Legacy of Prayer
I thank God….I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also” (II Timothy 1:3,5).
To paraphrase Paul, “The lifestyle of prayer and unfeigned faith which dwelt first in my grandmother Lillian and my mother Willie Mae; I am persuaded is in me also.” This is a legacy of prayer! As a child, my mother introduced me to prayer, which my maternal grandmother taught her. From childhood to adulthood, my mother became an influential source of prayer in my life. She laid the foundation of prayer in word and deed as she advocated and exampled prayer. I heard my mother pray and observed her reading the Bible consistently. She instilled biblical principles and morals and became a role model in prayer.
When we pattern our life after Christ and His example of prayer, learn from others who have a lifestyle of prayer, and example prayer ourselves, we can effectively encourage others to pray.
A legacy is something transmitted by or received from an ancestor, predecessor, or the past. William James said, “The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.” A legacy is not what you do for yourself. It’s what you do for the benefit of the next generation. Joel 1:3 states, “Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.” We are not to keep our wonderful experience of prayer to ourselves, but we are to share it with the current and future generations and allow it to be a legacy. Benjamin Franklin said, “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
I am reminded of a phrase I often hear my mother quote, “If Jesus had to pray, what about us?” Jesus prayed and impacted those around him. The disciples prayed, and likewise, they influenced others to be partakers. So did the early Christians. This is an example of a legacy of prayer.
Jesus is the greatest role model of prayer. He prayed day and night. Luke 6:12 says, “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” Jesus had an “all night” prayer meeting! Jesus said, “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).
Paul told the Thessalonians, “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). Also, it is written, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them” (Acts 16:25).
The Word declares, “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer” (Acts 3:1). These disciples were prayer partners! There is great power when we join together in prayer. “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).
Let us pray and produce a legacy of prayer, continually pouring out our hearts and seeking God’s face. Pray, for it matters not where; God is there! A minister, George Swinnock, coined the powerful phrase, “The course of thy life will speak more for thee than the discourse of thy lips.”
Endeavor to engage people in fervent prayer with a determination to further advance the kingdom of God through the dynamic power of prayer. Beyond the temporal benefits, prayer has eternal value, one of the greatest investments anyone can make in life.
Prayer is a glorious delight as the spirit of humanity contacts the Spirit of divinity. Prayer is our lifeline to God. Prayer is the best wireless connection. Prayer involves our communication with God and our relationship with Him. Prayer is a choice. Stephen Covey wrote, “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” Prayer should be our steering wheel and not our spare tire. The power of consistent prayer will take you on the road to success, leading to glorious places you have never been before!
I grew up hearing my grandmother say, “Prayer is the key, and faith unlocks the door.” This phrase was instilled in my mother’s heart and expressed to me. In turn, I have taken hold of it to the point that it exists as my signature line in the emails I send out. “Prayer is the key, and faith unlocks the door,” so proceed to walk through the door as you open yourself to a legacy of prayer and impact the world around and beyond you!
Flo Shaw is the wife of Dwayne Shaw, pastor of New Life Temple, Austin, Texas. Flo is the World Network of Prayer director, and a UPCI credentialed minister.