Raising This Generation Through Prayer


Isn't Mother's Day a great day where we can celebrate motherhood? I think back to the day I found out I was pregnant for the first time. Pure joy filled my heart. I was instantly in love. I knew that God had entrusted me with a special gift, and I would do anything and everything to keep this child safe. Not too far after the celebration began, I found myself in my first down on my face mother moment with God. I was just seven weeks pregnant. My husband and I were in a remote resort on the island of Antigua. We had a private bungalow on the beach – no television, no phones, no cell service. How romantic! Well, it was, until I started having symptoms of a miscarriage.

The romantic “baby moon” was suddenly turning into a nightmare. I sat in the tiny, open-aired lobby of the resort on the single hotel guest phone with my doctor back in Connecticut. I explained to him all my symptoms, and he explained that there was nothing I could do. A miscarriage was likely.

Tears streamed down my face. My heart began to ache. The situation seemed irreversible and out of my control, but not out of God’s. I was not giving up that easily. I turned to God in my utter sadness and desperation, and I pleaded with Him. He directed me to this passage of scripture found in Philippians 4:6-7:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Peace instantly filled me, although the symptoms continued. We had one more night on the island before we returned home. I just kept praying and believing that God would do a miracle. As soon as I got home, I went directly to the doctors, and to their surprise, not mine, I was still pregnant. And that baby is headed to high school this fall. God is so faithful!

I know some of you went through a similar experience, but your outcome was different than mine. I experienced just a glimpse of that pain and I’m deeply sorry.

You see, God allowed me to go through this trial because He was shaping me from the beginning as to what kind of mother I needed to be, that we all need to be . . . a mother of great prayer, interceding daily for her children. Our children need our prayer time. They need their mother to get on her knees and intercede and contend for them each and every day.

Paul, a master of living a life of prayer, instructs us in Colossians 4:1 to “devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” He later instructs us to "pray without ceasing." This is the greatest gift we can give our children.

This generation has access to such horrible things. Temptations like drugs, alcohol, smoking, and promiscuity are still prevalent, but this generation now deals with Internet access at their finger tips, cyber bullying, texting, camera phones, and all sorts of social media pressures. I won’t even get into the deterioration of television and movies today.

Our youth are in a battle. The Devil is coming after this generation hard. He’s very smart. God has a destiny and a plan for each child, and the enemy is fighting to stop him or her from fulfilling it. 1 Peter 5:8 says,

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

That “someone” is our children and we need to fight this with prayer!

PRAYER changes things.

PRAYER moves mountains.

PRAYER tugs on the heartstrings of God.

PRAYER calls things that are not as if they are.

PRAYER can impact history.

Ladies, I know mothering isn’t easy. We endure a lot. But we need to remember, the best gift we can give our kids is to pray for them with unwavering persistence.

God never called us to be perfect, but He did call us to be prayers!

Praying woman hands

Time to Start Playing Offense

It seems like everywhere I go, I run into a woman who is is struggling with fear. I must admit, there was a period in my life when I struggled too. I am not just someone who speaks hypothetically about the battle with fear; I am a woman who was right on the front lines. But after years of feeling at the mercy of my emotions, I discovered a valuable truth.

The devil is smart, timely, and crafty, but he is not original!

He deliberately attacks women in the area of emotions because he knows that he will have the greatest success. Women are sensitive, we nurture, and we love deeply. God made us this way, which is why the devil likes to target those areas.

In 1 Corinthians 10:13, Paul warns that “no temptation has seized you except for what is common to man” or, in our case, woman. Recognizing that I was not alone in this battle brought great relief for me. There wasn’t something wrong with me. I was just another victim of Satan’s lies.

In Matthew 4, we see Jesus, a man, being tempted in areas dealing with physical needs like hunger, emotional needs like security, and psychological needs like significance. Men are different. Women are made differently, and although we too can be targeted in these areas, we are mostly attacked in the way we feel.

So what? Why am I telling you this? Because with knowledge comes freedom. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life a slave to the devil and his deceptions. We must recognize that he is coming for us.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8

How do we win this war against women? First, we must recognize we are in a battle and we need to start fighting. We start by playing defense. When the lies pour in, and they will, combat them with truth – truth from scripture. Declare His glorious promises over you and your loved ones.

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7

This is a great strategy. But just like in sports, you can’t win unless you also have a strong offense. Ladies, we need to stop just playing defense. We can’t just sit around and wait for the next anxious thought to come our way and then pray it away. Instead, we need to build ourselves up in advance, creating a strong identity of who we are in Christ.

We do this by going back to the basics. Read the Word of God each day. Familiarize yourself with His promises for your life. Spend time with Him in prayer, so that you can truly learn about His character, hear His voice, and understand His undeniable love for you. Once you grasp these fundamental truths, your emotions will be strengthened. Stop waiting for the next attack to come and let’s start playing offense.

“Draw Near to God, and He will draw near to you.” – James 4:8

The Secret Ingredient

I know that Christmas has come and gone, and we all have five pounds to show for it. But I still feel it necessary to spend a few minutes bragging about the success of one of my Christmas cookies. Indulge me for a moment, if you would. Every year, I make biscotti dipped in white chocolate and peppermint candy. And, if I must say so myself, it is quite good. However, this year, it came better than ever before. The reason why? The addition of a new ingredient. A secret ingredient.

Now, I’m not one of those women who share a recipe and omit one ingredient to ensure that mine is better than yours. Although, I must admit that I have been the recipient of that shenanigan many times. So I will happily share with you what I did. This year, I simply added a few teaspoons of peppermint extract to the biscotti batter itself. It made the peppermint flavor spread throughout the whole cookie. The result – fabulous!

Some of you are reading this right now, scratching your head, and wondering where I am headed with this. Well, let me tell you. Have you ever seen a woman of God and wondered why she seems to have it all together and her faith is so steadfast? Or while reading through the Bible, are you curious as to why these mighty men and women were able to perform such amazing things for the Lord? The answer is in the secret ingredient.

There is no clearer example of an individual who recognized the importance of the secret ingredient than Paul. Paul wrote most of the New Testament and had faith that could not be shaken, even while facing persecution and death. Why? He was just an ordinary person just like you and me, but he was man of deep, committed prayer. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul instructs us to:

 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Prayer makes things happen. Paul understood this. Whether he was seeking God’s will or wisdom for a situation, or praising him in the midst of a trial, Paul prayed without ceasing. He desired to know God better and to have a life that pleased God. This could only be accomplished by spending time with God.

Ladies, we can’t be successful in life without a successful prayer life. We need to spend time in prayer with Jesus each day, talking to Him and allowing Him to build us up in His strength. You don’t need to be eloquent or super spiritual. He just desires an intimate relationship with you that is open and honest. He wants prayers that come from the heart, not those recited out of duty.

Spending time with Him will allow you to hear his voice clearly in any situation and will give you peace no matter what circumstance life brings. Want a successful life? Want a successful 2015? Forget the resolutions. Add the secret ingredient – PRAYER!

“Those persons who know the deep peace of God, the unfathomable peace that passeth all understanding, are always men and women of much prayer.”
R. A. Torrey