Fern Nichols wrote perhaps the most encouraging chapter of this book in "Leaving a Lasting Legacy Through Prayer".
I have seen what a legacy of prayer passed down through a family can do.
My husband and his brother, both in the ministry, are a result of a legacy of prayer passed down through four generations.
My husband's great grandmother, whom we called "Granny", attended a Lutheran church. At some point, she heard someone preach who had been involved directly with the Azusa St. Revival and was saved and filled with the Spirit. As a result, she then worked to help establish a Pentecostal church in PA. Granny was a great woman of prayer. She carried a tangible presence everywhere she went. When you were around her, you noticed something very different about this woman that sometimes made you feel so very loved and other times made you feel very uncomfortable, but not because of anything she did or said because she was a woman of few words unless you asked her something.
Granny had a daughter named Evelyn, who reaped all the benefits of Granny's prayers. She became a Christian herself and a great woman of prayer. In fact, in her house, there are two spots on the hardwood floor worn a different color, where Evelyn's knees wore a spot from praying. When Evelyn said something, it was usually power packed. Evelyn was a simple person. She was a wife and mother and a wonderful cook. She had a sense of humor that could quickly light a spark of hilarious laughter in any room. But when it came to Jesus, she was all business. Evelyn, in turn, passed her prayer legacy onto her daughter, Louise, my mother in law.
I love my mother in law. She, too is a simple woman. She is a wife and mother. She married a very Godly and humble man and together they produced two sons. These boys grew up in churches where prayer was all about lingering at the altar and "praying through" until you got an answer from God. It was common for drunks to stumble into a service and deposit themselves on a back pew. When the altar call was given, they would stumble to the altar, under great conviction. There they would be joined by Granny and Evelyn and when they got up from the altar, they were completely sober and delivered from alcohol. This happened to many drug addicts as well because when my husband was a boy the "age of Aquarius" along with all the psychedelic drugs were very popular. Men and women would instantly change after going to the altar.
My husband tells me stories of sitting on the front pew watching all that was going on. People would be laying on the floor, praying, crying, seeking God and the Spirit would hit a woman who begin to spin and dance before the Lord. He watched as that woman would dance, with her eyes shut, hands in the air, looking to heaven all across the front of the church and back, her spiked heels landing literally between the outspread fingers of folks laying on the floor, never stepping on anyone.
Somehow, when Louise's sons became teenagers, the pull of the world was too much. My husband got lured away in to muscle cars and trans ams. There were many times he should have died, traveling 160 mph on back country roads, sometimes after putting back a few brews with the boys. His younger brother became a hard drinking, drug taking, womanizing truck driver with a foul mouth and a sarcastic attitude. Many, many times, both of those boys should have met their maker.
But something was happening at the home of their parents.
Every Wednesday, my husband's father fasted. He would spend the time in his bedroom praying for the salvation of his boys. They knew what he was doing and both of them had to walk past his slightly ajar door every Wednesday and listen to him pleading before God to save their souls. He did this every Wednesday for 13 years when suddenly, his oldest son, my husband, got saved. It took a few more years for the younger brother to come, but he did. Now, both boys are Pastors.
I too reaped the benefit of those prayers because a few weeks before my husband got saved, I did too.
My husband and I have four children. The legacy of prayer has continued. As a mother, and knowing what I knew of the previous generations in my husband's family, my prayer was always this:
"Lord, I can teach them your Word, I can teach them to pray, I can live Your Word in front of them but I cannot make You real to them. That is something you need to do. Lord, please meet each of them, one on one. Convince them of Your presence and draw them to yourself, just them and You til they know that they know that they know that they're saved." And God has done that for some of them. Others I'm still praying for, but I know what God has promised the righteous concerning their children and their grandchildren. My faith is in His promise."
Some of our life's circumstances have caused us to have to pray, and pray hard. Our children have been there. They have seen God move. They have seen miracles. Some of them ARE miracles.
Whether in a group or alone, prayer is power. The Bible tells us that "the prayer of a righteous man makes much power available." (Amplified version) What else do we have to do, what else do we have that is worth anything if we are not people of prayer?
Any born again believer can pray and have power with God. It is our calling. It is our privilege. It is our survival. And so, WE MUST PRAY!