Teach me, O Lord, thy way of truth,
And from it I will not depart;
That I may steadfastly obey,
Give me an understanding heart.
~~From Psalm 119:33-40
I've decided it would be better to start posting the Aunt Jane's Hero summaries written out here rather than linking to the ones at my devotional blog. In case you haven't been here before, I had started with these posts a few years ago, summarizing the chapters from a little companion work I had written for this beloved work by Miss Prentiss. I'm trying to pick up the ones already completed there and hopefully do more as time and opportunity allow. We've done three of these summaries so far, and now we'll pick up another one:
Chapter 4 is next up and since time is short, this summary may need to be short. The title that I gave to this chapter in the companion explains what I believe to be its essence. God was having dealings with someone and if you've been following along, you know that someone would be Horace. The chapter begins with a description of his moving about in society after the Georgiana situation--dancing parties, threatricals, music festivals and so on. But in the midst of observing him in these settings we are told this: "But he went home from these gay scenes out of spirits, and in spite of himself had his hours of reflection, when there came to him uncomfortable intimations that he was not living the true life for which he was born." Ahh, stirrings in his heart. Where might they have come from?
Soon after these words came an important paragraph:
"Now there was a man of a sorrowful countenance and of a sorrowful spirit away off in a little country-town, praying for his only son at these very moments, and his prayers were going to prevail. . . And ever and anon when he was pleading for his son with strong crying and tears, there would surge up in the soul of that son unwelcome, painful thoughts; recollections of his mother and his mother's teachings, faint yearnings for a faith and a practice like hers. He wist not whence they came. . ."
Obviously, the man who was praying was Horace's father. If you will recall, his mother had passed away. After reading this, I was struck by the truth of the words of James 5:16 that the "effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." This is a promise that we parents should cling to. I think it's a promise that should give impetus to the prayers of parents whose children are not at the place they wish them to be. Perhaps, these children will some day experience "faint yearnings" for more faith, a life that's different. These yearnings, even if they are weak, would probably come from God, and could it be that He would have been sent to your children by your prayers?
Many of us are thankful for where our children seem to be in the Lord. But certainly that is no reason for us to ease up with our prayers. I like what Stormie Omartian said in her book The Power of a Praying Parent. She said:
"All that needs to happen in our lives and the lives of our children cannot happen without the presence and power of God. Prayer invites and ignites both."
Moms and dads, shall we not persist in prayer?