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Jennifer Maggio Christian Blog and Commentary

Jennifer Maggio

 

Jennifer Maggio is considered a leading authority on single parents and womens issues. She is an award-winning author and speaker who draws from her own experiences through abuse, homelessness, and teen pregnancy to inspire audiences everywhere. She is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries and writes for dozens of publications. She has been featured with hundreds of media outlets, including The 700 Club, Daystar Television, Moody Radio, Focus on the Family, and many more. For more information, visit thelifeofasinglemom.com.

Father God, we thank you for each and every woman you have blessed with the privilege of motherhood.  We thank you that each single mother is a Godly steward of each of their children, and that they raise them in the ways of the Lord.  Father, we pray and ask that You continue to give them grace to walk out being a single parent with kindness and generosity. We pray that each single mother has a relationship with You, and worships You in spirit and truth.  

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Help each of your precious daughters to remember that although they are parenting alone, You have not left them nor forsaken them.  We thank You that You see each of them and love them.  Lord, if they are weary, we pray and ask that You send them a Godly sister in Christ to hold up their arms in the battle, just as Aaron did for Moses.  Lord, thank you that You care about every big or small thing that concerns them.  Place a hedge of protection around each single mother and her children, Father.  We thank you that You alone are their Provider.  Where there is lack, Father, we pray that be it Your will You bring abundance.  We pray and ask these things in your name, Amen.


Alternate TLSM LogoThe Life of a Single Mom (TLSM) is a 501c3 nonprofit that exists to serve single parents and those who work with single parents. We are fully accredited through a variety of organizations that include high levels of financial accountability and awards for our premiere financial stewardship, including GuideStar, Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability, Great Nonprofits, Chamber of Commerce, LANO, and others. 

 

This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray. 

Prayer for Healing
Prayer for Strength
Prayer for Sick
Morning Prayers
Thanksgiving Prayer

 

I was recently having coffee with a good friend, and I was sharing of a choice that one of my children made that I wasn’t very happy with. I had taken that one incident in their life and turned it into a worst-case scenario. I began to cry and talked to her about my fears that my child would never get on track or that choice would lead to another and then another and eventually, the child somehow would spiral out of control and there would be no hope. The conversation went on and on, and by the time I was done, I was a blubbering mess. (I can be a tad dramatic).

My friend pulled up her social media later that day and sent me a post written by a young man whose life was forever changed by the King of Kings. I shook as I read it. It inspired me, and I knew it was written to inspire you, too. I want to share it with you here:

11064639_10205735192998161_3388251087595559439_nI woke up this morning, praying and thinking about the absence of the voice of a father in my life and how lost it left me – the dope, the crime, the search for identity, acceptance, and affirmation at any cost. I thought of the pain I endured and the pain I inflicted, just madness. I began to ask God, “Where were you then?” and He began to ask me “Why weren’t you listening?” He, then began to remind me of that voice, that voice I heard laying in bed 30 days into my first little vacation to the county prison.  “If you don’t live my way, you’re going to live in this bed!” It was that same voice that would remind of the next, and what felt like million times afterwards, when I’d get arrested and wake up in that same place. “I told you so, just listen to me,” I would hear. Or the times I’d get myself into situations that I shouldn’t have walked out of, people with guns drawn and murder in their eyes…yet somehow, they ran, as if they had seen a ghost or an angel. And I was left with an “I’m still here.” Then, the final time, when I was at the point of giving up, on kicking my addiction, I was mistakenly given a court date that sentenced me to a rehab program instead of prison, and I was told, “It’s gonna be ok, I’ve got you.” I’m noticing now the voice of a father wasn’t what I was lacking, it was the ear of a son. He was always speaking, but I was never listening and yet he continued to pursue and love me. That’s a Father! And for that I’m forever grateful. God in His holy dwelling is a father of the fatherless and a champion of widows. (Psalms 68:5 HCSB) To all those out there who grew up without a daddy at home, listen up! Your Daddy in Heaven is speaking. He’s good. He loves you. – Chris 

Chris praying with a new friend

As I was sitting there reading this heartfelt story of a life changed, tears streamed down my face, because my friend would’ve had no way of knowing that this young man, this twenty-something named Chris, was someone I had prayed for years earlier.

I didn’t know him, but I had been in a Bible study with his mother when she shared about how broken her heart was for her son. This guy made a miraculous turnaround in his life through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and every chain that he lived in was broken. I’m sure the journey was long and there is much more to the story. But he went on to marry an amazing young lady and he graduated from a ministry school program in his local church, and he’s living a rich, full life for the Lord.

And the Lord was faithful to show me this story at a time when I needed some encouragement. Maybe you are there, today, and need that same encouragement.

I know there are single moms out there who will read this and cannot comprehend having your son or daughter go off track in their walk with the Lord. Maybe you are parenting young children, and it just doesn’t seem possible. Or maybe you have gone through those tough teen and young adult years, and your child simply never strayed. To God be the glory.

