Sunday, October 24, 2010


Amber asked us recently to tell the story of an answered prayer.  You can read her story and 6 others here.  I'm late, but I figured I'd tell my story anyway.

A couple years ago I came across a piece of notebook paper on which I had written a prayer for our sons who are now 30 and almost 32 years old.  I believe I wrote out the scripture prayer when they were about 9-13 years old.

"Best of friends, worst of enemies" flew off my tongue many times when Kyle and Sam were young boys as my answer to people who would ask about how they got along with each other.   They played great together for hours every day, but when they disagreed, they could, with amazing speed, employ shoves and punches to make their point.   One of them, in particular, never considered an argument won when the other one said, "I give up - you win".  The argument is not  over until the one giving up declares full acknowledgement that the victor's argument was TRUE and RIGHT!

My husband, David, has often told how a dispute during a family game of Rack-0 quickly became a boxing match, with the two boys "standing toe to toe, slugging each other".  In addition to a multitude of baseball games and practice sessions at home, our family played a lot of basketball on the front driveway and many games involved bodies slamming into bushes, or the garage wall or to the concrete driveway as a result of self-control gone awol - "FOUL!"  I often feared we would be making a trip to the hospital emergency room.   

When David tried to reassure me that our sons' highly competitive personalities would help them succeed in our very competitive society, I pleaded for him to structure  family games so our sons had to work together on the same team, instead of against each other.  I feared broken hearts more than I feared broken bones.  As the boys got older, I worried that the frequent conflict "resolved" in such physical fashion would result in unforgiveness that lodged in our sons' souls,  destroying their friendship, and infecting all of their relationships with bitterness.

So, at some point during their late elementary and middle school years I began to pray that kindness, compassion,  and forgiveness would reign in their relationship.  I took a passage from Ephesians 4, along with some other passages and prayed that they would use their tongues to encourage and build one another up, that they would get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, and slander, and that they would be "kind and compassionate, forgiving one another, just as in Christ, God forgave them."  I prayed that God would give them a great love and appreciation for each other.  For a season, I prayed that prayer every day.

Gradually that prayer got replaced by others, and one day when they were in high school, I came across that old "scripture prayer" in my handwriting, with blanks to insert my sons names, tucked away in a journal or book.  I didn't remember exactly WHEN that prayer had been answered...I knew only that our sons seemed to fully enjoy and prefer each other's company, respect each other's wisdom, and root for one another's success.  Somehow, miraculously, they had been able to forgive the many offenses against each other.  They played together on the same high school baseball team, and ended up, eventually at the same college for a year, playing baseball together there also.

Their friendship deepened far beyond the simple thoughts I had when I began praying.  I know they have a friend in their brother that many men long for, and one of my greatest joys is watching them together, whether playing with the children, discussing issues and ideas, or engaging in the raucous humor for which they are known.

A week ago, I tagged along on a brief car trip peppered with laughs and practical jokes, as the two of them drove to the start location of "The Hilly Hundred" - a group bike ride over a course that wound its way for a hundred hilly miles.  They took off together in the early morning light and pedaled back into the parking lot, hours later, still together, still talking and making jokes.  It was a great day.


  1. I love this post, because as I get to know your/my family more and more I realize how much of an impact your prayers had on your children and it encourages me to be specific and persistent in my prayers

  2. This is a very encouraging post for me. I really want my boys to love the Lord and love one another, and some days, like lately, they have gone through a fighting phase. Sigh. I really like knowing those passages you used - I love to pray Scripture over them.

  3. Carrie- I'll see if I can find that original prayer. If not, I'll do my best to list or write out the ones I used.