far be it from me to sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you.” (NIV)
Matthew 18:19 -20, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (NIV) Cool!
2 Chronicles 20:15, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's.” (NIV) This is what the Lord says to you mommas!
Lamentations 2:19, “Arise, cry out in the night, pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord, Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children.”
(***Editor's note: This devotion, as Debby mentioned, covers one of the many miracles that has resulted from the prayer efforts of the Mommas' Prayer Group. We look forward to sharing more in the future. Next week we'll hear from Darra Strohm.)