Veenendaal, The Netherlands, 2006
The book: “”Every child needs a praying mom”” has been translated in 2006. It was amazingly good sold and in a few weeks lots of mom’s, started a woman prayer-group. I was one of them. We were having three little girls at that time, and at times a felt overwhelmed by the responsibilities what came with that, something you can hardly prepare at forehand. We came weekly together, shared our needs, joys and sorrows, read the Bible and prayed.
It was quite a relieve to share with other mom’s. where ever you worried about, you’re upset about, ask for advice and hear a different perspective from another mature mother, while I myself just entered in the wonderful stage of motherhood. All in all: a nice way of expressing my faith for a woman like me. (yep, woman like me. Not everybody is fond of this concept… and that is fine. For me, it has been, next to prayer, a lovely way of language and culture study, where ever I am.;-)
We prayed with Anneke, Erna, Petra, and others. The prayer group does still exist, it expanded only with 15 more people and they may have split up, by now. When we moved to England said one of the mothers, Anneke to me, three beautiful, simple words: Go with God. I never forgot that. It was lovely and just what I needed at that time.
Horsley’s Green, United Kingdom, 2007
After a couple of months. (I was still learning English) we decided to come together with a few woman to pray. The Wycliffe Centre was a beautiful mixture of many people from all over the world. The concept to come together every week is strong and nice and is having something that could be very long-lasting. Except when every one moves out so often. So, somebody stops for a while and comes back.. or not. Whatever is the best in your situation.
We prayed with Kat, Dolores, Ruth, Mathilda, Laura, the group doesn’t exists in this format. Everybody moved out to all different parts of the planet. But I know that they are still praying and it might very well be that they started new or joined older prayer groups.. Feel free to share to encourage others!
Toronto, Canada, 2010
New surroundings, new people, a new pregnancy (Laurens was on his way to join our family) Enough things to worry about and to pray for. I was longing for friendship, and get to know the for me unknown culture. I didn’t have the possibility of starting a prayer-group. I didn’t know anybody. But God, who is in control of everything knew that already at forehand. It was God who put it in the heart of Alana to start a prayer-group for the Willowdale Christian School. The teachers, the children, the parents and we as mom’s could join in prayer. That was what I did and we had many lovely hours together. We journeyed together, wrestled, prayed, hoped and waited to see God at work. A husband got a job, a good pregnancy, prayer for children who struggled with living in different cultures.
Last February we came together as mom’s, and prayed again and shared about God at work in our lives in the time we couldn’t meet. It is hard to describe how you get filled with the amazing goodness and faithfulness of God. He doesn’t let us go, but He gives us freedom and space to grow and share his love. What an amazing privilege to be part of that!
The beautiful simple concept is what I really love. Just a few woman, coming together, give an update about their lives and struggles, hopes and joys. We pray, worship, ask for forgiveness, give thanks and pray for our needs. It is amazing that our great God is not too big to live in us and that we can see Him at work.
We prayed with Marianna, Tanya, Surance, Alana and a few others who regularly or less regularly joined in. The group is not big, but does still exist. May you be encouraged to keep going, focus your eyes on Jesus alone. Till we meet again… can’t wait to see that happen.
The Netherlands, Randwijk, 2012
And once again a new place on a lovely farm. From the big city of Toronto with a few million people to the tiny village of Randwijk with 1400 people. New school systems, another language, not new to me, but not the first language for the girls at the beginning any more.
The beautiful thing here was that Arenka our host and landlord, supporting neighbour;- got this book: “Every child need a praying mother” also in 2006. And she did here, what I did in Veenendaal. She started a little prayer-group for mothers around the school. They prayed for years and I joined this group in 2012. We didn’t know each other, but we both knew our Lord and Saviour who brought this prayer ministry on our hearts at the same time. We are raised in the same village, Veenendaal. Although we never met there. But the same focus and the same desire in serving our Lord is what is bringing us together.
This morning we came together for the last time before the summer break starts. Her youngest is going on to secondary school and Arenka is passing on the leads to yet another young mother of four who is having the same desire in her heart. Not feeling able to set something up, but God knew and she just has to keep going what is already set before her. May God bless this group for the years ahead!
Arenka opened the Word of God by Mark 2. Four friends are bringing their sick friend for the explicit attention of Jesus. Four things are drawn to our attention.
The friends go and take the time.
The friends go together and are willing to put an effort on it.
The friends don’t get discouraged, even though there are some heaps to get over.
They go in faith.
And when Jesus saw their faith, He said: Your sin are forgiven. (Mark 2:5) Because of the faith of the friends, what the Lord had put into their heart. What a remarkable summary of the reason to get together to carry something what is to heavy to carry alone on your shoulders. And this is how we stand now. Passing on, carrying on and sharing.
We prayed with Dirja, Ellen, Elseline, Arenka and others. May this group be flourishing for the years ahead, to the glory of God and to encourage the girls here in the village.
Now, you may ask what are the results? Which problems are solved, what did change over the years?
Yes, it definitely has shaped and deepened my perspective on the living church of God, where ever on this planet. I think that I can live in many different places now, as long as I can be united in prayer and in this way let my life be shaped in serving our King.
Yes, In 2008 we prayed as a group mothers for my cousin with cancer. A young mother of five, in her early thirties. The impossible, possible happened: She is healed. Other friends of us, with their little one year old son, who was having cancer is now six years old and healed.
Does that mean, that you pray and get what you want? No, not at all.
It is my experience though that prayers
that has a focus on the Kingdom of God and His glory
are answered. Sometimes in unexpected ways.
When the glory of God is the centre of our prayers
God will hear
But we also face unanswered prayers, loved ones who died or difficult situations that didn’t change. I remember myself than that the story is not yet ended. We will see the full story later. Over the years it has taught me that God love is so unfailing and the acceptance that He is in control are deep lessons to learn. Even through difficult situations. And that is how I end in worship to Him who is holding us all in his hand.
Even now, there is enough to worry about, people who God put into your heart to pray about. But to bring it with others in prayer, bringing it before God, where it belongs is such a relieve and gives hope and breath. But perseverance is needed.
I hope that this story is not yet ended. Do you have a prayer group and is everybody tired? Do you loose your motivation? Just take a break. Put it on hold for a bit, or do it every fortnight, instead of weekly. But earlier or later, keep going, don’t hold on to your own worries.
Here is a link to the movement behind this little book. “moms in touch”
Are you longing to set up a small prayer-group with a few woman? The concept is very plain:
Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I will be in their midst. (and that is a promise.)
This little book: Every child needs a praying mother, can help you finding a more foundational format.
And please don’t think that I am such a good holy prayer. I am not. Forget about it. I need others, maybe you who are reading this. But I am having a few desires, and that is how it often starts. It would be GREAT if I can say next year:
Croatia, Osijek 2016: Started a prayer-group with Roma mothers.
I end with a prayer what I have to learn in Croatian, and what I pray for you and your family:
Prayer for the family
Thank you for this family, Thank you for this house.
We pray that you bless this family.
May your peace rest upon your house, o God.
and may all evil spirits flee
so that your family may learn to love you
in truth and love
And now may the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Love of God our Father
and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit
rest upon your home and family
now and forever more.