Every other Saturday morning I kiss my sleeping husband on the cheek and whisper a soft “thank you” into his ear. Tiptoeing through the living room, I beg God to please let my children sleep just two more minutes until I can make it out the back door without being noticed (because awake children are always on this momma’s heels, but especially if I dare try to slip out the door without them). I quickly slide my Bible off of the kitchen counter and under my arm, and head out the door into the dark, early hours of the morning.
I don’t especially love hearing the alarm go off that early on a Saturday, but once I’m up, an immense feeling of satisfaction pours over me. Houses all around me are still asleep, and the day is momentarily untainted by the world. My drive is short but peaceful, and I can’t help but notice God in the soft silhouettes of trees and farmland. Details that for some reason I don’t take time to appreciate except for on mornings like this.
Just like clockwork, I smile as five others pull into the church parking lot at almost exactly the same moment as I do. A year and a half later, we’ve got this thing down, and our sea of minivans gives us away. We’re moms on a mission. The only ones on the road this early on Saturday morning.
And we’re here to pray.
We’ve taken time to email our prayer requests in the days before, because we’re aware of our own tendencies. Specifics and explanations have already been shared, because we’re not here to talk. We’re here to pray. Our time is limited, and our needs are great.
Before we cry out to the Father, we humble ourselves by taking time to recognize who God is. We focus on one specific character trait of God each meeting, and take time to read together a handful of verses to remind us just Who it is we’re approaching. This particular morning… God is my Helper: One who assists, aids, eases or relieves (Deuteronomy 33:26; Psalm 18:6; Psalm 121:2). Ah, just the reassurance this momma needed to hear on this particular morning, in this particularly busy season of mothering. Of life.
After intentional times of thanksgiving and confession, we enter into a time of intercession, or going to God in prayer on behalf of others. While we mostly focus on our children, we often weave in prayer for ourselves, our husbands and others. Sometimes we pray back fitting scripture, inserting our children’s names (“May Chase know that You are his God, who takes hold of his right hand and says to him, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’” ~ from Isaiah 41:13). But most of the time we use our own simple, broken words, clearly demonstrating our passion and great need for God in all things. Some of us have been praying for years; others of us, only recently. But God doesn’t need fancy prayers… just willing servants who are quick to admit their need for a Savior.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned during our time together, it’s that we can go to God with any request, great or small. We’re not afraid to ask God to help our kids master math facts… any desperate mom to a fourth-grader will instantly high-five me on this one with no further explanation needed. Heh. But there are moments of intense wrestling with God too, as we ask Him to protect, mold and guide our children to turn from their sin and to walk in His ways. Oh, God, bring them to Yourself, we pray…
God is our Helper. And He hears our prayers.
We’re lucky if we make it through the hour without tears, because there’s just something so humbling and powerful about hearing someone else pray for your child by name. I love these women’s children, and they love mine, and there’s extreme comfort in knowing that we’re not alone in this battle.
We reluctantly finish up our prayer time, exchange quick hugs, but can’t linger. The sun is coming up, and there are early morning soccer games to attend, Saturday morning pancake batters to mix, and oh yes, all of those children who will soon wipe the sleep from their eyes and will be looking for their mommas. But we’ll continue to check in, share updates, and pass on new requests until we meet again.
I drive home with a new outlook on the day, feeling like a weight has been lifted. The peace in my heart out-weighs that spent feeling, from all of that prayer “wrestling”. Practically speaking, no circumstance has changed, and no prayer request has been answered in the last sixty minutes. The difference then?
Our focus, our confidence, our hope has been shifted… off of our circumstances, and instead onto our Helper.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” ~ Colossians 4:2
At His feet,
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