She Prayed

by Crystal Bowman

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generation. Psalm 100:5 NIV

We celebrated Mother’s Day with the baptism of our newest granddaughter, then later that evening my ninety-seven-year old mother quietly slipped into heaven. And that’s how she lived—never wanting to be the center of attention. She let my son and daughter-in-law have their moment of joy in the morning before going home to meet her Savior face-to-face.

The following week, family members traveled by car, motor home, and plane to attend her funeral which she had planned. She had chosen three of her adult grandchildren to share thoughts of remembrance, which they did with eloquent tributes. One of my nephews summed up her life in one sentence:  My grandma prayed for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren by name every day.

My mother lived an active life after my father passed away in 2006. Still healthy and alert, she would drive her widowed friends to the grocery store and church meetings. She played the piano during lunch at a nursing home where many of the residents were younger than she was. She volunteered at local schools that offered after school Bible clubs, and she attended sporting events to cheer for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

But as the years passed, she gradually lost her physical abilities and independence, and she  moved into an assisted living home. Even there she continued to serve others. She made friends with a blind woman and helped her navigate the exercise bike in the fitness room. In the dining room, she would look for someone sitting alone and sit next to them. But as more years passed,  she lost her ability to walk on her own and care for herself.

One day when I was visiting her, she was depressed about her dependence on aides who had to dress her and bathe her and help her go to the bathroom. “I’m no good to anyone,” she lamented.

“You can still pray,” I reminded her. And she did. She made a list of her children and grandchildren, all their spouses, and twenty-one great-grandchildren. She prayed for each one by name every day.

It would be impossible to list everything she prayed for, but she prayed. She prayed for safety and protection, for careers and future spouses, for marriages, for physical healing, for salvation and spiritual growth. And she prayed a miracle baby into my daughter-in-law’s womb.

My mom loved the Bible verses that spoke of God’s blessings to the next generation, and she knew her prayers made a difference. These verses not only motivated her to pray, but also to speak God’s truth into the lives of her descendants. She often shared these Bible verses with me since they gave her so much purpose and joy:

“But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children” (Psalm 103:17-18 NIV).

“Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come” (Psalm 71:18 NIV).

“We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. . . so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children” (Psalm 78:4, 6 NIV).

“Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will proclaim your praise” (Psalm 79:13 NIV)

These Bible verses are a reminder to me, that now it’s my turn to carry on the legacy of prayer my mother exemplified. I pray that her legacy will live on through her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I also hope that someday one of my grandchildren will be able to say, “My grandma prayed for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren by name every day.”

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She Prayed – thoughts on a life well-lived from Crystal Bowman on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Crystal BowmanAbout the author: Crystal Bowman is an award winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books for children including Our Daily Bread for KidsM is for Mangerand Does God Take Naps? She is a mentor for MOPS and teaches at writers’ conferences. She is a contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music. She lives in both Florida and Michigan (wherever the weather is best), and travels often to get hugs from her grandchildren.

Crystal’s latest release, co-authored with her daughter-in-law, is Mothers in Waiting, Healing and Hope for Those with Empty Arms. Do you or someone you love struggle with infertility? In this book you will find 30 hope-filled stories of women who received the same diagnosis and experienced the heartache. You do not have to suffer alone.

Join the conversation: What legacy do you hope to leave for your children?

Keep Hope Alive!

by Pam Farrel

In today’s world, with frightening headlines blasting the worst possible scenarios into our homes, along with the stress of daily responsibilities weighing heavy on our hearts, it is very easy to get discouraged. But God has a solution for our despairing hearts!

While writing my book on the psalms, one of my co-authors remarked in passing, “I think Psalm 71:14 could be the theme verse for this study.” Intrigued, I immediately looked up the verse.

I read: “But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more” (Psalm 71:14 NIV).

The author of these words uses hope as a verb, so hoping can be an action we choose: to wait expectantly for God to move. As I like to say, “trust while you tarry.” My definition of hope is: waiting expectantly for God to work for your good and His glory. Of course, that waiting can take a L. . .O. . . N. . .G time!

