I was pleasantly surprised by the many unexpected responses I got on last week’s piece, “From Father to Son, A Lesson.” I was surprised because, as I mentioned in my introduction, the story had made the rounds of cyberspace for several weeks, and is still ‘trending’. And it was pleasant because many readers who I wouldn’t expect to have been impacted by so simple a yarn, were indeed impacted, as I was. Alhamdu lilLah.
The unexpected aspect was that many of my Christian compatriots wrote on last week’s piece saying they didn’t see it anywhere else until I ‘downloaded’ it onto my page. That means the story was mainly circulating in Muslim Cyberia all this time. I now realise, though not very surprised (as a student of communication), that even our social media usage is moderated by our beliefs and cultures, and it seems cyberspace, despite its ‘democracy’ and pervasiveness, is yet to break some of our barriers.
Having ‘treated’ ‘Father’ last week, this week it is about ‘Mother’. It is yet another of those simple, uplifting and inspirational old-age wisdom on the efficacy of a Mother’s Prayer. The story is still making its rounds in cyberspace, and I also got it, like last week’s, from a multitude and a variety of sources. I am therefore only ‘forwarding’ it to our traditional non-social media readers, and also to Christian compatriots, as this is also from mainly Muslim Cyberia.
It is the hope of this Column that, at the end of it, a lesson is learnt, and ‘Mother’ (everyone’s Mother) is further appreciated. May Mother be blessed, and may the original author(s) of this and similar stories be divinely rewarded.
The story, which I call “From Mother to Son, A Prayer”, is narrated by a third person. And as the currency ‘rupee’ is frequently mentioned in the tale, it may well be situated on the India-Pakistan area. And as always, the story has been edited for space. Enjoy:
It was near Iftar during Ramadan. I had gone out to buy some fruits. I saw a small fruit stand nearby and went near it. A small noticeboard was hanging from the top of the stand. On it was written “My mother is very old and ill, and there is no one else to take care of her. So I, your fruit-seller, am at home attending to her. Below are the prices for a kilogramme, and fraction thereof, of each fruit. Please pick whatever you want, weigh it on the scale and put the money under the green doormat-like pad I kept under the stand. And if you need the fruits and don’t have the money to pay for them, please take them anyway, and pray for my mother’s wellbeing. And Allah is the Best Sustainer.”
I weighed two kilogrammes of apples, grabbed another dozen bananas and put them in a shopping bag. After checking the price list, I counted out the money from my wallet, lifted the mentioned pad and placed it among several other notes of various denominations, as well as many coins. I looked around to see if anyone was watching, but there was none. I was intrigued as I picked up my purchase and returned home. I narrated the fruit stand story to my brother.
After Iftar, my brother and I went back to that stall just in time to find the owner packing up, about to leave. He was a middle aged man, the grey in his beard peeking out from among the black. We greeted him and he smiled at us as he said “Sorry, no more fruits left, Sirs. Come back tomorrow.” We asked his name. He said, “Hussain”. A few minutes later, we had become friends and were having tea all three of us at a nearby teashop.
We asked him of his business. He told us, “My mother has been bedridden for the past three years. She is very old and paralysed, and she sometimes shows signs of Alzheimer’s. My own wife has passed away and I have no children of my own. So there is no one to look after my mother and I have to do it all the time.
“One day”, he continued his story, “I said to my mother while massaging her feet, ‘Mother, I want to take care of you more than anything else in the world, but my pockets are empty. You said you don’t want me to leave your side. You said you feel extremely anxious and worried when I go anywhere. So Mother, what I should I do? Where will we get food from?’
“My mother tried to sit up with difficulty, so I adjusted her pillow and had her rest against it. She raised her wrinkled face and trembling hands in a silent supplication, but I didn’t hear what she asked Allah. Then she told me ‘Just load your cart with fruits and leave the stall by the roadside. You will get your food while sitting in this very room, in sha Allah.’
“I said, ‘Mother, what are you talking about? If I leave the stall there, somebody will come and steal everything on it. No one cares about other people these days. Who will actually pay for the fruit when the shopkeeper isn’t there?’
“She said, ‘Don’t argue with me. Allah will take care. After Fajr, fill your stall with fruits, leave them at the roadside and come back to me. And in the evening bring back the empty stall. If you lose any money, then I will cry to Allah to pay back every single rupee of it, in sha Allah.’
