A Minute for Mommy

Elizabeth George

With a busy schedule, it’s possible to end up going several days without praying for your daughter. There’s just so much to do! But here’s a thought: “Time spent in prayer will yield more than that given to work.” That’s especially true where your daughter is concerned!

And here’s another thought: If you aren’t praying for your daughter each day, who is? Maybe a godly grandparent or your husband? I hope so. But it’s possible that on any given day, you are the only one praying for your daughter. So don’t let a no-one-prayed-for-my-daughter day happen!

Your daughter needs your prayers, every day, come what may. Every busy mom can somehow find five or ten minutes in her day. So find them…and pray. The stakes are much too high for you to fail to spend some time in prayer for your precious daughter.

(Raising a Daughter after God’s Own Heart, p. 49)

About A Minute for Mommy… 

Even though busy moms don’t have much time to read, we still need biblical encouragement as much anyone. That’s what A Minute for Mommy posts are all about, sharing Godly wisdom from solid teachers that you can read in right around a minute or less. 

A Minute for Mommy

Sally Michael

The greatest guide God has given us in praying for our children is His Word. As you read the Bible, use Scripture as a springboard for your prayers. For example, using Psalm 1:1-2 might look like this:

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2)

“Lord, help my children not listen to the advice of ungodly friends, or to participate in mocking what is true, good, and right. Instead, help them to love the truth, treasure your Word, and stand up for what is right. May Your Word be their guide, and not the opinions of others…”

Just take each phrase and pray what it stirs up in your heart and mind. In so doing, you are praying Scripture-soaked truths into your children’s lives. Though we are not guaranteed the results we want or the means by which God answers our prayers, God, the Giver of prayer, often puts on our hearts that which He ordains.

(Mothers: Disciplers of the Next Generation, p. 21)

About A Minute for Mommy… 

Even though busy moms don’t have much time to read, we still need biblical encouragement as much anyone. That’s what A Minute for Mommy posts are all about, sharing Godly wisdom from solid teachers that you can read in right around a minute or less. 

Prayer for a Prodigal

“And he told them a parable to the effect
that they ought always to pray and not lose heart…”

Luke 18:1

Each day when Joseph and I pray for Evangelle, we ask God to give her a heart that’s tender to His Word, that she will hear the Gospel, believe it, and one day put her trust fully in Christ as her Savior. It’s what we want for our daughter more than anything else, and I can hardly imagine what it would be like to see Evangelle grow up and turn her back on the truth.

Many Christian mothers know exactly what that pain is like. Angela Yuan was one such woman. When her son Christopher announced that he was a homosexual and cut himself off from her and her husband as he spiraled deeper and deeper into a dangerous lifestyle of drugs and promiscuity, Angela anxiously awaited the day when Christopher would come to repentance.

And while she waited, she prayed faithfully and fervently. Each morning when she woke up, Angela would go into her little prayer closet where she would spend hours studying the Scriptures and begging God to rescue Christopher.

The following is one of the prayers Angela wrote out to remind herself not to give up in the battle for her son’s soul… 

Lord, I will stand in the gap for Christopher.

I will stand until the victory is won—until Christopher’s heart changes.

I will stand in the gap every day, and there I will fervently pray.

And Lord, just one favor. Don’t let me waver.

If things get quite rough, which they may, I will never give up on that son,
nor will You.

Though the enemy seeks to destroy, I will not quit as I intercede,
though it may take years.

I give You my fears and tears as I trust every moment, I plead.

After seven long years, Angela watched in awe as the Lord answered her prayers and miraculously transformed Christopher’s soul

Have you been praying for the salvation of a loved one for what seems far too long? Don’t give up! Angela Yuan’s story provides a vivid reminder that God hears and answers prayer and no one is beyond his reach.

Hear more of Angela and Christopher Yuan’s testimony in their Revive Our Hearts interview “Out of a Far Country.”

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Dry times—we all have them…I had one of those dry times not long ago. I couldn’t trace it to anything specific, yet my spirit felt as arid as July in the Mojave Desert. Maybe you can identify.

