Baton Drop

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses . . .
          let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1–2

When I was fourteen years old, my grandparents were killed in a car accident. On a sunny December morning, they had gone for a drive on the country roads near their Iowa farm. We think Grandpa hit a patch of ice under the shade of tall trees, sending their car crashing down a steep embankment.

I remember my dad telling me what happened after he got off the call from his older brother. With tears streaming down his face, he said, “I like to think one minute they were driving down the road in Iowa, and the next minute they were in a chariot on their way to heaven.”

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Agnes Mary Bubeck (Nessa) (1898-1974)

Though I only had her in my life for fourteen years, my grandmother, Nessa Bubeck, has forever impacted my life. Her greatest legacy is that she was a prayer warrior over her family. She had six children—five sons who are all still living, some into their 90s now—and a baby girl, Lilah Mae, who lived only a few days after she was born.

The ripple effect of my grandmother’s prayer covering continues to impact our family, even today. I’ve shared how her middle son, my father, is a mighty prayer warrior in other posts, Good, Good Father and Covered in Hope. And thankfully, at 89 years old, he is still covering all of his children’s families in prayer every day.

Every. Single. Day.

Grandma passed the baton of prayer to my father and he has faithfully carried that baton for decades. He’s even written books on prayer in which he shares about my grandmother’s legacy, including how she prayed over him through the night when he almost died of pneumonia at three years old. Oh, how I want to continue that legacy of prayer over my loved ones.

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and back and back and back!

As a young mom, unfortunately I worried more for my children than I prayed for them. But I became a grandmother for the first time this year when our grandson, Liam, was born, and the greatest gift I can give him is to pray for him.

A friend of mine, who has a blog about prayer, reminded me over lunch recently that we need to commit to being “Prayer Warrior Grandmas.” Don’t you love the juxtaposition of the words: Warrior Grandma! I’m so thankful to have this friend who is holding me accountable by asking, “Are you still praying over baby Liam?”

What about you? Perhaps you didn’t have a praying grandmother or parent who has passed the baton of prayer to you. How exciting to be the first in your line to pick up the baton of prayer for your loved ones!

Or, perhaps like me, you’ve dropped the baton of prayer too often, and want a fresh start. Let’s commit together to pick up the baton again and begin to run the race of prayer marked out for us!

I’d love to hear from you—share creative ways that help you remember
to pray for your loved ones. Or let me know how I can be praying for you!

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16 Responses

  1. Seeing Grandmother Nessa’s picture above her great great grandson inspires me to pray for those who are still to come. Prayer extends beyond our own time and space.
    Thank you for a moving and visual reminder of how love leads to prayer.

  2. Judy, I had a praying grandmother. She came to the Lord after a bitter divorce in the 1940’s which was certainly unspeakable at that time. She sang with Cliff Barrows and the Billy Graham Crusade. And she prayed for me continually. My extended family’s journey to faith continues, but I am convinced her prayers were its foundation!

  3. Love this, love you and love our families’ legacy of praying, faithful parents and grandparents.

  4. It spoke to me the words your dad shared years ago upon hearing such devastating words ““I like to think one minute they were driving down the road in Iowa, and the next minute they were in a chariot on their way to heaven.” The vision of it is beautiful!

    Thank you for sharing Judy!

  5. My mother-in-law lived with us for 9 years before she left for heaven. Every morning at 10:00 AM she would rack up on her bed with her arms around her knees to pray for her children, their spouses and their children and … One of her daughters and her husband pray by name for their children and family members by alphabet as they swim laps. A is for Amanda, Allie, and so on. I have a pashmina a friend brought me from Jerusalem in a jewel tone teal. It reminds me to thank God for His rich blessings through each family member and friend; and of course to present petitions on their behalf. Do I get to it every 24 hours? Not quite, believe me I’m a people person, I’m ” no type-A” to which anyone who knows me would attest. My love for the people in my life causes me to talk about them with God, who while here on earth would go, as was His custom to a solitary place to pray, at times spending the entire night in prayer.
    Great blog post Judy, a timely reminder to us all. Let’s get that host of witnesses cheering for the way our understanding of prayer’s import affects the time we spend doing it.

  6. Judy,

    I LOVE this! As a new grandma, I am going to do exactly as you suggest. It’s awesome that we can send our prayers to influence a generation that will out live us…a HUGE gift.

    Thanks for the inspiring post!

    Shana

  7. I didn’t have a praying family. So I will pick up the baton and start with my grandchildren.

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