I have a new baby granddaughter! Her name is Anya Elizabeth.
As she grows I will play with her, sing to her, read with her, write her letters and tell her about Jesus. I will give her gifts to show my love.
But the best gift I will ever give is this: I will pray for her as long as I live.
The Holy War, an allegory on the Christian life by John Bunyan, shows the impact of prayer on spiritual warfare.
“A petition was delivered to the King’s Son. He read it, and because it pleased him, he added some things and with his own hand carried it to the King. The petition made the King glad, but how much more, when it was seconded by His Son.*
Christ Jesus, who is at the right hand of God, also intercedes for us (from Romans 8:34).
*adapted from John Bunyan, The Holy War, p. 128-129.
When women faithfully pray, God answers.
Their light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it (from John 1:5).
Deeply distressed, Hannah prayed, weeping bitterly. Eli spoke a blessing, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition . . . her face was no longer sad (1 Samuel 1:17-18).
The very next day she and her family “Rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:19).
When women pray, despair becomes joy.
Her husband died. Her sons died. She said, “The hand of the Lord has gone out against me” (Ruth 1:13).
Still, Naomi prayed for the wives her sons left behind. “May the Lord deal kindly with you. . . . The Lord grant you rest, each in the house of her husband” (from Ruth 1:8-9).
One daughter-in-law, Ruth, chose to follow Naomi’s God and is now in the lineage of Christ (see Matthew 1:5).
That’s what happens when women pray. Even when life is hard.
Women who faithfully pray see God guide and give and govern their lives.
They see “that for those who love God all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28).
Women who faithfully pray still get sick. Life still disappoints. Children cause grief, husbands lose jobs or much worse, lose interest in marriage.
Yet these women still pray.
By praying, they know, “In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old” (Isaiah 63:9).
First pray, then eat. (Or work or play or talk or walk or . . . )