I know that Simon Peter would. He was weary, had been fishing all day. His back ached, eyelids drooped. All night without so much as a sardine! Yet at the command of Jesus, he summoned what little energy he had and let down his net. One more time.

Do you feel God has forgotten you today? He hasn’t! He is asking you to let down your net. One more time. Keep in the Word. Hit your knees and return to prayer. He’s going to bring you out of that dryness. So be faithful, friend. Trust Him. Wait on Him. Jesus can still fill an empty net.

~Joni Eareckson Tada in “Let Down Your Net” 

Photo: OBMonkey

The Prayers That Are Bringing Evangelle Home

“The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

James 5:16b

During our 2 hour phone call last week, my friend Elizabeth asked me to share the spiritual lessons I was learning lately. (It’s a good friend who will ask questions like that, by the way).

Although there have been plenty of times in my life when I would need to stop and think before I could answer a question like that, on this occasion I knew the answer immediately. Throughout the long process of our adoption, God has been convicting and convincing me about the vital role that prayer plays in His will being accomplished.

When Joseph and I first began the adoption process back in September 2009, we decided to keep our new endeavor private until the time when its completion was months, rather than years away. Just imagine having to answer questions about your pregnancy for 2 ½ years and you’ll understand our reasoning. ;) 

Since I knew the adoption would take a long time, I tried not to think about it too often. This approach was good in that I didn’t worry much about the process, but bad in that I also didn’t pray enough about what was or was not taking place.

As the wait dragged on, Joseph and I ended up telling more people, and those people began praying. When more people began praying, more progress began to take place. It soon became clear to me that God intended to bring our daughter home through the prayers of His people. Looking back now, I have so many sweet memories of how others have expressed their love to us through prayer.

I think of…  

My sister Niki who has prayed about our adoption nearly every day for the last 2 ½ years.

Susan, a dear woman still grieving the loss of her husband one year before, who prayed with tears that God would intervene in the long wait of our adoption process and give us a child. Only two weeks later, He sent our referral.

Jerry, who first heard about Evangelle and saw her picture during a party at our house and asked that we all stop right then so he could pray for her safety and soon arrival home.

Kay, who told me she believed it was her job to pray God would send someone special to Evangelle to love and hold her during her stay at the orphanage, and who also told me she was “going to war” for us concerning a complication with our adoption. The next day we received a major answer to prayer in regard to that very complication.

Carroll, who wrote to let me know she and her husband were fasting and praying that God would send our baby home to us soon.

Dan and Judy, who, in spite of being in the midst of their own great suffering, put their arms around me after church to pray for Evangelle. Only 6 weeks later, Judy entered the presence of our Savior.

These are just a few of the sweet and precious prayers that I know of, and I have no doubt there have been hundreds more offered by our friends and family members over the past several months. God has heard and answered every one. When He brings Evangelle home, she’ll arrive on the wings of these prayers.

Tomorrow, our adoption agency hopes to send the U.S. embassy the final paperwork necessary for us to return to Ethiopia. Will you join us in praying that everything will be completed on time and that we will be scheduled for travel by the beginning of March? 

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When you’re in crisis, who do you call first? I think we can learn a lot from Habakkuk. He knew who to call when his world was falling apart. The first words we read from this biblical prophet are “O Lord!”

He could have looked at the power structures of his day and cried out, “O King!” He could have looked at the dominant world power and said, “O Assyrians!” He could have studied trends and cried out to a rising nation, “O Babylonians!”

But like a child wisely calling for his parent, Habakkuk knew the source of all love, power, and protection, so he called, “O Lord.”

Ultimately, the perspective you need won’t be found by going to a counselor or a therapist. It won’t come from a book or a trusted friend or even an earthly parent. Some of these may help, if they point you to God Himself. But ultimately, the peace, the perspective, and the answers you need will be found by going to the Wonderful Counselor.

~Nancy Leigh DeMoss in “Who Do You Call?

Photo: OBMonkey

Moms at War

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything
by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.”

Philippians 4:6

I believe the Lord intends to use the next few months to provide me with vital training for motherhood. Even though my heart’s desire is to bring our daughter home as soon as possible so we can begin caring for her every need, I know there is a divine reason behind this extended period of waiting.

