The Legacy of a Praying Mom

Monday’s Breaking Bread

Welcome to Monday’s Breaking Bread. Today, Bettie is sharing about her Grandma’s legacy of prayer. May the Lord open our hearts to receive and be encouraged by His Word today.

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The Legacy of a Praying Mom

I tenderly opened the journal, and its pages almost crumbled in my hands. It’s over 100 years old, after all!  And there I saw the handwriting that tells the owner’s name: Mabel Salsbury Dohm, my Father’s Mother.

And I cried as I read her opening Scripture:

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20

For you see, I know a part of her story that makes that verse so very valuable.  But maybe I should back up a little, and explain how I know these things, since Mabel died almost a decade before I was born.

I grew up hearing about Grandma Mabel, and what a Godly woman she was.  She was the second wife of my Dad’s Father, after his first wife died, and she, who was known as a beloved Sunday School Teacher soon found out that a pre-teen stepson was a bigger handful than a room of docile Sunday School children.  My Dad told us that this petite little woman wasn’t afraid to be stern when firmness was required, and she had soon won the affection of her new stepson.  

Not too many years later, and their home was filled with the addition of a new son, my Uncle Murlin, and four years later my Dad was born, the baby of the family.  These were the early 1920’s and modern day medicine was still a long way off. So when my Father contracted polio, the family all huddled together to do anything they could to save his life.  But my Grandma Mabel was a woman of prayer, and she sought God to preserve her son’s life.  A miracle happened on the darkest night, and my Father was fully healed, with only a paralysis of his eye movements!

But the bigger prayer life that consumed my Grandma Mabel was for the Spiritual lives of her sons.  This quote in her journal went deep in my heart as I read it:

O Lord, cleanse us! O Lord, keep us! O Lord, accept of our persons and services, through Him who is our ‘strength’ and our ‘Redeemer.’

My Dad would tell me how his Mom prayed for him during all his years of wandering. And when he returned to the Lord as a young adult, Mabel only lived a few more years, dying from complications a few years after she fell and broke her hip.

But what about the prayers for her other son, my Dad’s older brother? Did she see him return to the Lord before she died?  No, my Uncle Murlin spent a life of wandering for over 70 years.  He filled up his days with anything that would keep his mind occupied and distracted away from God.  

How does a soul so hardened by years of running ever return?

Where can the sound of that knocking on the heart’s door finally be heard?

My Uncle Murlin faced a life-threatening illness, and lay sick in the hospital, receiving treatment, when my older brother visited him in the late 1980’s. My brother David had a way of getting to the heart of the matter with people, and he prayed with my Uncle Murlin, as he found his way back to Jesus.  

But the part of this story that fills my Praying Heart with such hope is what Uncle Murlin shared with anyone who would listen during his last months and days on earth.  Do you remember the dark night when Grandma Mabel prayed over her young son, facing death from polio?  My Uncle Murlin came into the room as she was praying that night, and held something in his heart about that for over 70 years.  He saw a light, brighter than anything he had ever seen before, enveloping his Mom and his little brother, as he stood in the background and listened to her prayers.  He knew that he was seeing Heaven stoop down and heal his little brother.  But his heart ran from that truth all those years.

Until the time for his returning was full.

Until the time that he heard the knocking of Jesus on his heart’s door.

Are you weary in your prayers for your wandering prodigal? Are you fearful that your prayers have gone on too long to be effective?  My Grandma Mabel’s prayers did not go unanswered. Even though it took 70 years for them to be made visible, the Glory of God could not be contained!  He will restore and He will rescue those loved ones we are praying for today.  As I sat with my Grandma Mabel’s precious words, the Lord took them deeper in my heart. I pray they bless you today:

O Lord, cleanse us!

From the sins of the world

From the sins of our hearts

From the plague of this age,

O Lord, cleanse us!

We are crying for our children,

We are crying for our neighbors,

We are crying for ourselves,

We are crying for this world.

How long, O Lord,

Until our prayers

Are fulfilled?

How long, O Lord,

Until You answer

Our cries?

O Lord, keep us!

Our hearts are weary

Our arms are tired

As we carry the burden

As we are tempted to quit

O Lord, keep us!

Our only Strength

Our only Redeemer

Accept our prayers

Accept our service to You

As we lift Holy Words to you

The Shepherd who stands at the door


28 thoughts on “The Legacy of a Praying Mom

Add yours

  1. This is so beautiful. I don’t have journals, but I have Bibles belonging to my grandparents and great grandma Becky. I don’t have evidence written, but I know my great grandma prayed for me!


    1. Dear Lisa,
      What a wonderful gift to have those Bibles that were passed down to you! I have some Bibles that were passed down also, and it is amazing to think about my Mom or Dad holding those same pages as they read each day with the Lord. And isn’t it encouraging to think about those prayers that were offered on our behalf? I don’t want to forget how important that is! Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so thankful you found the Lord’s beauty here today, Linda! When we walk with the Lord, and He has us look back to see those who have gone before us, praying His Kingdom over us, there is such an encouragement to continue that blessing for those who come after us, isn’t there? Blessings to you!


  2. Bettie, this is so beautiful and inspiring. It encourages me to keep on praying for my prodigal family members. Your praying grandmother legacy is a true blessing.


    1. Dear Delores, I am so grateful that the Lord brought encouragement to you here, to keep praying for your prodigal family members. My heart is just so touched that He allows us to pray for each other on this journey of praying Moms! Your prayers are so important for your loved ones! And I think that those who have gone before us are also rejoicing as we now pass along that praying heart. Blessings to you!


  3. Such a beautiful lesson about prayer! What a gift that you were left with Grandma Mabel’s journal to catch a glimpse into who she was and how important God was in her life. I wish I had pieces of my legacy such as a journal.