“Brother”, he continued the tale, “it has been two and a half years since then. I take the stall in the morning and bring back the empty cart in the evening. I have not lost a single rupee. In fact, many people often pay more than is due. I usually make about 4,000 rupees more than I would according to the current prices of the fruits. Some people also leave flowers for my mother. A few days ago a girl left a dish of food with a card saying ‘for your mother’.
“A doctor also left his business card that had a note on the back saying ‘Uncle, if your mother is falls very ill, call me and I will come personally pick her up from her house.’ A pilgrim visited my stall and left a packet of Ajwa dates. A couple came to buy fruit and left a dress suit for my mother. Every day things like these are given to me along with my money. My mother doesn’t let me leave, and Allah doesn’t let the blessings stop.
“Not only is Allah the best Sustainer, He is also the Best Retailer. He sells my fruits for a premium, because my mother prayed that silent prayer to Him. And even though now we can afford to hire some help, I prefer to continue taking care of mother in sha Allah.”
And this to my Christian friends: “A man came to Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) and said to him, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet said. ‘Your mother.’ The man said, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said, ‘Then your mother.’ The man further asked, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: ‘Then your mother.’ The man asked again, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said, ‘Then your father.’
And the Prophet (upon whom be peace) also said, ‘Your Heaven lies under the feet of your mother.’
May Allah forgive our mothers, our mothers, our mothers, and then our fathers, and then us.
We love our sons so much and desire God’s greatest blessings and guidance on their lives. We spend endless hours caring for, teaching, helping, training, protecting and encouraging that we often miss out on one of the greatest resources God has given us to lead them – prayer. The below prayers for your son cover many topics such as self worth, protection, purity and wisdom. These will equip you for the battle against Satan’s attacks and give you discernment for handling situations that arise. You can cast your cares on Jesus and find peace in God’s favor and love for your son as you speak these prayers!
- 1 1. A prayer for your sons discernment
- 2 2. A prayer for your own wisdom
- 3 3. A prayer for a son who has turned from God
- 4 4. Scriptural prayers for your son
- 5 5. A prayer for your sons relationships and influences
- 6 6. A birthday prayer for your son
- 7 7. A prayer for your sons body image and purity
- 8 8. A prayer for your sons self worth
- 9 9. Prayer for your sons purity
- 10 10. A prayer for protection over your son
- 11 11. A prayer for your sons view of money and possessions
1. A prayer for your sons discernment
Lord, I pray that my son will develop an eternal perspective and purpose, not an earthly one. Help him to see life–and every challenge–through Your eyes, eager and unafraid to share with others the good news of Jesus wherever he goes. I pray that they will set his minds on things above, not just what’s going on here, and that he will be rooted and grounded in Your love. I pray that he will come to understand the extent of Your own love for him–that it surpasses all the head knowledge they will acquire in school. I pray he will be filled up with You from morning ’til night.
~ Rebecca Barlow Jordan
2. A prayer for your own wisdom
Lord, Your Word says “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). Lord, I need that kind of wisdom to know when to speak to my son and when to be silent. “Do not let any unwholesome talk, lecturing, judging, or accusing come of my mouth, but only what is helpful for building my son up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph. 4:29). Let me also be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for my anger doesn’t bring about the righteous life that God desires” (James 1:19).
~ Cindi McMenamin
3. A prayer for a son who has turned from God
Dear God,You know our hearts, you hear our prayers, and care about all that concerns us. You understand the burden we carry and how we want, more than anything, to see our loved ones come to you. Help us to remember that you love them more than we ever could. And you desire to extend your great love and forgiveness, your mercy and hope. Thank you that nothing is too difficult for you. Thank you that your power is unlimited and you came to set the captives free. Thank you that you wait, arms open, for the prodigal to return, that you look for his arrival to lavishly celebrate that he’s come home. We praise you for you are Redeemer and Rescuer, Savior and Lord. We know and believe that there’s no pit so deep that your love can’t reach us still. We understand that your mercies are new every morning, and your faithfulness is great.
Lord, we ask that you would halt the plans of the enemy over these we love as we bring them before you right now. We pray that his schemes be demolished and that your plans for good, for a future and hope, would prevail. Would you open blind eyes that they might see your Truth. Would you rescue those walking in darkness and heal the deep wounds of those who’ve been hurt.
