The Fruit of Prayer
I tiptoed over sleeping bodies, careful not to wake the slumbering teens strewn across our family room floor. Another sleep-over at the Coopers and we loved it. It enabled us to keep a close eye on our sons’ activities, while getting to know their friends personally. We didn’t want it any other way.
We intended that our home be warm and welcoming for our children’s friends. It started with weekly play groups when they were toddlers. From babies to teens, they grew up side by side. Some of our adult children’s friends have known each other for as long as they’ve been alive. The entire youth group was often at our house. How we thank God for youth pastors who guided our kids spiritually as well as socially! These kids had fun together. They prayed together. They served together. They even went on mission trips. As a result, they cultivated rich relationships. And so did their moms who discovered a wonderful secret.
Every Tuesday we met for prayer. As we shared our concerns, we became more vulnerable and transparent. Through lots of tears and frustrations, we saw the fruit of our prayers. It wasn’t always smooth sailing but we persevered. Prayer changed things. Prayer changed us. These vigils continued throughout our children’s lives. Even today one of those moms and I pray weekly for our families, which now includes our grandchildren. We believe in the power of prayer because we have seen its fruit.
Take the little girl who played weekly at our house. She just left with her family of five for a remote island off Madagascar.
Take the little boy who journeyed with our son from the church nursery to being the best man in each other’s wedding. He and his family of six now lead a church plant in Europe. One of their team members is a close friend of our younger son.
Take several others who grew up with our sons now serving the Lord with their families in remote places of the world like India and Africa.
Others were called to walk a different path here at home. There are nurses, councilmen, entrepreneurs, accountants, salesmen, computer techs, pastors, professors, principals, teachers, musicians, and worship leaders proclaiming the Gospel with their lives.
I am so thankful that each of them lived and breathed next to our sons. Influencing. Shaping. Sharpening them as iron sharpens iron.
We can see clearly now as we look back on those years. God had a better plan than we ever imagined. He intervened over and over again, filling in the gaps where we failed. Today we share a rich history, these moms and I. What a treasure! The next generation chose more wisely, discerning the highest and best, because moms were committed to fight for them in prayer.
Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord who is great and awesome,
and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.
Pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord.
Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children…
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
I Samuel 12:23-24
As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.
And I will teach you the way that is good and right.
But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully
with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe
in me through their message that all of them may be one,
Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.
May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Questions to consider:
1. What are you fighting for in prayer like Nehemiah describes?
2. What is the desperate plea in Lamentations?
3. Can you name some “iron sharpening iron” friendships in your life?
4. How serious is a prayerless life from I Samuel?
5. Name the two groups of people Jesus prayed for in John.
Calling all moms out there! Young and old alike. Grandmothers included. Enlist the support of other women as you pray for the next generation. Share your desires and concerns. Be open and honest with each other. Make a regular time for prayer. Even if it’s on the phone. Your consistency will make a difference…and someday you’ll see the fruit.