    I have been fascinated with how you have been digging into your history and finding such rich nuggets to glean lessons from God. Blessings on your week!


    1. Dear Mary,
      Yes, I am so thankful for the treasures that God is revealing as I look back. And He has been bringing such convictions to my heart, as I realize even more the “great cloud of witnesses” that travel along with us on this journey. While they may have gone on before us, the fruit of their prayers still lingers over us. Oh, may I give Him more access to my own heart and prayers now too. Blessings to you my friend!


  4. This brings tears to my eyes, Bettie. What a testimony that God answers prayer even after we are gone! That you have that journal is so special and makes this story even more meaningful. Thank you for sharing this story and your moving poem/prayer and encouraging my heart. Love and hugs to you!


    1. Dear Trudy,
      I am so very thankful that the Lord brought encouragement to you, even as He brought encouragement to me also! That quote of Grandma Mabel’s seemed to beckon me to let the Lord write a personal thought & poem for today. And, as I said to Mary above, His convictions came along with His words. May we continue to offer our hearts and our prayers fully to Him! Love and hugs to you dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, what a precious story! Oh, it truly touched my heart! What a Godly woman your Grandma Mabel was! Her lasting legacy will follow all of you all the days of your lives. Oh, how it makes me see anew how direly important it is that we intercede for our children and loved ones! It may take years for those prayers to be answered and realized, but what if your Grandma Mabel hadn’t prayed? What if you and I fail to pray? Who will suffer? What souls will be lost for eternity? God help us to be faithful at our post of duty…it is our time now, and so many depend upon our prayers. Thank you for your many prayers for my family and me, sweet friend. God bless you abundantly! I am praying for you, too, and sending hugs!


    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Oh, yes you are so right that we need to see how important our prayers really are. And when we stop and ask ourselves, what happens when we don’t pray? We will miss out on God’s blessings to join HIM as He calls those lost ones to His heart! Oh may we both cling to Him in these hard days, and continue to lift our voices up to Him. I think we will be surprised in Heaven when we see the beauty of all of those prayers that have gone on thru the years! I appreciate your prayers for me also, so much my friend! Love and Hugs to you!


  6. Beautiful and encouraging post, Bettie. To have and read such a journal is a precious gift. Thank you for sharing it with us all. May we be ever praying for we never know when our prayers will be answered. This post blessed me deeply!


    1. Dear Joanne, Thank you for you kind and encouraging words. I am so grateful that the Lord is sharing the comfort that He brought to me through my Grandma Mabel’s writing–most of her words were handwritten, copied sermons! And you are right, that it is such an incredible gift to see where her heart was drawn. How I long to let the Lord keep drawing my heart to Him through prayer also. Blessings to you


  7. Dear Joy, Oh your thoughts here are so encouraging, as I pray about: “continuing to lift our beloved prodigals to the Lord and letting Him decide what positive legacy of faith might ensue from our own faithfulness.” Sometimes I get so discouraged when I don’t see the exact answer for them that I was asking for, but yet I need to let HIM decide where that legacy of faith, and ongoing prayers, are going to be used in their lives. And, along with that healing of my Dad which the Lord brought about, my older brother just reminded me of a healing that Grandma Mabel herself underwent when she was a young girl! We just cannot see the lasting effect that God’s miracles have upon us! And, what a sweet memory from the Lord, in reminding you of a touch of His love upon your life, even before you were aware of him, as that music of a Christian singer was listened to in your home! I almost decided against that song, but it was a favorite of my Dad’s when he thought about his mother. I am so thankful that Anna felt we should keep it! Much love and hugs to you my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Bettie, this is such an inspiring story woven into the fabric of your family history! What a marvellous, faithful woman of prayer your grandma was and how persistent too in not ever giving up on those she cared for and loved. It teaches us so much about doing just that ourselves, continuing to lift our beloved prodigals to the Lord and letting Him decide what positive legacy of faith might ensue from our own faithfulness. And to think your father’s marvellous miracle of healing helped to birth you and your own faith into existence!
    I so enjoy hearing about your family history. Have you thought of documenting it in a book for future generations? I was also taken back to my youth with the Jim Reeves song. Although my parents were unbelievers, my father was pretty keen on Jim Reeves’ music. It defined many a Sunday afternoon in my childhood. Thank you for sharing these precious memories and beautiful, heartfelt prayer. xoxo


    1. Dear Lynn,
      Oh yes, I am so thankful for the example of a praying heart that Grandma Mabel set for me, and for those who came after her. May I seek to follow with a heart lifted up in prayer too!


    1. Hi Vickie,
      Oh, isn’t God’s timing so perfect? And you are so right–this praying that God puts on our hearts is so important! There are so many needs, and so many hurting souls that He calls us to join with Him to pray for. We so often don’t realize the effect that our prayers have! Thank you for stopping by here. Blessings to you!


    1. Dear Karilee,
      What a precious testimony that you carry within you of your Grandfather’s journey back to Jesus! Oh may we let Him pass down those stories to the next generation too, and continue to lift our prayers! I love the way that Jesus is letting you love and pray for your sweet new granddaughter! Blessings to you!


    1. Oh yes, our prayers are so important, aren’t they? I know that sometimes I grow so weary in the prayers that seem to take so long, but God’s timing is so different than ours! I am so thankful that He sends encouragement to us to continue holding onto His Glory and promises. Blessings to you!


    1. Dear Aimee,
      Thank you for visiting here from Grace and Truth! Yes, we may not realize what a precious treasure our prayers are. But He will answer them, and works even in the hidden places! Blessings to you!


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