Encouragement for Today
“A Legacy of Prayer”
Marybeth Whalen, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
Luke 11:1, “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’” (NIV)
My mother led me to Christ when I was just three years old. Faithfully each night, she read the Bible to me and prayed with me. One night, her Bible reading led to questions and the questions led to her leading me in the prayer of salvation. Though I was only three, I had already begun to grasp the importance of a relationship with my Heavenly Father. Through her example, I had come to know Christ in a very real way.
Her father, my grandfather, was also an example to me in my younger years. I keep faded memories tucked away of sitting on the armrest in the middle of the front seat of his car, reciting verses he had taught me while we drove. How he beamed as I recited John 3:16 for the first time! Later, when I grew into a teenager, I became more aware of his personal commitment to the Lord. I can remember spending the night at his house, being awakened by the pre-dawn sounds of his radio playing hymns, the smell of coffee filling the air, and the sound of his voice praying aloud as he started his day.
These members of my family lived out Deuteronomy 6:6-7: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (NIV)
How fortunate I was to come from this legacy of pray-ers. These memories I treasure are sweet to both my heart and soul. As an adult, I can reach back through time and hold these memories close. They encourage me in my own walk to pass this legacy on to my children. Now I am the one teaching Bible verses to little ones, reading Scriptural truths, answering spiritual questions, and trying my best to model what a close relationship with the Lord looks like.
Perhaps you, like me, hold onto sweet memories of loved ones who introduced Christ to you. Or, perhaps you didn’t have that in your family but want desperately to give that kind of legacy to your own children. No matter where you are, remember that God has given you the honor of either creating or carrying on a legacy of prayer for your children. You don’t have to be perfect or pious about it, just be open to Jesus’ guidance as He teaches you to pray, so that you can in turn teach them. You have a profound influence in their little lives to make God real, obtainable, and exciting. What an awesome responsibility and privilege!
My Prayer for Today:
Lord, teach me to pray. Help me to guide my children as You would have me guide them. Equip me to be the kind of mother who can leave that indelible legacy on their hearts – through Your strength and wisdom, not my own. Thank You, Father, for entrusting me with these little souls to raise and nurture for Your Kingdom, and help me to be mindful each day of how I can best do that.
Make a point to pray with your child at some point today. Talk about God in a way that shows your child that you love Him and want to follow Him. Make Jesus real to them through your example. Try sharing with them something exciting you have learned about God recently, or a way you have seen Him at work in your life. You will find that the more you do this, the more natural it feels.
As a mother, what kind of spiritual legacy am I leaving?
Do I take time to share my faith with my children?
Is there something I can do to make God a bigger part of my child’s life?
When my kids are grown, will they remember me sharing my faith with them?
2 Timothy 1:5, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” (NIV)
Psalm 22:30-31, “Future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim His righteousness to a people yet unborn – for He has done it.” (NIV)
Exodus 3:15, “God also said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites, The Lord, the God of your fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.” (NIV)
Isaiah 54:13, “All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace.” (NIV)
Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids, by Sharon Jaynes
Prayer of Jabez for Little Ones, by Bruce Wilkenson