October 23, 2009
A Praying Momma
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
Mickey's son was raised in church. He once served as a leader in his youth group. When he first started drinking, she and her husband weren't sure what to do. Then he was arrested. Then they discovered that he was using drugs. For the first time in her life, Mickey felt helpless as a mom.
Their home was a safe place where faith was lived out. And yet her son continued to spiral downward, no matter what they did. The night he broke into their small business and emptied the cash register was the bleakest night of all.
Mickey looked around the church and realized there were other moms with similar struggles. She started a Prodigal Prayer Group that met on Tuesday nights. They prayed one year, two years, and then three. Mickey saw others' children come back to their faith, but her prayers for her own son seemed to be going nowhere. Nonetheless, she continued to show up, joining in strength and support with other praying mommas.
I wish my sweet friend had a video camera recording her son through those dark days. I wish she could have seen Austin rediscover his faith, overcome his addictions, and see Austin grow into the godly man he is today.
But the reality is that Mickey didn't have a video camera. All she had was her faith. And that faith was tested over and over. She was aware of the realities of her son's choices, but she continued to pray. She continued to believe. She had to make hard choices like setting boundaries. She had to listen to other moms whose children were not straying and who did not understand her struggle.
Mickey says that during that time she began to see her son through the eyes of faith. She knew that it wasn't in her power to change her son, but that God could be her source of strength as she stayed the course.
We often say we would do anything for our children. If someone had told Mickey that it would take years of praying and believing like she did without seeing any sign of change, I wondered would she still do it? Mickey says yes, she would.
Maybe you identify with my friend. You raised your son or daughter with love. You provided a safe place. You showed them Jesus, and yet somehow they lost their way. Today I want to encourage you. The Father loves you and your child. In Jesus' story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32, NIV) we see a son who has hit rock bottom. He finally decides to go home and this is the reaction of his father:
So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.' But his father said to the servants, 'Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found. (verses 20-24)
Jesus told this story to illustrate the love of the Heavenly Father. The beauty of a praying momma is not lost in the chaos of your child's choices. You are not alone as you pray, because He's waiting, just as you are, to welcome your child in His embrace.
Dear Father, thank You that You love my child even more than I. I am not alone. You are with me. Walk with me today. Give me Your strength. Give me renewed hope and eyes of faith. In Your powerful, precious name, Amen.
Real Issues, Real Teens: What Every Parent Needs to Know by T. Suzanne Eller. For more resources from Suzie, click here.
Divine Prayers for Despairing Parents: Words to Pray When You Don't Know What to Say by Susanne Scheppmann
Visit Suzie's blog where Mickey talks about her journey, and how praying with others helped.
Invite others who may be interested in joining you in prayer for prodigals. Choose a time to meet.
Begin by reading the story of the prodigal son.
How does the Father feel about your child?
"Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays." Soren Kierkegaard
1 Thessalonians 5:11, "So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it." (MSG)
© 2009 by T. Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105