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.”
About the author: Crystal Bowman is an award winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books for children including Our Daily Bread for Kids, M is for Manger, and 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?