Perhaps part of that reason is learning that the only thing I can do for my daughter right now is the most important thing I’ll ever be able to do for her. 

Elizabeth George comments on the crucial role of prayer in motherhood…

Raising children is never done perfectly, but it is usually done with a heart of unmeasurable love…and hope. Perhaps the most encouraging wisdom and insight I received as a young, wondering, clueless mom was actually given to Jim, my husband and father of our two daughters. And it was shared by another father. I was extremely blessed to be there when Jim’s friend shared it, and I clung to its message while my girls were in their formative years and living at home. And guess what? I still draw comfort from it. Jim’s mentor said, “The ground at the cross is level when it comes to child raising.”

This experienced dad went on to explain that he had learned not to judge other parents because the way is hard for all mothers and fathers. It’s a mega-challenge for each and every parent. He also said the end results are never fully evident because God is in the equation—that only time will reveal the outcome of our parenting which is intermingled with God’s sovereignty and grace. No matter what appears to be real, whether rough seas or smooth sailing, all parents need God, and with God, all things are always possible.

You know what this means, don’t you? That you and I as parents must always be praying for our children regardless of their age or stage in life. In fact, this is yet another one of God’s “missions for moms”: We are to be prayer warriors. We are to do battle through prayer on behalf of our precious children…

[A] daughter of any age needs your prayers, mom, in every area of her tender and trying life. In short, she needs you to be a mother who prays. Whatever it takes, fight off any excuses and be that praying mom. View prayer as your unique privilege, and also your responsibility. Prayer is not a chore, but it does require a decision and some time. And it’s not a job; it is your mission. And it’s not optional. No, it’s crucial.

[Raising a Daughter after God's Own Heart, pp. 29-30, 35]

If you’re a believer in Christ, you’ll never find yourself in a situation where there’s nothing you can do for your child.

We have a mission; let’s go to war. 

Photo: Geri-Jean Blanchard

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“I will do whatever you ask in my name…you may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” —John 14:13-14 

These are profound words from the lips of Jesus. Let’s examine his promise closely. “I will do whatever you ask in my name.” What does that mean? Surely, more than saying “In Jesus’ name” at the end of a prayer just before saying the Amen. To pray in the name of Jesus is to pray admitting that God hears me only because I’m the guest of his Son. It’s to pray in the bold but respectful way that Jesus did while on earth. 

To pray in Jesus’ name is to ask God for the things Jesus taught us to. He summarizes them in the Lord’s Prayer: spiritual things, eternal things. “May your kingdom spread…May your plans be accomplished on this rebellious planet…Forgive the way I’ve treated you…Keep me from falling for the evil that allures me” (Matthew 6:9-13). Only one request in six deals with earth-bound matters, and even there he taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” not, “Bless the Dow Jones Average and please be with the NASDAQ in the next financial quarter.” 

Of course it’s not wrong to pray beyond our basic needs…But do we really think Jesus gave us a blank check for an easy life? Do we imagine we can pray our way clear of trials? Think again: “… in your thinking be adults” (I Corinthians 14:20).

~Joni Eareckson Tada in “In Jesus’ Name,” Daily Devotional for December 2

Photo: OBMonkey

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Is there something you’ve been praying for, for a long time?

The Bible tells us that, as we pray, there’s a spiritual battle going on against the forces of wickedness. We can see this in the story of Daniel. As he began to fast and pray one time, an angel was sent to him. But for twenty-one days, the messenger was resisted by fallen angels. After a great battle, he finally arrived to give Daniel the answer.

We can’t fully understand all that goes on in the spiritual realm, but we do know that we need to persevere in prayer. Maybe you’ve been praying, not for twenty-one days, but for twenty-one years. Don’t give up! You have no idea what God is doing behind the scenes nor when He will finally send the answer.

~Nancy Leigh DeMoss in “Battle During Prayer

Photo: OBMonkey

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Friend, remember, God’s Word is alive, it’s active, it’s powerful. Prayers laced with the Word of God not only bring about fundamental changes in the people and situations for which we pray, but such prayers keep us on keel with God’s priorities. Intertwining scripture throughout your prayers for your friends and family will show you God’s will for that person or situation. Weaving in God’s Word will always brings His purposes to bear on the forefront of every single one of your requests.

