Not long ago at a family gathering for a memorial, I mentioned to my husband’s cousin that my older daughter remains far from the Lord.
After hearing testimonies of how the person who had died was so faithful to God and also listening to how others gathered there were growing in the Lord, I found myself feeling sad again about my prodigal.
She had once been so close to God, and back then I felt convinced she would continue to do great things in and for His kingdom. How tragic that she had rejected Him in college.
What this cousin said to me next impacted me in a powerful way.
“Never doubt the power of a mother’s prayers,” he said. “My mother never stopped praying for me.”
This cousin was now walking close to the Lord, but it wasn’t that way throughout his adult life.
“Remember, ‘Let us not become weary in doing good…’” he encouraged.
The rest of the verse came quickly to my mind, “for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
As I contemplated the truth of Galatians 6:9, I realized that somehow I hadn’t applied prayer to that verse.
Why didn’t I see praying as doing good? My mind had convinced me that “doing good” related to reaching out to my prodigals, being kind to them and continuing to love them while trying to find some words or actions from me that would bring them back home.
But this cousin reminded me that prayer is doing good, and that prayer does much good.
As I reflected on the subject later, I saw that prayer does much good in me first. It brings me back to the right state of mind—that of trusting God instead of thinking I must do something to get my wayward loved ones to once again embrace God and His ways.
How often I’ve felt that “just praying” was not enough, and that it was essential I say or do something.
Through that cousin’s words, God showed me that praying is doing something.
When my prayers do not yield the results I want, I sometimes let the enemy convince me “Your prayer is doing no good.” The problem centers on this: I do not want to wait.
Thoughts about waiting in prayer danced in my mind before going to bed several nights ago. I remembered what I read in a book about George Mueller, the great man of God who ran orphanages in England and in his old age became a missionary. His great “claim to fame” was how he prayed faith-filled prayers and trusted God to provide.
He had prayed every day for 50 years for his childhood friends to come to Christ. If I remember correctly, one of the friends received Christ as Savior at George’s funeral and others came to know Jesus some time after. He didn’t give up, and his prayers were answered.
Today I reject my negative thinking that says “Your prayers are doing no good” and embrace that prayers are a good and godly action which reap results in God’s time.
My goal is to embrace Galatians 6:9 more fully and continue to pray for my prodigals and for every other person the Lord brings to mind, believing that those prayers will be answered in His way and in His time.
I will not give up on the “doing good” of prayer.
During this Thanksgiving season, I thank God for every answered prayer and for His hearing every prayer that seems unanswered. I thank God for His timing and for the privilege and power of prayer.
Related song that inspires me: “Sweet Hour of Prayer” sung by Alan Jackson