But there are others who are reading this through tears and you struggle with a teen or young adult who is off track. Maybe it is one or two bad decisions and you fear it could get worse. Or maybe there are many, many bad decisions and your child has become a full-blown prodigal. Maybe you are beating yourself up, as a single mom, wondering if it is something you did wrong or a thousand wrong choices you made. You fear that everything your child went through, and the father wound left by a dad who wasn’t around, will forever scar him or her and they‘ll never recover. You worry that although you pray day and night, you may never see the fruit, and that he is too far lost now. Maybe you fear that God doesn’t hear you or that prayers are falling on deaf ears.

Moms, don’t you ever stop praying. Don’t you ever stop praying, day and night, without ceasing, believing that the Lord hears your cries. Continue, even in the darkest, hardest moment, when there is no earthly evidence that your son will serve God, keep believing he will. Keep journaling and praying God’s promises over that daughter who has strayed. For the Lord your God is faithful. He will hear. He will see. Keep pressing, keep praying, keep pushing. God sees.

Editor's Note: Here is a prayer you can pray for when your child runs from God:

Lord, hear my cry. Help me in these dark moments to recall your faithfulness to me and my children. Help me trust that You will return my child back to You. Father, it is hard to imagine that my child will ever serve You- but You promise to always be faithful and to never forsake Your children! Lord, let that promise be true for my child. I pray today that my child would feel Your Spirit's leading and not turn away, but lean into You. Give me the strength to endure and help me show my child Your love at every opportunity. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Jennifer Maggio is an award-winning author and speaker whose love for Christ motivates her to see His children living in freedom. She is Chief Executive Officer of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries, wife of Jeff, and mother of three children. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com. 

Anyone who has known me for more than about 30 seconds knows my passion for serving the single-parent family and my desire to see the church body rally around these precious families to serve them. The desire to see no single parent walking alone – to see the body of Christ working fervently to reach single parents for Christ’s cause – keeps me up at night. I have big dreams of seeing every church, regardless of size, start a single parent ministry and outreach program. Having said all that, I think it is extremely important that single moms learn to serve others, too. Servanthood is a great privilege we all have, regardless of our season of life. It allows us to show the love of Christ to others, teach our children valuable life lessons, and removes the focus from ourselves and our own problems. 

I have often said that I do not believe that your work saves you, the Word is clear on this point. But I do believe that those who are saved, work! When we have accepted the Lord as our Savior, not because of anything we could ever do, but because of everything He’s done, our life is forever changed. Our heart has been transformed from the inside out. That change should prompt us to think of others first and self last. It should motivate us to serve others, thereby showing others the love of Christ through selfless acts. I do not think single parents are any exception.

Through my years of ministry, people have said some pretty crazy things to me, many of which don’t bear repeating. But one of the things I have heard more than once is that nonprofits that cater to single-parent families may foster a victim mentality or create some sense of entitlement. My response is to smile and politely explain that our organization is passionate about just the opposite! Make no mistake. We are passionate about serving single mothers, but also teaching them to serve others. We are passionate about eradicating any victim mentality and teaching that a Christ-follower is no victim, but rather a victor. We are passionate about fostering a sense of responsibility, hard work, and strong work ethic.

I know there may be a single mom reading now who is discouraged as she reads this article. Maybe she has been hurt by a devastating divorce or a church member that said something hurtful. Single mom, hear me. I know how hard this season is and how lonely it can be. I know that the journey of healing can be long and seem unending. But service to others may be the very thing that God can use to mend your broken heart. It may be the very spark that shifts your perspective. And it could very well be the thing that gives your children hope, when hope seems to be lacking.

So, what are some things that single moms can do to serve others? Maybe you are reading and you are a single mom who really has a heart to serve, but you are financially strapped and limited on time, so feel there is little you can do. Here are a few ideas:

1.Throw a meal in the Crockpot for a family in need. (There are many dishes you can make for under $10).

2.Bake a dozen cookies for a local fire department. Two dozen cookies cost under $3 at most grocery stores and bake in 8 minutes. What a great way to get your kids involved.

3.Write “thank you” cards to our military or service personnel.

4.Call a fellow single mom and invite her over for dinner.

5.Babysit a friend’s children one weekend.

6.Pool resources with other single moms in the area and host a pot-luck meal.

7.Commit to calling one fellow single parent, per week, to check on them and pray for them.

8.Take the time to mail a handwritten letter to a family member, old friend, or former teacher who has meant a lot to you. Take time to share fond memories you have about them.

The list is endless. When we become servant-minded, God floods us with creativity on how to serve others. One of my favorite service projects was when we took a group of single moms and their children to a local nursing home and had a morning-of-fun with the residents. We sang songs, painted fingernails, served donuts, and made crafts. It was more than a year ago now and I still smile every time I think of it.

Jennifer MaggioJennifer Maggio is the happily married mother of three who has a passion for the single parent family. The founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries and Overwhelmed: The Single Moms Magazine, Maggio spends many of her days praying for and counseling with single mothers nationwide. 

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