Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Father's Fervent Prayers

Growing up along the banks of the Mississippi River, the sound of Daddy praying was as common as the sound of Mother frying eggs. Like Daniel of old, Daddy prayed every day—rain or shine, sleet or snow, hail or high water.

Although nobody ever threw Daddy into a lions’ den for praying, many mornings I wanted to.

How dare he disturb me before sunrise? Didn’t he know how sleepy I was? Didn’t he care that his loud praying woke up the entire household—not to mention every rooster in Warren county!

And why did he have to mention me in his window-rattling prayers? What if I didn’t want to be saved? What if I wanted to grow up and be the biggest sinner the South had ever seen?

Why couldn’t he just leave me out of it and pray for something really important—like a bigger house where I could have my own room with soundproof walls?

James 5:16 says, “The effectual ‘fervent’ prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

And indeed, it does. I am a witness.

Daddy’s prayers have sheltered me in times of trouble, and calmed me in times of storm. They've carried me when I couldn't walk, and strengthened me when I couldn't stand. They've encouraged me, and lifted me and anchored me at midnight in the midst of hurricane winds.

Today is my father's birthday. I visited with him and Mom over the weekend, and in the early morning hours, just before dawn, I heard Daddy downstairs alone, calling my name in prayer. In a few minutes, I heard him call my daughter’s name. And then he prayed for the child that she is about to deliver.

It was a special moment for me, one I'll carry forever, and as tears dripped from my face, I thanked God for my praying father and for the many fervent prayers he has prayed for me. ♦


  1. Happy Birthday to your dad! I hope that someday, my daughters will say the same about their father. What he prays in their presence is only half as beautiful as what he prays, sitting next to me in our prayer chairs, in their absence.

    An aside: I just realized for the first time that that often quoted passage is toward the end of James, a book which first lays out the righteous part. Very cool. Like that.

  2. Happy birthday wish to your dear dad. An encouraging reminder to me as I continually pray for precious ones in my family.