Monday Musings: A Mother Who Prays

St. Augustine

I have been slowly reading through Trial and Triumph, reading a biography in the morning with my devotions when I have time.  Last week, I read chapter 6, “Monica and Augustine,”  and was struck- and encouraged- by the significance of the role Monica plays in her son’s life.

Augustine was raised in a home with a believing mother and an unbelieving father.  His father was impressed with his son’s intelligence and sent him away at the age of 16 to study under the best tutors in Carthage.  His mother had faithfully taught him the ways of Christ and lived the example of a godly life.  She admonished him to remain faithful to Christ, but he fell in with the wrong crowd and into their temptations and sins.  He abandoned Christianity and decided to walk in the ways of the world.  His mother, desperate, begged her bishop to speak with her son.  But the bishop wisely saw that speaking to such a one would be pointless.  He offered this encouragement to her, however: “It is impossible that the son of these tears should perish.” (Trial and Triumph p 40)  She continued to pray through the years as Augustine continued to reject Christ.  Eventually, he went to hear the famous Bishop Ambrose’s eloquent sermons and began to hear the truth afresh.  Hearing the truth from the Scriptures transformed his heart and he placed his faith in Christ and joyfully received forgiveness for his sins.  The brief biography in Trial and Triumph ends with this: “Throughout his long life, Augustine never stopped showing people the way of God, and he always thanked the Lord for his mother: ‘God of my heart,’ he said, ‘I joyfully thank You for all those good deeds of my mother- for they were Your gift to me to save and guide me.'” (p 43)

What a tribute this is to Monica!  I am reminded of the words in Proverbs 31: “Her children rise up and call her blessed.”  What a important privilege and responsibility God has granted to mothers.  We have such influence in the hearts of our children- for good or for bad.  I long to be the kind of mother to my children that Monica was to her son.  I want my children to speak well of me and of my influence in their lives.  There is no greater way to spend my time than to be a part of leading them to the truth and worship and joy of Christ.

To follow Monica’s example, I should speak the truth to my children and let praise to God and the Word of God flow from my mouth all the time.  I can point out answered prayers and speak of the wonders of God’s creation and provision.  I can use the Word of God (yay for the Child Training Bible!) and the words of God when addressing discipline concerns or when they have problems that need solutions.

Spending time with my son

Spending time with my son

In order to have influence in my children’s hearts, though, I must first develop a relationship with them.  I must earn the right to touch their hearts.  To do this, I must spend time with them and deal with them in compassion, kindness, and sympathy.  Today, I had a lot to do and when my children asked me to play with them, I was very tempted to say, “Not right now.”  However, their hopefulness and bright eyes won me over and I knew in my heart that playing with them was better than whatever I had planned.  So, we went outside and played hockey.  After an exciting game of hockey where we played to some unknown number of points (it kept changing), I did have to go inside to make dinner.  But Princess K and I have a date tomorrow to play with her Calico Critters and she is very excited about that.

Lastly, Monica’s greatest influence in her son’s life were her faithful, unending prayers for him.  Her deep love of her son and her deep love and commitment to Christ led her to be very devoted to her prayers for her son.

This reminds me of a poem a friend tucked into her baby shower gift to me a few years ago:

I Have A Mother Who Prays

Some have had kings in their lineage,
Some to whom honor was paid.
I don’t have those as my ancestors
But I have a mother who prays.

I have a mother who prays for me
And pleads with the Lord every day for me.
Oh what a difference it makes for me
I have a mother who prays.

My mother”s prayers cannot save me,
Only mine can avail;
But Mother introduced me to someone,
someone who never could fail.

Oh yes…I have a mother who prays for me
And pleads with the Lord every day for me.
O what a difference it makes for me
I have a mother who prays.

Author unknown

 

Oh Lord, may I be so faithful in my prayers and love to my children that they may joyfully thank the Father for me.  What a gift and treasure that would be!

My hockey opponents

My hockey opponents

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