After doing a word study, I found many adverbs describing how to hope: repeatedly, increasingly, intensely, exceedingly, continuously, regularly, consistently, and perpetually. When I drew the verse in my Bible art journal, I pictured a geyser of ever-flowing hope.

The key to securing hope like that is in the latter part of the verse: “… praise you more and more.” The idea of “more and more” is really accumulating praise. Think of it as walking through a garden to gather flowers for a beautiful bouquet. Or strolling the mall at Christmas, accumulating packages.

When we gather praise, we fuel hope.

David, the author of this psalm, had to wait many years for God to fulfill His promise to him as a young shepherd boy before he was finally crowned king of Israel. Some of that waiting involved fleeing a jealous King Saul, living in caves and enduring a seemingly endless life on the run. Yet, even in the midst of those discouraging circumstances, David continued to praise God. We can see this from another psalm he penned during that time of persecution:

How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues.

Praise be to the Lord, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege. In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.

Love the Lord, all his faithful people!  The Lord preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full.

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.  Psalm 31:20-24 NIV

While I am not a poet like David, I accumulate praise another way by recording those kind of thoughts on my praise page in my bullet Journal. There I have drawn a picture of a sun with rays beaming out, and on each ray I record God’s answers to prayer and His unexpected blessings. Then, when times get tough, I can simply open my journal to this page and SEE the goodness of God that I have accumulated—and hope then springs from my soul!

Praise God yet more, and more, and your heart will become a geyser of HOPE.

pam ferrelAbout the author: Pam Farrel is co- director of Love-Wise (with her husband, Bill), international speaker, author of 45 books and budding Bible Art journaler. When she isn’t speaking around the globe, or teaching Discovering Hope in the Psalms, you will likely find her paddle baording or kayaking near her home, a live-aboard boat in Southern California.

Join the conversation: What praises have you been accumulating lately?

Photo by Ravi Roshan on Unsplash

 

 

When God Steps In

by Cindi McMenamin

Have you ever considered that some of the drama in your life could actually be God saving you from a more dangerous situation somewhere down the road?

It occurred to me recently that since God knows the entire script of my life – and yours – He can save us from what we never even knew was a threat.

I was reading Psalm 71 recently and highlighted verse 15 in particular, where the psalmist sings:

“My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,

of your saving acts all day long –

though I know not how to relate them all” (NIV).

I started reflecting on God’s “saving acts all day long” and how many I might not even know about. I then started wondering if that is why some of the drama happens in my life. Could God be saving me from more dramatic and dangerous circumstances I never even considered?

I recently complained to God when I missed my turnoff on the way home from a speaking event and was inconvenienced by a detour in my attempt to get back on the freeway. Yet as I came upon a multi-car accident near home I found myself thanking God that I wasn’t on the freeway minutes earlier when it had happened.

How many times might God have saved you all day long and, like the psalmist says, there were too many incidents for you to sum them up?  Or maybe, like me, you were so caught up in the drama of not getting what you wanted that you failed to see what God had ultimately saved you from?

How many times have you seen Him at work:

Wow, it looks like that job I really wanted could have turned out to be a disaster. I’m so glad that it didn’t work out.

If I hadn’t forgotten something back at the house, I would’ve missed that important call.

 I’m so glad now that he never called back. I may have been spared from a troubled relationship.  

 I was upset that my car wouldn’t start that morning, until I saw on the news about the ten-car pileup on the freeway. I could have been in that accident if I had left the house on time.  

Yes, the Writer of your script and mine may allow unforeseen circumstances to come our way, but instead of stressing out because we’re inconvenienced, let’s instead thank Him for the bigger drama that He just might be protecting us from. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons 1 Thessalonians 5:18 instructs us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

 Prayer: Lord, how many times have I complained about my circumstances when you were really protecting me from something far worse? Help me to trust You with all that I cannot see, knowing You are in control and You have my best at heart.

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women and couples strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 16 books including her newest, Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You. For more on her books and ministry, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Cindi’s book, Drama Free, Finding Peace When Emotions Oerwhelm You,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: Are you aware a time when God has saved you from a lesser, or even terrible thing?