“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”  James 5:16

Sadly, when I look back at the women in my life – the matriarchs of the family – I have few, if any, memories of them praying over their family.  Both of my grandparents were pretty silent women, unless of course they were ready to leave during their visit or chastising their husbands for not doing something the way it “ought” to be done.  But prayer was reserved for the “heads of household.”  The men in the family wore that badge and even so, it didn’t look much different than it did with them.  I’m not suggesting they never prayed, it’s just we never really saw it happen.  Prayer was often assumed, but rarely demonstrated.  It was always formally given tribute before large “all-family” meals, and I do recall my grandfather lowering his head before taking even a taste of his food from his lap-board stretched across his reclining chair.

Growing up in a home where God was respected and taught, learning to pray even as a young adult was rarely modeled.  Following in the footsteps of their own parents, my parents rarely prayed with us boys and never as a family.  Well, with one exception, I think Dad made it a point to pray at mealtime because of what was on the menu.

Now I’m an adult and surrounded by my mom and other women of great faith in Christ.  Prayer is looking a little different these days.  Is it that we are becoming ever more aware of our own inability to “fix” life around us and greater is our understanding of the One who conquered death for life?

Unlike in the days of my youth, my mom is a praying machine.  It’s possible she’s been that way all her life, but I presume life looks different in your senior years and she has made no bones about her call to worship in prayer for her sons, their wives and the grandchildren.  It’s what she does now!  Thank you mom for taking up the sword and speaking the Truth into the lives of those you love so dearly — through faith you have demonstrated the power of God through prayer!

The most important woman in my life, however, has been the one perhaps gone most unnoticed by me for her faithfulness, her sacrifice, her boldness, her bravery, her courage, her discipline and devotion to Christ.  She has become a woman of God like none I have ever witnessed.  She wears the scars of battle everyday, but stands to face the giants of life with the belief of David.  The prayers for her husband have not been ignored by our Creator and the work He began in me He has yet to finish!  Because of her faithfulness to her Lord, I have been restored to my relationship with my Father, who lives within me.  Through her prayerful obedience, God has shown His light into the crevasses of my soul and by His Spirit He has challenged me to learn the meaning of leaning and the lost discipline of prayer.

The battle still wages — it wages for our souls and the souls of every member of our family.  The lion prowls, but will we feed it?  Prayer, as I’ve learned, is the battle cry!

The prayers of a righteous woman, too, is powerful and effective!

by:  Mark Cruver

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