Post-Mother’s Day Thoughts: 7 Truths I Learned while Praying for and Witnessing to My Mom over 47 Years

Yesterday was Mother’s Day in the United States. My mom went to be with the Lord almost three years ago, so my “celebrating” was limited to memories. That’s okay, though, because I could rejoice that my mom is with Christ. Regular readers of this post know that we prayed for my mom for 47 years before she turned to Christ. I reflected yesterday on what God taught me during those years, and maybe these thoughts will be encouraging to you if you’ve been praying for someone for a long time.

  1. It’s easy to keep praying when the burden is deepest. When my heart really broke over my mom, praying wasn’t difficult. Crying out to God in those moments was my only hope, in fact. 
  2. However, it’s also easy to let that burden wane as the years go by. I wish that weren’t the case, but it was for me. I learned that one of Satan’s subtle strategies is to turn us from praying and believing that God would eventually save our loved ones. 
  3. God’s timing is not our timing. I knew that fact. I had taught it for years as a pastor. It took personal experience, though, to know its truth. On God’s calendar, the almost five decades of my waiting and praying were hardly any time at all. Mom’s conversion was right on time, in fact. 
  4. God was working even when I could not see His hand. When Mom became a believer, she had been thinking about that possibility for some time—we just didn’t know it. She kept her thoughts to herself until she was ready, but God was working long before we knew it. In fact, my mom’s turning to Christ started in earnest some eight years before her conversion when she watched my believing dad die trusting Jesus. 
  5. I should have paid more attention to the “glimpses” of God’s working along the way. Little things like Mom’s asking for prayer for some need or attending church when my nieces were singing should have given me more hope than they did. I encourage you to watch for glimpses, too, if you’ve been praying for someone a long time. 
  6. Getting others to pray with me was instrumental in my mom’s conversion. In every class I taught as a young professor, I asked students to pray for my parents. No matter where I traveled in the world, I made the same request. I’m convinced God heard these prayers in multiple languages from multiple nations around the world. 
  7. God truly is still transforming souls. He so dramatically saved my mom (and my dad years before) that no one who knew them could deny something life-changing had happened. He’s still doing that, you know—and I pray this post is encouraging to you as you pray for someone over the years. 

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