By Rick Hamlin
Pray for Parents
They prayed for us. Time to pray for them.
It just came out as a passing thought, but it startled me at the time. I was 18 years old and had just arrived at my college campus, all the way across the country from my parents. In those days there was no email or texting and long-distance calls were expensive, especially if you called collect. I remember a system where on Sunday nights I would ring twice and hang up. My signal for them to call back.
For Christmas that year Dad gave Mom a plane ticket to come visit me. She arrived during a snowstorm and slept in a female friend’s dorm room down the hall. I lent her my dorm towel. Many years later she told me the towel desperately needed to be washed. But she was being a good guest at the time and graciously kept her thoughts to herself.
One night after we ate in the dining hall, I brought her back to my poster-covered room. “You know I like to see where all my children live,” she said. “I like to be able to picture where they are when I pray for them.”
Mom prays for me? I thought. Now that I have kids of my own it doesn’t seem surprising at all. As soon as your child starts to walk you discover how much is out of your control, and if this beautiful offspring is going to succeed in life he or she is going to need the wise oversight of a heavenly parent.
I’ve come to accept that both Mom and Dad prayed us kids through nursery school, French, Spanish, college, road trips, parties where we did stupid things, dating, choosing a partner for life—especially that—and raising our own children. How, I often wonder, did we ever make it? Many nights Mom must have don’t some pretty creative picturing in her head to get us to the places we’ve gotten to.
Now that she has reached the age of the reigning monarch of England (no need to put down numbers), I figure it’s about time I return the favor. She’s in great shape ... oh, maybe a little stiffness in the knees. Plays a mean game of bridge. Has wonderful friends. Keeps up with the grandchildren on Facebook. But life has its challenges when you’re the age of the current queen.
Tonight, I’ll picture her before I fall asleep and say a prayer of my own. It’s about time. And if you have prayers for your parents or maybe your children who are now parents themselves, join us in a special day of prayer on June 7th. A Parents’ Day of Prayer.