We pray for the miraculous intervention of your Spirit to draw them to yourself, to work strong on behalf of our loved ones who are lost and wandering. For you came with good news, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for captives and release for the prisoners. Though we deserved penalty for our wrong, you stood in our place and took the blows on our behalf. You choose to die, so that we can live. Forever and free.
Lord, forgive our unbelief. Forgive the times we’ve doubted that you could ever change a distant heart. Forgive our hard-heartedness, our weariness, or forgetfulness to “pray continually.” Thank you that you never give up on us. Remind us of how you’ve changed our own hearts. How your miracle of life and hope has sprung up deep within our souls. We love you Lord, we need you, and we thank you that you hear our prayers and are at work even now. Powerfully. Faithfully. Miraculously. Thank you for the gift of our Savior, God with us. Thank you for your goodness and love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
~ Debbie McDaniel
4. Scriptural prayers for your son
1. Create in my son a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within him (Psalm 51:10).
2. May my son walk after You, God, and fear You and keep Your commandments and obey Your voice. May he serve You and hold fast to You (Deuteronomy 13:4).
3. May my son be strong and courageous and not fear or be in dread, for it is You, Lord, our God, who goes with him. You will never leave him or forsake him (Deuteronomy 31:6).
4. May my son walk before You, God, as King David walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that You have commanded him, and keeping Your statutes and rules (1 Kings 9:4).
5. Like Timothy, may my son be an example to believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12).
~ Brooke McGlothlin, Proverbs 31 Ministries
5. A prayer for your sons relationships and influences
First, oh Lord, forgive us for the times when we have misplaced our priorities so that we haven’t been available to model a strong relationship with You in front of our kids. Help us to understand the power of our influence in our children’s lives and to reorder our schedule so that we can be available to both directly and indirectly offer the godly influence that our sons desperately need.
Second, while we do pray that our sons would be protected from negative influences, we also pray that you would surround them with friendships and mentor-type relationships that portray what it means to have an authentic relationship with Christ. In turn, we pray that you would raise our sons up to be the influencers of the next generation. We pray that you would allow godliness and righteousness to dwell in their hearts so richly that these evidences of your truth spill out of them and to every person they encounter.
Through it all, we pray that they would not be prone to laziness or complacency, but that they would believe that even a single candle burning in the dark makes a difference and would boldly stand up for truth, even when it’s unpopular.
~ Alicia Michelle
6. A birthday prayer for your son
Dear Lord, on this day that we celebrate ________’s birth, I pray for blessings and joy over ________. You knew everything about him before his birth and You have a plan of prosperity and hope for his life! Let him feel confident and ready for the year ahead knowing that You have an order to his steps and a purpose for his life. Help him to find joy in every circumstance in life, knowing that You work all things out for good. I thank You for ________, for loving him with unconditional love, and for the promises You have spoken over his life. In Jesus Name, Amen.
7. A prayer for your sons body image and purity
Dear Jesus, we weep with you over the number of our kids who are buying into the lie that sexual pleasure is something to experiment with. We pray that our sons would treasure their sexuality as a true gift from You, and that they would honor that gift by saving it as a precious treasure to give their future spouse. We ask that you would help them to be strong in the face of their own desires and that they would choose purity in the face of temptation.
Lord we also ask that you’d protect our sons from the idea that they must do anything and everything (including abusing their bodies through eating disorders, drug abuse, or other harmful behaviors) in order to attaining a “preferred” shape or figure. We pray you’d protect our sons from that kind of destructive thinking, and that if they’re tempted to take these kind of drastic measures, that you’d send someone in their lives to stop them. Help them to remember over and over that their identity is not in how they look on the outside but what you see as their potential and worth on the inside.
We pray that our children would treasure their health as a gift from God and that they would have a passion to eat nutritious food and to stay active in order to do their part to take care of this treasure.
~ Alicia Michelle
8. A prayer for your sons self worth
Dear Jesus, help my son know that we are all born as sinners and separated from God because of our wicked hearts. However, at an early age, him grasp the life-transforming concept that he does not have to live as a sinner under that condemnation.
Teach my son that he has the opportunity to accept a new, beautiful identity that is called “good,” not because of what he has done or what he looks like, but because he is secure in who YOU say they are: treasured, delightful, known and protected. Let him not place their self-worth in accomplishments he may or may not achieve, but let him discover these deeper truths about who You believe he is and build every decision he makes on that sure foundation.
