Hard to believe I wrote this twenty years ago! From the archives.
Comments For the Funeral of My Mother
And Mama Prayed
I have so many things to remember about my mama. She loved so much, she cared. There weren’t too many people she ever disliked, if any. One thing that stands out is that she prayed for her family. She prayed for me, for Dad, for Arnold, for Lillian for DeDe and for the whole family. She prayed.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous mother availeth much.
Prayer is a powerful thing, the prayer of a mother can move mountains, or bring a wayward son back to Christ.
My Mom is a woman of faith. I am going to say, “is” because I know where she is. She is in the presence of the Lord rejoicing. Through most of her years she faced odds that seemed against her in the this world, there been have -health problems, and other problems that she faced. There were times when I thought that my family was cursed. But, through it all she rejoiced. And she prayed.
And in the in the good times she praised the Lord, she didn’t miss a beat. Good or bad, in season or out, she praised God.
And she prayed for her family
NOW, time for a bit about me, because my testimony is very much tied to hers.
I started to fall away from God when I was in my early teens. I am not really sure what started it, there were many things. It was not an abrupt falling away, it was slow. I guess you could say leaven, sin, entered my life, it slowly pushed a wedge between me and active fellowship. I stopped going to church, eventually I stopped going to my knees, and certainly I stopped reading the Word.
I tried-to hide it.
Mama knew, and she started to pray.
Around that time Mom started asking daily, “Did you pray today”, did you read your
Bible.” Often I would lie and say yes, but she knew. Mothers know these-things. Sometimes I would find away to change the subject in some way. Sometimes the question would land in silence
Every time there was a-deep searing conviction that made me feel very uncomfortable.
And Mama prayed.
The years went by and I was growing colder by every passing day. Still she asked, “Did you read your Bible, Did you pray? At some point I started to say “no”. or “No, I don’t do that anymore.” Every time I said this I know it must have chiseled away at her heart a little. Undaunted, she prayed harder.
Just before I entered college, I experienced a bit of an awakening. I started to read my Bible a bit, I started to pray a bit. Perhaps if I hadn’t gone off to Iowa City I would have made it back. Unfortunately college can be a sinful, Godless playground full of distractions. I stumbled, I fell, tried to get up and fell some more. These were the dark years.
After college, the Darkness remained. I walked around in a cloud. Somewhere in there I had come under the spell of the demon of worldly knowledge. I had begun to have doubts about much of what I had been taught. I was lost in a humanistic world where a supernatural God did not exist. I was a mess. I was miserable and life was awash in trials.
And yes, she still asked; DID YOU PRAY, DID YOU READ YOUR BIBLE? And, my Mama prayed.
Little -by little, stronghold by stronghold, the-Lord began to move in my life. The trials that He allowed in had purpose. It seemed like He was attacking every god that I had erected in my life in much the same way He attacked all the gods of Pharaoh in the book of Exodus. He was breaking me.
And, Mama prayed.
Finally He hit me with the one thing that sent me to my knees. Through most of my teens and college years, I had desired to have a great love. I wanted a woman who would want me. The Lord in His infinite wisdom-used that to bring me home. Having difficulties myself, I chose a woman who had many problems, which bled over on to me. Where she was dark I was dark, where she was narcissistic I was too. She would pull and push me away. The result was a roller coaster ride Adventureland would love to have. There were lots of peaks and lots of valleys. When-it-ended, it left a vessel broken and busted,
Where I was proud and self-assured before, I was uncertain, unhopeful. The darkness that had enveloped my life was at its highest density, the lights were dim.
And Mama prayed
God was listening
I went through depression, anxiety, listlessness, I ate too much, drank too much, my
work suffered. Life was a mess.
Around this time God sent a person into my life to show me the path. I was teaching special education at the time, with kids with severe behavioral disabilities. In such a classroom the teacher has an associate. Jan Roberts came in helped out in that role. Early on it was apparent she was a Christian. Whenever there was a break she cracked open her Bible. She even had a-fish on-her car. At the time really had a tough time with Christians. But unlike what I thought, She wasn’t pushy, she didn’t thrust her Bible in my face, and tell me I needed the Lord, though she probably should have. She just showed me Jesus.
AND MAMA PRAYED
GOD WAS Moving!
Eventually she invited me to church. I remember that day I first walked in here, BIG.
A LOT OF PEOPLE, A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO DON’T LOOK LIKE ME!
I remember the sermon, it fit me. It was on hope. Pastor Nelms and his wife, Loretta had met a woman on a flight back to Des Moines who had lost hope. Her husband had died, her son, her only child-had died, and she was all alone. She had lost the will to live. Pastor tried desperately to show her Jesus and the eternal wellspring of hope that His shed blood can provide. They witnessed to her, and even invited her to church. She would have none of it. A few weeks had gone by and they got word that she had committed suicide.
As if to make the point further he gave me a real example. A man had moved into my building a couple of months after my church visit. He didn’t say much to anyone. He avoided people. A few days after he moved in, residents noticed an odor in the building. It was faint at first, but seemed to get stronger by the day. After four days it was unbearable. The man was discovered in his apartment that day, he’d hanged himself
I wondered what separated me from him.
MY MAMA PRAYED For ME.
When Easter Time approached, I wanted to go to church. Jan brought in a ticket for the presentation here at Grace. I received it eagerly. Actually I snatched it out of her hand.
GOD WAS MOVING IN!
I sat ,over there, second-service, God was here, the choir sang, the drama team acted out the resurrection, Pastor came to the pulpit to deliver the invitation. I PRAYED. Pastor then asked all who had prayed to raise their hand, I RAISED MY HAND. The congregation stood. The Pastor said, “Now is the hard part, Come down to the alter.” I froze just for a moment. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw Margaret Shelton heading down the aisle, I FELL IN BEHIND HER! There I was this big silly grin, tears flowing down my cheeks. I didn’t know which way to turn so faced the congregation until I saw that every one else was facing the pulpit.
Twenty years of falling away, misery and pain evaporated.
I couldn’t wait to go home and tell Mama! Mama was lying down when I came in, I sat on the edge of the bed. I said Mama, I came back to the Lord today, and I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior! SHE REJOICED~
WHEN SHE ASKED, DID YOU PRAY TODAY, YES!
DID YOU READ YOUR BIBLE TODAY, YES!
MOTHERS PRAY FOR YOUR -SONS, -PRAY FOR YOUR DAUGHTERS
PRAY FOR YOUR HUSBANDS, FATHERS PRAY.
CHRISTIANS PRAY FOR
RELATIVES, NEIGHBORS, YOUR COWORKERS. DONT STOP.
PRAY FOR YOUR PASTORS, YOUR ELDERS, DEACONS, PRAY FOR THE LOST, MOST OF
ALL PRAY FOR EACH OTHER. PRAY UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS! !!!
PRAY UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS!!!