When you bring God’s Word directly into your praying, you’re bringing God’s power into your praying. Remember this the next time you attend a prayer meeting and all those requests for prayer are divvied out, requests for healing and health and job promotions. Remember the Word of God because the best book you’ll ever read on prayer and the best one you’ll ever use is the Bible.

~Joni Eareckson Tada in “Prayer Meeting

Photo: OBMonkey

Pray for the People of Joplin

If your Memorial Day was anything like mine, you probably spent the day with loved ones remembering all the blessings God has given. But for a large number of people in the U.S. this past weekend, the focus was not so much on what had been given as on what was taken away.

Franklin Graham reports on the relief efforts of Samaritan’s Purse in Joplin, Missouri, where the single deadliest tornado in recorded U.S. history struck on May 22…

Donate to Samaritan’s Purse relief efforts HERE.

Bowen’s First Vacation

This is sure to make you smile.

For the first time, Bowen Hammitt and his family are enjoying a much-needed vacation together at the beach. It’s hard to believe how far God has brought Bowen since September of last year when his broken heart was barely able to keep him alive.

Answered prayers are always sweet, but they don’t get much sweeter than this…

Visit Bowen’s Heart to see some great photos from the Hammitts’ vacation.

Photo: Matt & Sarah Hammitt

Join Joni in Prayer

“The more you pray, the more will be revealed. You will appreciate not only the greatness of prayer, but the greatness of God.”

Joni Eareckson Tada

I would imagine that few women in this world are more intimately acquainted with the importance and power of prayer than is Joni Eareckson Tada. As a true prayer warrior, Joni was the ideal person to choose as Honorary Chairman of the 2011 National Day of Prayer. This special day is scheduled to take place next Thursday, May 5th, when Joni will join a number of other speakers for the National Observance in Washington, D.C. Local events will also take place in churches and communities across the country.

In this video, Joni explains her hope that believers will join her in turning this national day of prayer into a national year of prayer!

Visit the National Day of Prayer website for more information.

Watch the Live Webcast of the National Observance on May 5th from 9:00a.m.-12:00p.m. HERE

Photo: abcdz2000

Meeting the Chandlers

After a busy week away, my husband and I were blessed with a safe return to North Carolina late yesterday evening. Although I was glad to be back home again, I couldn’t help feeling just a bit of sadness that the excitement of last week’s activities was actually over.

You may be tired of hearing me talk about the Gospel Coalition Conference by now, but I hope you’ll bear with me again as I describe another aspect of TGC that was especially meaningful to me. Those three days in Chicago contained a number of high points, but as I reflect back on everything that occurred last week, I think I’d have to say that my favorite memory is this one…  

The Lord blessed me with the opportunity to meet Matt and Lauren Chandler.

Many of you will remember that over the past year and several months I’ve asked you to join me in praying for Matt and Lauren while Matt has undergone treatment for brain cancer. Since so many of us have been praying and following the updates about his progress, it was a tremendous blessing to have Matt as one of the main speakers at the conference. He is still continuing chemotherapy, but all of his scans over the past few months have come back clean, which is a major answer to prayer!

One of the things I secretly hoped for in attending TGC was that I would have the chance to meet Lauren Chandler and tell her how much her testimony has meant to me. As I’ve followed her blog and other updates, I’ve been amazed at how God has provided her with the strength to endure this trial in a way that brings honor to His name. Needless to say, I was thrilled that God gave me the opportunity to express some of those thoughts to her on the last day of the conference. I don’t know if I made any sense at all while I was talking to Lauren, but she was sweet, kind, and gracious, and even brought Matt over when I asked to get a photo with her so I was able to meet him as well.

God has done and is continuing to do great things through the Chandlers, and I’m so grateful they allowed me the opportunity to add this sweet memory to my list of favorites. =) Please continue to ask God for Matt’s total healing and for continued strength as he and Lauren continue on in their ministry together.

I highly encourage you to listen to Matt’s TGC message from the book of Ecclesiastes entitled “Youth.” 

Hear more of Matt and Lauren’s testimony in their interview on Life Today with James Robison.