There are many personal things that were left in my care that belonged to my Momma. Seems like I come across a new treasure as the time goes by and today I was blessed by an unexpected gem. A gift that was given to her by my Dad on her 43rd Birthday.. May 17, 1990. It has a tattered gift box, but upon opening the prayer-book itself is still beautiful. I know how she took special care of things that mattered to her. Prayers That Avail Much – for Mothers. Since I am older now that she was at the time of the gift? I found it comforting that I, too, could make use of those prayers.
I found myself turning the pages, so many specific prayers that a Momma could definitely incorporate into a day. However, the very moment I opened the worn box? I found not only notes…but specific prayers for those she cared about. At first, it felt intrusive… picking up the small scraps of paper that her hand had penned the names. Prayers for her, prayers for teen sons! prayers for her husband..prayers for her family as a whole… and there they are in her very own handwriting ….. Prayers. Specific. On-Purpose.
My Momma was a praying woman. I always knew that… yet I also took it for granted. What I gained from finding this little book? It was a reminder that being purposefully prayerful changes us and those around us. It may not change situations, but it changes us in a way that we receive peace in the midst of storms… Grace in the midst of disappointments.. and Joy in a heart that has been broken.. Strength to keep moving forward on your journey. She knew the source.
It has been 10 years this month that she has been out of my sight. There is not a day that I don’t think about her. Today, I was given the gift of gratitude… being thankful for every prayer she called out to God on our behalf. I think of these things as a huge part of her legacy to me, and am humbled to be able to learn from her even after she has been gone from this world.
One book led to another, and I found myself going to the bookshelf where I keep her Bible. I have to giggle when I realize it looks like today’s version of a Rainbow Bible.. it is highlighted in every color, and lots of it. Then there are the penciled in dates, promises, and confirmations of prayers that she had seen come to pass… and those that she still held onto. I continue to flip through the pages, cherishing every margin that contained a scribble.
And then… unexpected…(although I don’t know why it was unexpected) I find this.. my sobs became uncontrolled – not in a profound sadness.. but my confirmation that our very own bond is eternally penned here.
Above Psalm 91… in her pink highlighter.. “My Psalm” ….
The treasure in this? I would only come to know a year before she made her journey that we shared the same favorite scripture. She had marked this passage in her Bible more than 16 years prior. I had never seen it until today. I placed the hand crocheted Daisy in between the pages and just looked at the sun gleaming on the words. Thank you Momma… for reminding me how eternal God’s word really is – having no generational gap and no end to its promises – Prayers That Avail Much.. James 5:16
Her life lessons shared with me were too many to mention but I am always mindful of this “Grace is a Gift” to those that receive it, and to those that give it. It has nothing to do with deserving it. It is a gift that I have opened anew every morning that my own feet touch the floor.
I am thankful today for a praying Mother and am challenged to become more of one myself, surrounding those I love and learning to pray more for those that can seem to be unloveable.
Here is “our” favorite Psalm….. one of the Prayers That Avail Much..
Psalm 91King James Version (KJV)
91 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.