Saturday, September 15, 2012

          A Mother’s Prayers
Acts 1:1–14


Monica never stopped praying for her son. She had raised Augustine in the Christian faith in their small town in Algeria, but when he was a teenager the family moved to Carthage in North Africa. Possessed of a brilliant intellect and an even stronger will, Augustine rejected his mother’s faith and instead chose a life in pursuit of immorality. In his autobiographical book Confessions, Augustine spoke of his years of debauchery: “Years passed, in which I wallowed in the mire of that deep pit, and the darkness of falsehood . . . All which time that chaste, godly and sober widow . . . ceased not at all hours of her devotions to bewail my case unto You. And her prayers entered into Your presence.”


Three hundred years before the birth of Augustine, we can only imagine how another mother labored in prayer for her children. In addition to Jesus, her firstborn, Mary of Nazareth had several other children. And yet their family was spiritually divided. John’s Gospel clearly tells us that “even his own brothers did not believe in him” (John 7:5). The skepticism of her younger sons toward their elder half brother must have pierced Mary’s heart.


The black Friday when her oldest son hung on a Roman cross had to be the worst day of Mary’s life. And the Sunday when he rose again was the very best. Among those to whom Christ appeared after his resurrection was his brother James. We don’t need to know the words that passed between them. It’s enough to know that when the disciples and the women gathered to pray in the upper room following Jesus’ ascension into heaven, Mary was among them. And her other sons were with her! Praying. The One they had rejected in life was the One in whom they now placed their faith for eternity.


Monica’s prodigal son Augustine became one of the most famously devout fourth-century Christians: the Bishop of Hippo. The Confessions of St. Augustine is a classic of the Christian faith. Mary’s son James became leader of the church in Jerusalem and wrote the New Testament book that bears his name.


Do you have children, grandchildren or children whom you love—related to you or not—who have turned away from God? Years may pass without any apparent external change. But heaven hears your loving intercession on their behalf. Take heart! God hears your prayers for your children.



Speculate on why it wasn’t until the resurrection that Jesus’ brothers believed he was who he said he was.

If you have a prodigal or know a prodigal, how does this devotional offer you hope?

Spend some time praying for those who have walked away from the faith of their mothers. Ask God to hear your prayers and bring the straying children home.


Acts 1:14

They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.


Related Readings

Matthew 18:12–14; Luke 15:11–32; 2 Timothy 1:5–7
Submitted by Vicki Birch

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fall Bible Studies

Hello Ladies!  

Please be sure to sign up for your Fall Bible Studies after church next Sunday.  We have three great choices and several dates and times to choose from.  Here is a brief description of the studies.  I hope to see you at one!

Tour of Duty will be offered as an E-study so you can complete it in the comfort of your own home and on your time. 

Tour of Duty: Preparing Our Hearts for Deployment - Member Book is a Bible study for Military Wives. Participants will join together with others who have a common thread—husbands who are being or have been deployed. This study helps wives deal with the emotional twists and turns they may not be ready to face. It will point them to God, and participants will learn how to lean on God and not carry so much of the weight that is so often placed on them. These women will learn to practically find their hope in Christ alone.
Military families like to be prepared—they plan, they strategize, they organize. But whether they're active, National Guard, or Reserve, when deployment comes, all the planning in the world can still fail when it comes to their hearts.
Tour Of Duty is an excellent starting point for military wives to get connected with others in the military community who share this common thread. Women facing deployment can learn how to lean on God and come out of it confident in the knowledge that God is with them, He loves them, and He has not abandoned them.

MOTHERHOOD 101. As mothers, we're to train our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6.) But exactly how do we train our children? And who trains us? Train Up a Mom provides moms with the guidance they need for training themselves in godliness. Drawing on the material she has developed from more than thirty years of raising her own children and ministering to other moms, Vollie Sanders teaches mothers: 1) What it really means to train up a child 2) How to claim God's promises for your children 3) Practical ways to affirm your child's unique personality 4) How to be a godly mother even when your kids aren't turning out as planned 5) How to recognize life experiences as training for motherhood 6) Ways to study your children by comparing them with biblical characters 7) And much more! Ideal for women's groups or small-group Bible studies, Train Up a Mom helps mothers focus on God and entrust Him with the lives of their children.       

Now Available! Beth Moore's Latest Video-Driven Bible StudyBible scholars compare James to the prophet Amos. In other ways James more closely resembles the Book of Proverbs than any New Testament book. Come along with Beth Moore on a journey to get to know both the man and the Book of James. You will never be the same again.
Topics in this study include: joy, hardship, faith, reversal of fortunes for rich and poor, wisdom, gifts from above, single-mindedness, the dangers of the tongue, humility, and prayer. Plus, Beth introduces a 5-tiered study approach that she has never done before.