By Heidi McLaughlin -
What were those strange, muffled sounds coming from behind my parent’s bedroom door? With my socked feet, I quietly tip-toed past my parent’s bedroom, hoping that no one heard me. Once again, I was sneaking into the house late at night and breaking my curfew. I was seventeen and deliberately rebelling against all our family values. I stopped to listen. That was the sound of my mother’s voice and she was praying for me. Oh for goodness sakes mother, don’t pray for me. I don’t want to go to church, have a relationship with God and be forced to follow all those restrictive, irrational rules. I want to do life my way; the fun way.
But my mother is smarter than me and she knew that: “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” (James 5:16(b) NLT). My mother prayed me through my rebellious teenage years; when my marriage was faltering and when at the age of thirty-two I hit the pit of despair. She was the “hidden hero” that never stopped praying for me and gently showed me that I needed God’s love and power in my life. Through her faithful prayers she mirrored for me that God is the only one who can bring fulfillment and meaning into our lives.
Four years ago I stayed overnight at my mother’s house. She was now living on her own because my dad had passed away from Lou Gehrig’s, ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) disease. I witnessed how prayer sustained her through those difficult days when all hope was lost, and when she struggled against the endless weariness in her bones. That night, four years ago, as I was preparing my bed in the living room I heard my mother’s voice on the other side of the living room wall. That same familiar, blessed sound of my mother praying. By now her voice was weary, old and crackled but I felt and heard the same fervency and boldness in her voice as she talked to her Heavenly Father. Once again I heard my name being used in her conversation with God. I sat and wept. There is something so incredibly beautiful and powerful when we hear our names being uttered in a dialogue with our Heavenly Father.
My mother is a wise, Godly woman. She has influenced her husband, family and neighbours through the most powerful vehicle available to all of us; prayer. Through my mother’s example I am still learning that prayer has greater impact in my life than money, success, accomplishments, counseling or “trying harder.” Prayer is what opens Heavens door to release God’s power and favor in our lives to help us become all He has created us to be. My mother is a woman who doesn’t need the spot light or fame. She is a hidden hero who finds her value, worth and fulfillment in the One who gave her this life. God.
Many years ago she influenced my life through her faithful, loving prayers. I know the greatest influence I will have in this life is to believe that: “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” As a woman of influence, I not only have to believe it; I have to do it.
Heidi McLaughlin, an international speaker, author and a pastor’s wife. She is married to Pastor Jack and they live among the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley, Kelowna, British Columbia. Heidi is a mom and step mom of a blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. She loves to golf, explore and laugh with her family and friends. www.heartconnection.ca
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