(Dedicated To My Mom)
“Do you know of anyone who was praying for you?” This is a question I often ask the person who is sitting across from me in a coffee shop or at a cafe, as I listen to their story about God’s miraculous and redemptive work in their life. It is the same question I continually ask myself as I look back on my own faith journey.
I remember my mom was the first person who prayed for me. And at the age of eleven, I saw God answer her prayers when He miraculously spared my life in a horrible car accident. My mother had sensed her first born was in danger while on a road trip, so she knelt beside her bed in a prayer vigil, until she received the middle of the night phone call that every parent dreads.
Then when I was seventeen, a group of teenagers from my high school were praying for their fellow classmates and teachers, as well as seeking opportunities to invite them to attend church.
It was my senior year, and I was headed for trouble. One of these young prayer warriors noticed my precarious path and invited me to her youth group. I remember thinking, Well, I don’t have anything to lose.
Thankfully God, and this faithful group of teens, knew how much I had to gain. Because, when I accepted their invitation, I was introduced to Jesus, who I beseeched that night to forgive my sins and save my soul.
Soon my new found faith was tested, and I would need the prayers of others more than ever. For, although I needed Jesus to save me and forgive my sins, I didn’t want Him to rule and reign in my life. I wanted to be my own boss. And, over the next couple of years, I made quite a mess of things.
Who knows how far I would have strayed, except for the grace of a praying mom. At first she preached, but quickly her preaching turned into prayers! And the further and faster I ran away from God, the stronger she petitioned the Lord on my behalf. God allowed me to run! Yet, He continually pursued me and listened to my mother’s relentless prayers! Until, finally and fully, I surrendered my whole life to Jesus as Lord!
There are so many more stories to tell. However, since this is about my study on prayer through the lenses of contending, these are just a few I recalled after I found the following passage in the book of Isaiah.
Isaiah 62:6-7 NLT
O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls;
they will pray day and night, continually. (They never keep silent).
Take no rest (for yourselves), all you who pray to the Lord.
Give the Lord no rest (remind Him) until he completes his work…
Since discovering this blueprint for prayer, I see it now in so many other places throughout the pages of scripture. And, I have learned:
1) We are called to pray! We are watchmen on our walls
2) We are called to pray day and night! Never resting
3) We are called to keep on praying! Never keep silent
4) We are called to give the Lord no rest! Keep reminding Him
5) We are called to pray and remind Him relentlessly & tirelessly, until He completes His work! (this is my very favorite part)
When I ask someone, “Do you know anyone who was praying for you,” they initially seem mystified by my question. Then, many times, ‘a knowing’ will light up their face as they begin to realize, ‘there was someone praying for me.’ Occasionally, I am able to help someone to shine a light on who might have been praying for them. And, of course, we may never know who petitioned God on our behalf, until we get to heaven and meet them face to face.
So dear watchmen and watch-women we are called to pray for one another! There is great and eternal power in our relentless prayers, petitions and “giving the Lord no rest.” I am so very thankful for the people who have prayed for me. And precious prayer warriors, I urge you, do not cease to pray and contend for others. As I will tirelessly pray and contend for you!
Photo Credit Katie Horning