~ Alicia Michelle
9. Prayer for your sons purity
Lord, I pray that You will create in my son a clean heart and that You would constantly renew a right spirit within him, keeping his thoughts and actions pure and motivated by love. Guard him from temptation, and let him know You are always faithful to give him a way out and help to endure. May the words of his mouth and the meditations of his heart always please you and edify others.
~ Rebecca Barlow Jordan
10. A prayer for protection over your son
Lord, I pray Your emotional, physical, and spiritual protection over my son. Keep evil far from him, and help him to trust You as his refuge and strength. I pray You will guard his mind from harmful instruction, and grant him discernment to recognize truth. I pray You will make him strong and courageous in the presence of danger, recognizing that You have overcome and will set right all injustice and wrong one day. Help him to find rest in Your shadow, as he lives in the spiritual shelter You provide for him. Let him know that the only safe place is in Jesus,and that his home on earth is only temporary.
~ Rebecca Barlow Jordan
11. A prayer for your sons view of money and possessions
Heavenly Father, help us to model a healthy example of how to handle possessions and money. Help us to work hard, but to not wear ourselves out in order to get rich so that our children can witness a positive, godly view of hard work and the pursuit of success.
We pray that our sons would persevere in whatever vocation you give them and that they would work with cheerful hearts as if they were serving you directly.
We pray that our sons would see at an early age that money and possessions are a gift from You and thus must be always held with an open hand so that You can use those gifts to bless others.
We ask that our sons would find their value in their true identity as a child of You, not in the possessions they do or do not have. We pray for contentment and gratefulness in whatever situation they’re given—rich or poor. We pray they would have a steadfast commitment to work hard with the talents you’ve given them so that they could support themselves, their families and use their money as a way to bless others in need.
Ultimately, we pray that they would discover that the greatest “wealth” they could possess would be in relationships, especially in a relationship with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
~ Alicia Michelle
We hope these prayers have been able to guide your thoughts and calm your soul as you seek God’s will for your son. Join other moms who are praying for their sons in the comments below and experience the power of a praying community. Gain support and encouragement for the work that God has called you to!
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.
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Our journey is almost over
but yours, my son, has just begun.
As we finish up on this roller coaster of a ride
You will soon begin a new kind of ride.
You left a lost young lad,
who didn’t know which way to go
but now I see you returning
a fine young man. who knows what
direction to go.
I can see within your letters
the pride you now hold,
The pride of becoming a United States Marine!
Go and serve your country now, my son,
as a Marine’s job is never done.
Though as your Mother,
I will never stop worrying about you,
or wonder what you might be doing.
Are you hungry,
or even hurt?
I pray each and every day until I can see your handsome face.
Go and do what needs to be done
then come back home safely to all that hold you dear.
You will always be within my heart even though we will now be apart.
I am so very proud of you my son, because
of what you have gone and done.
You’re a Marine now, my son!
Very Proud mom of Mike
Platoon # 2103
Oct 22, 2008
Tomorrow was Thanksgiving, but I sure didn’t feel grateful. Dragging myself around the kitchen, I pulled my chocolate-swirled cheesecake out of the oven and set it on the counter to cool.
Not even its sweet aroma could get me in the holiday mood. It just made me think of my teenage son, Patrick, and how much he used to love digging into a thick slice. But he wouldn’t be at the table at my parents’ house. He didn’t want to have anything to do with me.
He had been giving me the silent treatment for nearly two and a half years. He was 15 when his father and I divorced, and he blamed me for it. The day I moved out, my daughter, Lindsey, came with me. Patrick didn’t. He didn’t even say goodbye. Whenever I called, he barely spoke.
He blocked my e-mails. I invited him over for his favorite, sloppy joes–he ignored me. The only time I saw him was when I caught a glimpse of him driving his pickup truck around town, or when I dropped by the feed store where he worked.
I’d hoped that he could put aside his anger for Thanksgiving–didn’t he want to tease his little sister and fill up on turkey with cornbread dressing? But instead he volunteered to work at the store for his boss.
Patrick and I used to do everything together. I hadn’t gone back to work after he was born. I’d strap him in a pouch on my back when I took long hikes in the woods. I pulled him around in a little red wagon until we wore out the rubber wheels.
I baked for his holiday parties at school, read aloud to his class and chaperoned their field trips. After all those years of being such a big part of my son’s life, how was I supposed to be satisfied with getting tidbits about him from his sister?
