And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matthew 21:22 KJV
My grandmother only had a fifth grade education, but she graduated valedictorian from the School of Adversity. She was the firstborn child of alcoholic parents. Some of the painful experiences she endured left gaping holes in her soul. This deep inner pain drove her to God and it was when she was on bended knee that she discovered the power in prayer.
When her only son was serving his country in the Vietnam War, there were nights she couldn't sleep. She was plagued with worry and fear. As a little girl, I would often spend the night at her humble home. I remember her prayers and sobs awakening me out of sound sleep. She would cry out to God, pleading for her son's safe return. I also recall the day her prayers were answered, and her beloved son came home safe.
There were the other times; she would be singing hymns at top of her lungs, as she scrubbed her hot, soapy pots and pans in her kitchen sink. In between her favorite melodies, she would ask the Lord to make her a blessing to the hurting souls around her. Before the day was over, there would be a knock on her front door, and Grandma would lovingly welcome her troubled guest to her chrome dining room table and pour them a hot cup of coffee. She would listen to their woes and then lead them to the Throne of Grace.
God knew every morning when the sun came up, where He could find Grandma. She would be on her knees seeking His face. Her prayers are chiseled in my soul for all eternity.
There was a desperate time in our family's life that I realized Grandma had a hot line to Heaven. My mother, Bonnie, was Grandma's second daughter. Mom suffered with bouts of severe depression and had lost her will to live. After a suicide attempt, our family was summoned to the emergency room. Grandma quickly found a place to pray. She wasn't gone very long, but when she returned she said, "God told me that Bonnie would live and not die. She is going to play her violin for Him in church one day."
At this point in my mother's life, she never even attended church. In my eleven-year-old mind, I just couldn't see it happening, but Grandma assured me that she had heard from the Lord.
The doctor came to speak with our family. "I think we can save her this time, but one of these times she will get the job done."
Grandma bolted from her chair. Pointing her crooked finger in his face she barked, "Now you listen to me, Doc. My girl is not going to live and play her violin for Jesus in church."
An awkward silence enveloped the room. The doctor just shook his head and left the room.
Five years later my mother became acquainted with a retired pastor's wife, who had suffered from crippling depression. This dear woman took a keen interest in my mother, and tenderly led my mother to a loving relationship with Jesus.
Mom became a faithful member of a Bible-believing church. One Saturday she announced, "I've been invited to play my violin for special music in church."
Grandma let out a victory yelp. "God keeps His promise!"
I am a pastor's wife of thirty years. I've learned much from Bible college and ministry experiences, but it was watching my grandmother's life that taught me the most about the power of prayer. She gave me a sample, a living example of how an ordinary woman with a simple faith in an extraordinary God can move mountains.
Grandma is in Heaven now, but my precious mother is now seventy-five and continues to play her violin for Jesus.
Dixie is a pastor's wife, ghostwriter, mother of four grown children, and grandmother of five "perfect" grandchildren. You can find out more about the ministry she and her husband are involved in at www.floydslighthouse.com. Guardian Angel Publishing has published 10 of Dixie's children's books.