She paces back and forth, again and again, her one-year-old daughter on her hip. With each prayer that goes forth from the microphone, she whispers in her baby’s ear simplified versions of those amplified prayers. “Shine Your light, Jesus.” She grabs a tissue. Wipes her daughter’s runny nose. Whispers again. “Break in.”
She wonders what in the world she’s even doing. Her baby is one. She can’t possibly understand, can she? She knows there has to be others doing this, but she can’t see them. All she knows is that the prayers going forth are from the Word of God. The Word is seed. The Word doesn’t come back void. So, day in and day out she is planting. Her faith wobbles along the way. Her daughter only says a few words. “Bible” is one of them, though she seems more fond of ripping those than anything else. Yet, she has enough faith to keep whispering in her daughter’s ear.
Fast forward a year. This Mama’s family has added a child and subtracted a vehicle. Now, as much as her heart yearns to be in the prayer room pacing or just sitting at His feet, she is stuck at home wondering Where do I go from here? She feels very much stuck. Trapped. She looks at her children. She always wanted to be a mom. It’s not that. She just never felt called to be one that stayed … home. And yet, here we are.
In this space of tension, God speaks to her heart. MAKE YOUR HOME A HOUSE OF PRAYER. She has no idea what this means, but she makes a sign and hangs it on her wall. A friend donates a little money to their “house of prayer” and she ends up buying a shower curtain map. Then she lays it out on the living room floor and starts to teach her two-year-old to pray for the nations.
Only she’d already been planting those seeds, because suddenly those phrases she’d been praying in her one-year-old daughter’s ear began to come out of that now toddler’s mouth. Seeds sprouting. Buds on the vine. They prayed for all the countries, each different colors on the map, but her daughter seemed especially drawn to Algeria. It was purple. Her daughter loved the color purple.
One day she heard a missionary who came to speak. He spoke about how Jesus was showing up in dreams to the people of Algeria and many people were becoming saved. Tears began falling down this Mama’s face. Her daughter’s favorite prayers were “Show them Jesus” and “Give dreams and visions”. Her two-year-old had an inheritance in Algeria.
It hit her then that she wasn’t just teaching her toddler how to be effective at praying in the future. Her daughter’s prayers counted. Right then. Right there in there two-year-old language and, yes, limited understanding. Jesus, in His mercy, counted them and He moved at the sound of that little voice just as He moved at the sound of Mama’s voice.*
That day gave this Mama the fuel she needed to indeed make her house a house of prayer, working with her husband to establish their family altar and persevere in doing so despite social and cultural pressures. It’s still going ten years later.
I am that Mama. This is my story. My passion is to equip families to foster enjoyable prayer and worship in their homes, to grow in their knowledge of the nature and character of God, and to come into intimate friendship with the lover of their souls. I have some experience with equipping children in corporate situations as well (children’s ministry/children’s equipping ministry) so those working in that capacity may find this website helpful. But currently our primary goal at Equipping the Children is encouraging the building and restoration of family altars.
We cry out for revival, but I believe that revival will not come and be sustained in the big church meeting. I love the big church meetings. But revival will burn on the altars established in living rooms across the earth.
Your family altar doesn’t have to look like ours. In fact, it shouldn’t look exactly ours. But our hope is that here you will find resources and encouragement to begin to build – or rebuild- and the courage to persevere. Let’s do this thing. Together.
*You can hear me tell this story here.