Motherhood and the Victorious Work of Prayer
Written by Colleen Currat
It was just a little while ago that I held my babies in my arms and gripped their little hands tight as they took small steps. I was content to manage those seemingly simple days with a heart full of faith that God would do great things for us. However, like a tide, the time has washed us into a territory that is more vast and hard to navigate. Because I am unable to control all that their hearts turn to, it is becoming increasingly risky to navigate without faith that God can do what I cannot. Two of my friends recently laid hands on me in prayer and woke me up to the sort of battle my motherhood was in–a spiritual battleground. I’m on my knees and I need armor, power, and the help of heaven.
I am not the first mother to stumble onto the battleground of motherhood. Mothers highlighted in scripture faced great circumstances that were beyond their control. In the terrain of scripture, motherhood challenges start in the very beginning with the first mother to sin (Eve) and carry on to the mother chosen to lay down her will and play a part in the birth of the Son of God (Mary). Several women showed us that when faced with circumstances they couldn’t control, they turned to prayer and found their strength in a God who turns to them with mercy and purpose.
Brave Canaanite Woman (Matthew 15:22-28) is the account of a mother that crossed cultural boundaries to show her faith in Jesus by seeking his healing for her daughter.
The Canaanite Mother’s daughter was suffering from a spiritual problem that she could not solve. As a Canaanite woman, she did not meet the requirements to approach Jesus, yet we see that in her cry for mercy, she acknowledges that Jesus is the only one who has the authority to remove spiritual darkness. Jesus turns in mercy to the mother in need and so willingly sets her daughter free.
Fear and overwhelm can keep me from pleading for mercy. Yet, the Canaanite mom reminds me that mercy is waiting, so ‘let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’ Hebrews 4:16
Consecrated Anna (Luke 2:36-38) is the gospel account of an old woman, a prophetess who devoted herself to prayer, fasting, and worship. Anna witnesses God’s provision of Jesus before her eyes and in the arms of Mary and Joseph at the temple.
Anna was 84 years old and at this time in her life had been married and widowed. Anna’s fervor for the Lord is proven in her devotion to the temple. Had she not been consecrated to him, perhaps she wouldn’t have known God’s heart for his people? Psalm 25:14 says, “The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.” How amazing for her to have sown in faith so much that she knew who Jesus was at the very moment she saw him!
Despite fatigue or overwhelming circumstances, it is possible to have a fruitful life of intimacy with God. When circumstances get overwhelming, we can remember Anna fighting and laboring in worship and prayer. God responds to our fervor to see Him and ‘blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.’ Luke 6:21
Weeping Hannah (1 Samuel 1 & 2)
I am familiar with Hannah’s story of longing for a child. However, I had never lingered in scripture long enough to really empathize with how deeply troubled Hannah felt. In this particular passage, Eli, the priest is surprised to see Hannah pour out so much anguish to the Lord. Appearing drunk, she does not hesitate to give God every bit of her pain in sober desperation. Hannah’s weeping came from a place of deep sorrow and longing that only God alone could satisfy. We see later in 1 Samuel 2:2 that all that weeping made room for a lot of provisions and praise, ‘There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.’
Victory In Our Weakness
During this trying stage of motherhood, I have been prone to despair. These beautiful accounts of God intervening through a mother’s prayer have reminded me of the strength and renewal that comes in a desperate prayer. In my case, it's prayers like these that have held everything together.
To look a bit deeper, the two Hebrew letters (Em) that form the word Mother combine to mean the First, or Strong Water-Giver. The recognized name of Strong Water would have made sense to the Hebrews because it was the name for a glue they made and used. The Hebrews would place animal skins in a large cauldron to boil. As the hides broke down, a thick and sticky liquid would gather on the surface of the water. This would have been skimmed off and used as a binding agent to hold or seam material together. A mother, broken down and dependent on God, is a mother who is a victorious unifier of her family. We are not meant to drown; our battles must be fought in prayer so God alone can fight them! The American rapper Lecrae recently said it best, “You can’t lose battles that you allow God to fight for you”. Like the biblical mothers' show, it is not through sheer will or force that we win the spiritual battles for our children (and ourselves), but by prayers laid at the feet of the Lord.
There is no one holy like you! There is no one besides you! There is no rock, no higher ground than you! I pray that this Mother’s Day these precious sisters, in whatever season of motherhood they are in, would find themselves satisfied at your feet! We need you to fight for our children, would you do what we cannot? Jesus, we consecrate ourselves to you and give you a tithe offering of intimacy, despite our busy days. Be our Strong Water first and help us be the same for our families.
Happy Mother’s Day Waypoint Women!