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Monday, March 26, 2018

Aunt Leona

Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.
—Colossians 1:9 (NLT)

Aunt Leona, my grandfather’s sister was important in my life. Although I learned about God at home and in church, it was my great Aunt Leona that instilled in me a desire to really learn how to pray. It wasn't that my grandfather, Big Tom, or my grandmother, Gigi, didn’t talk to me about God. It wasn’t that my parents never shared Christ with me. They all did. Big Tom wrote songs and sang about it. Gigi had a spirit of giving. She probably gave me too many things. Daddy had a gentle spirit that with one look could reduce me to repentance. Mother read Bible stories and kept me in line by sending me to get my own stick when I needed to be punished. Each one was necessary. But Aunt Leona taught me something that has changed my life. She taught me about prayer.

 Aunt Leona kept me when I was two and three. Often each day would begin in the kitchen. She would place a huge pink crockery bowl in front of me on the table, fill it with hot water and Ivory Liquid. I'd stand in a chair. She'd hand me the egg beater, and I would turn and turn that handle until fluffy white froth poured over the edge of the bowl and streamed down on to the vinyl covered table. Laughing, she'd pick me up and hug me so tight. In the afternoon, just after lunch, she'd settle me down to rest, excuse herself to the front bedroom, and commence praying. How Aunt Leona prayed! I thought the ceiling might crash in! She cried; she sang; she rejoiced! When finished, she returned from her bedroom, face all aglow.

Her radiant face is what emerges in my mind. The joy in her eyes, although red and slightly swollen, revealed the fervency of her time in prayer. Hair tousled, apron askew, she'd smooth out the wrinkles, and I would crawl up on her lap for a Bible story. I heard about what she called "men of faith". At such as young age, I didn't really know what that meant or who they were, but her voice was soft and peaceful. It drew me into a safe cocoon. I began to desire the peace of that cocoon. I knew my Aunt Leona always brought it to me after her prayer times. As I got older I realized that I could bring it into my own life. 

Through the years I know that many have prayed for me. But I also know now that those times my Aunt Leona prayed, she was not only praying for things beyond my grasp. She was praying for me—a little girl— to one day be filled with the knowledge of God’s will through all the wisdom and understanding that He gives. She never stopped praying. Each time I hear the Holy Spirit and understand what He imparts, I know it is because my Aunt Leona cared enough to pray for me.

Who are you praying for? Don’t ever stop. God hears every prayer. They soar through the years, bringing about His purpose in the life of someone God has placed on your heart. They are never forgotten, but held by His love, to one day bring about His purpose in the life you have brought before Him. Perhaps, one day, I shall be an Aunt Leona, and others will find their purpose and their worth in the miracle of His grace. But that will never be realized if I don’t bring Him my prayers now.

© 2018 Lynn Lacher

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