“THE PRAYING MOTHER”
“The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve”
James 5:16 (Common English Bible)
Mothers give us many gifts such as love, understanding, wisdom and encouragement. Perhaps the most powerful gift is the gift of prayer. Consider the example of Hanna, an Old Testament person known as “The Praying Mother” (I Samuel 1:20).
She lived during a gloomy time in Israel’s history (Approximately 1050 B.C.). It was a time marked by evil leaders (judges) and corrupt priests. The people were clamoring for an earthly king. When times are bad it is even hard for people of faith to believe in the sovereignty of God. Yet during that time God was working behind the scenes to fulfill God’s purpose.
Hannah was a woman of prayer. Her prayer was that her child would be used in God’s service. Her prayers were sincere, fervent and powerful in results.
Little did she know at the time what her son would become. Her Son, Samuel, became a watershed leader in the history of Israel. Young Samuel grew “both in stature and in favor with the Lord and with the people” (I Samuel 2:26). Frederick Buechner described Samuel as “a combination prophet, judge and one-man band.” At the time the twelve tribes of Israel had been in Canaan for a little over three hundred years. There was great discord among the tribes. Does this sound familiar? As mentioned, the priesthood was racked with corruption and the ruler (judge) was unable to bring the people together.
Hannah’s prayers were answered. She dedicated her son to God and great things happened through Samuel. Samuel was the last of the judges, the first of the prophets and the founder of the monarchy. Samuel called the people back to God
Most of all, Samuel was a man of prayer (I Samuel 12:19-23). Through prayer he went on to unite the twelve tribes of Israel into one kingdom, under King Saul, the people’s choice. He later anointed King David, God’s choice and Israel’s most loved king (I Samuel 2:10). All of these accomplishments were the result of a mother’s prayers!
I think John Wesley; founder of Methodism, President Abraham Lincoln and President Dwight D. Eisenhower would offer similar testimonies to the power of a mother’s prayers. Tennyson was right, “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”
During a time of moral corruption and deep polarization, praying mothers may be just what our nation needs to secure our nation’s future.
May God bless all mothers as well as the memories of mothers who have gone before us. Amen.