A Grandma Who Prayed




Did you know that grandmother elephants lead the entire herd? Join me at Beloved Prodigal this week as we share a guest blog from a son’s perspective, while my son, Sean, gives voice to a portion of his story!


Sean: I’m excited to join you today at Beloved Prodigal because I know first-hand the power a praying mother/grandmother has for their prodigal children and grandchildren. What an incredible role they play! No matter what I have faced over the years, I knew Mom and Grandma were always praying for me. They didn’t give up on me or judge me for my faults but they led me to the Father with encouraging words and direction.

This week, my daughters and I learned an incredible fact about elephant herds. We learned that grandmother elephants lead the entire herd! They are the experts at finding food and water and they tell the herd where to go. In other words, they direct the traffic!

It might be funny to talk about grandmother elephants on a prodigal blog, but I couldn’t help but think about a similar role God has given our mothers/ spiritual mothers and grandmothers/ spiritual grandmothers for their families. It’s their prayers, directions, and persistence that lead the family to spiritual food and water.

May you be filled with hope as you pray for your families and lead them to everlasting water. Your love and encouragement will impact them in ways that others can’t. A big thank you to my Mom, my spiritual mothers, and my grandmothers for your wonderful leadership in my life.


Sean as a baby, with his Dad and his Grandma Gilbert

Bettie: When I read over my son’s words, I wept as I remembered a distant time when Sean’s Grandma (my husband’s Mom) called me with a very specific question. Her heart was heavy, almost desperate, for her children and her grandchildren, and she longed for Scripture promises to pray over them.

I told her I would pray and call her back (long distance phone calls were not cheap back then!) And just a few weeks ago, I found the notes in my old journal that I had shared with her in that return phone call so many years ago:

“I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.” Isaiah 44:3 NIV
“the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.” Proverbs 11:21

But Sean’s Grandma did not know the trials and the wandering time that Sean would face not long after she and I prayed together. He was only a young teen then. Grandma Gilbert’s life on earth was ended just a year later when a tragic car accident left her fatally wounded. We all thought we had more time with her.

But Jesus knew the things that she needed to speak while she was still with us. Jesus knew the truths that Sean needed to hear from her, truths that feel prophetic now all these years later. In fact, the words were not what he wanted to hear when he was younger. He fought against them, and told me that he was NOT going to be what she said he would be.

What had she said? “Sean, I think you will be a preacher some day.”

Two weeks from now, Sean and his wife and four young daughters will all be heading to Guyana, South America, to join the staff at Youth-With-A-Mission, where preaching will be part of his assignment. Oh, yes, the Lord knew how to speak into a young one’s life through the love and the words of a praying Grandma.

In a stack of books I found when we were cleaning out her home, I found her well-worn copy of Prayer by O. Hallesby. And these words were underlined, and smeared with tear stains:

“To pray is nothing more involved than to lie in the sunshine of His grace, to expose our distress of body and soul to those healing rays which can in a wonderful way counteract and render ineffective the bacteria of sin. To be a man or woman of prayer is to take this sun-cure, to give Jesus, with His wonder-working power, access to our distress night and day.”

Jesus will hear our every distress, and bring His power into every word we pray, because He is our only cure!  Weary Mom or Grandma, will you join us as we pray?

“Dear Jesus, We come before you now and lay our distress before you. Help us to give our desperate hearts openly to you. Thank you that you hear every cry, and you long to meet every word with your amazing might and power. Thank you that your Word is life and breath to us. We hold tightly to those promises you have given to us. Grant us eyes of faith to believe that you will rescue our sons and our daughters. Help us to hold onto your Word that tells us the seed of the righteous will be delivered. We cling to you as our only righteousness here in this place today. In your precious name we pray, Jesus, Amen.

(This post was originally shared with “The Beloved Prodigal” Community.)


Sean and his wife Gina have a lovely website that details more of their story and their mission to Guyana. You can visit their site, GilbertYwamFam by clicking here.  And I know they would appreciate your prayers as they step out in obedience to God.  Join me back here next week,  when I will be sharing Gina’s story of how the Lord has been working in her heart!


You may remember the Give-away that I hosted last week, for a copy of the new book Finding Purpose, by Cindee Snider Re.  Victor Mousbarak, the original winner, has generously chosen to give his book to another winner who lives within the U.S., since he lives “across the pond,” in England.  So, Brenda Bradford Ottinger, you are the winner chosen over at Random.org.  I will be contacting you for the best shipping address to send your book to!


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13 thoughts on “A Grandma Who Prayed

  1. Dear Bettie, this is such an inspiring and heartwarming story! I loved hearing about the ways God has moved in your family in response to a grandmother’s faithful prayers. It just shows that we should keep on praying, even if answers are slow to come or we don’t see them in our lifetime. Because God hears every single one and brings about His purposes on earth at just the right time. May that thought console you too as you pray for the prodigals you know and others who you have a heart to remember in this way. Blessings and love to you, lovely praying friend! xoxo 💜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Joy, Yes, I am still overwhelmed when I think of how sweet the Lord is to let us share in His heart as we join in praying. What a blessed gift we have when we can see the answers to those prayers. His faithfulness leads us on to keep trusting, as we look at all of the burdens that still weigh heavy. Oh may I continue to learn more about trusting Him through the valleys and the mountains both. Blessings, love and hugs to you too my dear praying sister! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Betti, enjoyed reading your sons testimony about the power of prayer. Several years ago we too had a prodigal son. He walked out on his wife and two children to live for himself. There is no other place to go when your heart is broken if one wants to be the light in their life. He lived with us for two years but with strict guidelines, don’t bring your sin in our house. We ask him what is your guidelines, he said, do not ask me to church, and we didn’t. But we begin to seek the hounds of heaven on him as he lived for himself. I ask everyone and I mean everyone I knew to pray this way, God make him miserable , every day bring something in to remind him of your love. And he became more miserable daily and two years later he and his wife remarried and he now walks with the Lord again. We knew God loved him more than we did so we let Him speak into Jared life through many others. They still struggles with the same issues that were there before but flesh does not go away when you get out of the pig pen. It’s been wonderful watching them grow and mature and being a part of their lives. Love this post,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Betty, Isn’t it amazing how deeply God will work when we are silent? His love is truly like that hound of heaven, and will not ever leave us. I am so thankful that the Lord called your son back home into His arms! And, isn’t it the truth that we all still have our own fleshly struggles? What beautiful grace our Lord offers to us! And, yes, it is such a great gift to be able to join with each other in praying for those loved ones. Thank you for sharing your story. May the Lord bring blessing to you today!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This was such a blessing to read, Bettie; a praying mother (and grandmother too) wields power that can change lives and destinies. We should use this power more. Thanks for sharing. Blessings to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Boma, I am so thankful that the Lord brought you blessing here. Isn’t His way of working through our prayers such a mystery? Yes I agree, we do need to be more aware of His power that moves through praying! Blessings to you!


    1. Dear Ifeoma, I am so thankful for the Lord’s comfort that He lets us share with each other! I am so in awe of the way that He remembers each and every prayer offered up to Him! May we continue to join arms with Him and with each other for those young ones who come after us! Love and Hugs to you!


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