Saturday, March 28, 2015

Women At Prayer

One day several years ago, after listening to my husband complain yet again about his job, I began an innocent and unobtrusive prayer campaign for his fulfillment as the breadwinner of the family.  The Irish Catholic that I am, I wrote on a note card, "Dear Jesus, please help Doug find fulfillment in his career." and stuck it in my bible. Forgetting I ever did that, recently as I was reading my Bible, the note dropped out on my lap.  A few years ago, he found his present position in a completely different state miles away from home, but being satisfied in his job and having the faculty status as an associate professor and director of a core facility, he has found fulfillment.   Proof of answered prayer, even one left to its own for a time.  He didn't know I did this for him, I had even forgotten that I did this for him, but at the time and so many times during those unsatisfied years, I had silently prayed to Jesus for his fulfillment. 

Thinking about a woman's prayer in the different phases and walks of life, I want to appreciate these ladies and their faith.

A Mother's prayer
Mother Mary is the greatest intercessor for her children.  At the foot of the cross, Jesus gave Mary to the apostle as his mother and gave him to her as her child.  At that very moment, Mary became our mother too, and like any earthly mother, she is concerned for us and loves us abundantly.  I turn to her daily!
A grandmother's prayer adds an extra special fervor for the child that brings them delight and continues her lineage; the layers of love from her own child to the thrill of her child's children, makes her prayers all the more special. 

A mom's prayer is rooted in her deep and biological connection with her child, even mothers of adopted children form equally deep connections for the children in their care.  My prayer life as a mom has always been a challenge, until recently when I learned a huge lesson that while I prayed for my children, I also had to let go and allow God to do HIS work.  Letting go and having faith that He loves us and our children has been the lesson I didn't even know I needed to learn until I learned it.    As my rebellious child drove away to another unknown place with unknown people, I had to just give her to Jesus and let her go.....THAT was hard, but when I realized that there was NOTHING I could do for her, and that God alone had the controls, it was as if a heavy weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

A popular story about my grandmother during her mothering years, was when my twin uncles tried to stop a car racing down a hill, instead of watching the ordeal, she calmly went into the powder room in the hall and prayed the rosary until it was over and the twins were triumphant.

The women in the church, much like Anna of the bible, root their prayers deeply from altruistic love, the desire for good things for others.  Their prayers are wholeheartedly given in faith.

The many religious communities' pray constantly, giving their lives to Christ and His Church, for the people of God.  Oh, I wouldn't want to even think of our world without these beautiful communities and their prayers for us.

A wife's prayer
Mother Mary must have prayed a great deal for her husband, Joseph, thanksgiving prayers for his obedience and patience to God's will and for the gift of fatherhood that he gave to Jesus. She surely had prayers for his health and for healing during times of trials that he and the family endured and prayers for his strength.  She must have prayed a great deal at the end of his life, since we don't know what that was like, surely one can imagine the prayers of a wife for her dying husband. 

A wife prays for her husband on so many levels; first for his fulfillment in his relationship with her, then his fulfillment in his career, and also for his relationship with the children.  We want them strong, wise, and fulfilled, don't we?  My husband has had many trials through the years, including the loss of his father, caring for his aging mother, health issues, as well as family and career.  It seems that there are always reasons for prayer, even when things are going well.  When times are good, my prayers are more thanksgiving for the many blessings that surround him and us.

Praying during the good and quiet times are easy, if we do it at all, but finding the strength to pray at times of real trial and suffering can be a trial in itself, yet with the inner strength of a woman, she prays on through the ordeal.  Mother Mary is the perfect example of that as she watched her only son during his passion and death....Oh; it hurts to think of her during the crucifixion of Jesus!  As a mother and a wife, there is always time and need for prayer, always someone who needs extra guidance, strength, and wisdom.  But on the outside of the immediate family, we women reach out and pray for those around us and in the news suffering trials of their own.

All I know really about women's prayer is what I know of myself and the women around me.  We pray, and pray, and pray mostly without ceasing for those around us that we care about and even those we don't particularly care about, but know they need prayers.  All the while growing closer to our Heavenly Father and finding His peace...in letting go and letting Him.

Can we pray for you?







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