The past few weeks, I have shared different ways we can pray for our children.
The first week, I shared verses for praying that our children will be filled with the joy of the Lord. In that post, we pondered the fact that joy will only come when we abide, when we have a real relationship with the Lord. The second week’s post centered on the fact that we need to pray that our kids will be genuinely saved. If they do not come to know the Lord as their personal Savior, then nothing else matters. The third week, we looked at verses on how we can pray for our children to desire to be in God’s Word.
There are many other ways we can pray for our children that we will look at in the weeks to come. This past week, I was reading in school from Trial and Triumph: Stories from Church History about Monica and Augustine. As I read, I was struck about the importance of a praying mother.
The chapter starts off sharing how Monica was married to an unsaved man named Patricius. She shared with Augustine from a very early age about God and how to be saved. Augustine was recognized to be gifted academically, so he was sent away from home at the age of 16 to study under the best tutors in Carthage. There he had worldly friends and participated in wicked activities. He rejected the Christianity of his mother.
Monica was heartbroken and warned him to repent. She went to her bishop and asked him to go to Augustine and speak to him. The bishop refused as he knew Augustine was not ready to listen. Monica did not accept this answer, and wept and begged with the bishop to go. The bishop answered her, “No. Now go away and leave me. It is impossible that the son of these tears should perish.” Because of those words, Monica continued to weep and pray for God to save Augustine.
Augustine continued to reject the Lord until he was thirty years of age. For all of those years, Monica prayed for his salvation and pleaded with him to trust in Christ. Through the friendship of Ambrose of Milan and because of Monica’s prayers, Augustine finally accepted Christ as his Savior. He told a friend what he had done, and that friend believed as well.
When Augustine and his friend told Augustine’s mom about their salvation, she answered, “This is what I have prayed for all these years. Praise to You, O Lord, for You are able to do far more than we can even imagine. You have turned my mourning into joy.”
Augustine grew in his faith and became the most important leader of the church in North Africa in the early 5th century. He fought false teachers, taught, preached, organized charities for the poor, and wrote books defending Christianity. He also wrote the book, The Confessions, which told about his life and salvation.
We often know him as the author of this quote:
O Lord, You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.
Augustine thanked God for his mother. He said:
God of my heart, I joyfully thank You for all those good deeds of my mother–for they were Your gift to me to save and guide me.
Reading this chapter was such an encouragement to me to keep praying for my children. Monica prayed for 30 years for her son! Those prayers were answered, and we have one of the heroes of the Christian faith, St. Augustine. Don’t stop praying for your kids! Never give up!
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