I don't think people realize how significant constant and habitual prayer from the heart truly is.
My mom proved this to me through the years.
Every morning, she'd wake up at 4:30AM, when the day is still sleeping, to read scripture, reflect and most of all, pray. She'd pray over various things. Requests that friends asked her to pray for, personal things for her and my dad, and so many times, for me and my siblings.
She'd pray for each one of us before school. I can remember so many instances.
My brother before he drove to high school. My sister as she dealt with girl drama in middle school. Myself, as I headed to 5th grade with the most embarrassing sunburn on the face ever (think of a splattered can of tomato soup but with perfectly untouched straight lines on the cheeks).
She'd pray when we had sports games. She'd pray when we'd head over to friend's houses just to hang out. When she knew we would be driving somewhere half mile away. When we were dealing with relationship issues or hormones. Whether we were happy, sad, angry, annoyed, tired, it didn't matter. She prayed.
It wasn't just school days. She never took days off. Seven days a week, she'd be up and praying. The morning wasn't the only time, either.
Before we'd leave to go anywhere (and I mean ANYWHERE) she'd place her hand on our heads and say a little prayer. Even if we'd laugh it off, be upset, roll our eyes, make fun of her or would see it as over-the-top, cheesy or awkward, she didn't care. She prayed.
As we grew, her prayers grew too.
For us to become good stewards of God. To follow after Him all of our days. To Love Christ more than we could know. To keep pressing on. To soar on wings like eagles. To run and not grow faint. And to show others that our Lord lives by "shining the light of Jesus".
She is the definition of someone who prayed without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
And she hasn't stopped. She now wakes up at 3:00AM (no, that is not a typo, and, to be honest, I wonder if God is fully awake then) constantly praying over many different things, including me and my siblings' lives. (For the record, I do believe it is totally acceptable to pray at later, less incomprehensible times in the day, as I personally do).
I share this with you because I think prayer warriors like my mom are a rarity in this age of Christianity (call me biased, I don't care). Those who show up on the front lines of spiritual battles every single day, multiple times a day, letting their very thoughts and breath become one prayer. Combatting the darkness by going to the One true Light that puts it out.
Her prayers have given me the comfort and presence of God more times than I can count. They have bestowed upon me gifts that go beyond our world. Things like perseverance, grit, patience, peace and grace to name a few. They've helped me to remember to be thankful at the oddest times and to keep going, even through difficulties like depression. And many times, for reasons I can't really explain, I believe they have helped to lead me right where I need to be. I know my siblings would say the same.
I find it no coincidence that all 3 of us lead a ministry in the Church. My sister is a Director of Children's Ministry in Central Florida. My brother is a Director of Student Ministry in Central Florida, and, as many of you know, I'm a Director of Student Ministry in the NW Houston area.
I believe my mom's final portion of so many of her prayers for us, "to shine the Light of Jesus", is a big reason that might be the case, among other things.
Circumstances might change in the future for each of us, sure. Things just might be different at some point. But I believe that a gigantic reason we are where we are is because of how Good our God is, and because my mom goes to Him about us without showing a sign of stopping.
Regardless of her situation, her pains, or doubts, or hurts, she shows up. And she prays.
Asking. Thanking. Listening. Reflecting. Relying. Believing.
Constantly. Consistently. Unceasingly.
If you want to see change in your life, if you want to make a difference in other lives, if you want to make an impact in the world around you, before anything, PRAY.
Pray like your life depends on it.
Because it does.
Be like my Mom.
I know I'll do my best to.