My sister made a comment on my story, “Queenie and Bob” (https://pleasemaam14.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=113&action=edit), about my mom being a prayer warrior. A prayer warrior has been described as anyone who is committed to praying for others or the needs of others. As I thought about my sister’s statement, I wanted to delve into the subject deeper and make some observations.
I’m not sure when my mother became a Christian. It was well before I was born. As I have said in previous stories my father did not seem to be interested in spiritual things, but my mother was. From an early age I remember distinctly going to Sunday school and church services in a white painted wood framed church building in Lamont, California. In my mind I can still see my dad sitting on the sofa, he wore a “wife beater” undershirt and khakis and smoked a cigarette, while he shined our shoes getting them ready for us to wear to church. He would not go, but he did want our shoes to be shiny. Though a little different, I think of it like Norman Rockwell’s painting “Easter Sunday”. In that painting Dad was in his pajamas reading the newspaper while the family paraded behind him on their way to church. Dad had a sheepish look on his face knowing he should have been going as well.
From early memories of Woods Addition, it was part of my life to hear my mother wailing and crying out to God in prayer. She would take her Bible and seclude herself in a private quiet place somewhere in the house. I’m sure she must have read God’s word for a time, before beginning to pray. As she prayed, the intensity of her praying was manifested in an increase of volume. At first I didn’t understand what she was doing, thinking she was upset or hurting. Through the years I began to understand that she needed time to be with God. She would empty herself before Him and tell Him her concerns and worries. I suspect most of the concerns and worries were about her family. I can imagine the strain of lack of finances, her relationship with my dad, trying to raise three children was heavy on her heart.
She would not speak to me about these times of prayer. She must have been aware that we could hear her, but she was content to have private time with God. From state to state, house to house, she would pray consistently. I stayed outside to play, when I would hear her. It did not frighten me, but I sensed it must have been a very intimate time for her and therefore needed to be respected.
Not being a parent, but observing families over my lifetime, I chose to give my parents a lot of room in the way they provided for us and tried to teach us. They had their problems from lack of formal education to limited examples of Godly parents. After I became a Christian, I watched some parents aggressively try to develop their children to be great adults. That’s not easy to do. I watched some parents give little attention to their children with the idea of letting a school teacher or Sunday school teacher be responsible for them. I have observed both sides and each side have its own challenges.
I was 26 years old when I became a Christian. Within a few months after starting my new life, I began to work with the youth of the church. The very small and young children were somewhat frightened by me, but the youth seemed to appreciate what I could offer them. The only thing that I could offer them was time and love. I didn’t know very much about the Bible, but I seemed to understand the meaning of what I read. The students responded to someone older who would talk with them and play around with them. The parents who would spend time with their kids seemed to have an admiration of the other kids whose parents couldn’t or wouldn’t spend time with them. I believe the students whose parents spent time with them had an advantage in life. If they had two parents interested in them, I think they had an even greater advantage. But I think there is an even greater and mightier advantage than this.
Knowing my mother would pray for us was comforting. But had she prayed with us that would have been tremendous. How would it have changed the family dynamics if your parents had prayed with you? Would you have slept more peacefully knowing the last thing you heard before you went to sleep was the voice of your parent asking God for His protection over their child? How would it have affected a young teenager who is just learning about life and the struggles of it to hear his parent asking God for knowledge and wisdom in how to guide and instruct you to make you a great adult?
The 2014 world is more evil and violent than when I left home when I was eighteen. There was crime and evil then. But there is more perversion, open sinfulness, ungodliness reported in today’s daily news than during the sexual revolution of the sixties and seventies. Movies, books, and games are developed and created to cause fear and uncertainty in the lives of children and teenagers. Many people have lost their values, their character, their virtue, their decency. Many have given up. But we don’t have too. I think of the precious children of our church and our community and what they are exposed to through the media and the internet. It seems a twelve year old child born in 2002 is more knowledgeable of worldly things than a twelve year old child born in 1962. Who is influencing them? Who is guiding them? Is there anyone praying for them to become godly adults? Are there any prayer warriors left?
Many have given up, but we don’t have too. It’s not too late to step up and pray for others and the cares of others. It’s not too late to spend time and to love our children and teenagers. We should set a godly example for them. We could be a prayer warrior.