What a gift to a parent! If you pray for my child, you endear yourself to me!
And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. (Luke 2:22)
Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. (Luke 2:25–26)
And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2:36–38)
This week I was introduced to the son of a good friend and fellow military wife. Her introduction of me to her son ended with, “She prays for you.” I had never met this young man, but I have prayed for him often—for a job, a relationship, a home, and most importantly, salvation. I remember the day a text came through from this mom about her son’s baptism and declaration of faith. What a day of rejoicing for answered prayer! The introduction reminded me of the dear military friends who have become like family to me. One sweet circle of friends has become known as the “Praying Aunties.” As the family of God, we have invested in each other’s children through our prayers.
The journey from Bethlehem to Jerusalem to fulfill the law of purification presents Mary and Joseph as faithful parents.1 As they entered the temple to make their offering, they encountered two elderly strangers who offered words of blessing over Jesus. Simeon and Anna were what I describe as prayer warriors. These godly prophets were regular fixtures at the temple who prayed and awaited the arrival of the Messiah. Their prayer life was obviously in tune with the Spirit of God, for they both recognized Jesus as the Messiah when Mary and Joseph entered the temple.
Once again, this family received confirmation that the strange events surrounding the birth of Jesus were not imagined. They must have found encouragement and hope as they listened to the blessing and prophecy concerning their child. This had to be a spiritual marker in their unusual parenting journey.
Anna and Simeon devoted their lives to praying in the temple for the Messiah to come. They watched for that special child who would grow up to be the Savior. Perhaps they placed a hand on the head and prayed for each child they touched. What a gift to a parent! If you pray for my child, you endear yourself to me! A more powerful group than a Band of Brothers who fights together for their nation is a Band of Mothers who prays together for their children.
Who are people who pray for your children? Write a note of gratitude to them today. How can you band together with other moms to pray for your children?
Prayer for the Journey
List the names of your friends’ children and pray for them today.
1 Darrell Bock, Baker Exegetical Commentary of the New Testament: Luke 1:1–9:50 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 1994) 235.