Lord, I miss Patrick so much, I prayed. Can’t you help me be his mom again? Friends suggested buying him little gifts, or offering to take him out to dinner. I tried everything. But each attempt seemed to push him further away. Like the last time I’d seen him, a few weeks back…
That afternoon, fed up with all the ignored calls and e-mails, I’d driven to the feed store and found his pickup truck unlocked. I climbed in and waited for him to get off work. He can’t ignore me here. Maybe we can finally talk, I thought.
But when Patrick came out and saw me in the front seat, his expression turned stony.
He slid behind the wheel. “Can you get out, please?” he said. It was more a statement than a question.
“Can we talk, Patrick?” I pleaded.
“I’m going to say it once more–please get out, Mother.” I shook my head. “Then do me a favor and lock both doors before you leave,” he snapped, sliding back out, slamming the door behind him. He climbed into a friend’s car and they sped away.
I sat there for a moment, shaking. Then I got out, pressed the lock button and slowly shut the door. Why did it feel like I was closing the door on a lot more than his truck?
No wonder I don’t feel thankful, I thought now, washing the cake batter from my bowls. What was it that my pastor had said last Sunday? He’d started out quoting I Thessalonians, “In everything give thanks.” Everything?
“Instead of asking God for things you want, try thanking him for what he’s given you,” he’d suggested. Okay, I thought, as I put the dishes in the rack to dry, what blessings had I overlooked in my desperation to reconnect with my son?
I could be thankful for all the time I’d spent with Patrick as he was growing up. I could be thankful that he was a good kid, that he was working hard in school, that he had some close friends.
I could be thankful for Lindsey and how supportive she’d been, and for the strong relationship she had with Patrick. I could be thankful that we were all healthy. There was a lot to remember. I decided to add thankfulness to my prayers.
Thanksgiving morning, before I even got out of bed, I said a prayer of gratitude. Thank you, Lord, for another day, I began. Thank you for this home. Thank you for my parents. Thank you for my daughter. And thank you…thank you for my son.
An idea nudged me. Reach out to Patrick. But what if he pushed me away again? Reach out. I sorted through a stack of greeting cards and found a blank one. “I love you more than you can ever imagine. Always,”
I wrote. “Happy Thanksgiving.” Then Lindsey and I got ready, packed up the cheesecake and got into the car. “I just need to make one stop,” I told her.
I pulled up to the feed store and went in. There was Patrick, stacking some feed bags. He looked stressed, tired. All I wanted to do was sweep him into my arms. But I kept it low-key. “Here,” I said, handing him the card. “Happy Thanksgiving!”
He opened it up and read it. Was that a little smile on his face? “Tell Grandma and Grandpa hello for me,” he said. I nodded and waved as I climbed back in the car. Did he just open up a little? I caught myself. Don’t get your hopes up.
I stuck with my morning prayers of gratitude, and even thanked God for little things throughout the day.
I opened up a new e-mail account and wrote Patrick chatty notes–light stuff, about Lindsey’s unsociable hamster, who always hid in his cage. Or my attempt to replace the bulb in my porch light–only to discover a long rat snake coiled on top of it.
I ended each with, “I love you, Mom.” Was he reading them? I had no clue. But at least he wasn’t blocking them.
A couple of weeks after Thanksgiving, the doorbell rang. It was Patrick. He gave me an awkward smile. “Can I come in?” he asked.
I asked about school. “Goin’ good,” he replied. How was his girlfriend? “She’s good too,” Patrick said. Not much, but it was a start.
“How about coming over for some sloppy joes later this week?” I asked hesitantly.
“Can I bring a friend?” he asked.
“Sure,” I said.
The dinner went pretty well. It still felt odd between us, like two people who recognized each other but didn’t know from where. Then, Christmas Eve, I got the best gift ever: Patrick joined Lindsey and me at my parents’ house!
Patrick started coming over for dinner every week. On his 18th birthday, I invited him to bring his friends too. I made sloppy joes, of course.
The kids sat in the backyard around my outdoor fireplace, eating, talking and laughing. The kind of scene I never imagined could be possible that Thanksgiving Day five months earlier.
Patrick looked over and leaned toward me. “Thank you, Mom,” he said quietly. My heart soared.
Right then and there I said a silent thank-you to God. For giving me a son, and for giving me a chance to be his mother again.
Read more stories about prayer.