Pray, Already!

My uncle held it together while talking about the impact of his older brother’s life, showing much honor for his beloved sibling at his funeral just ten days ago. But then . . . my uncle tried to share about the impact of his mother’s legacy of prayer and he couldn’t speak as the tears came. Looking down the row I was sitting in, I saw both of my sisters wiping away tears and many of my cousins. I was a mess.

Our grandmother left this earth in 1974—killed in a car accident with our grandfather—and yet, her legacy of prayer is still being heralded as one of the greatest gifts to her family. Forty-five years after her death—and at the funeral of her 92-year-old son—my Grandma Bubeck’s prayer warrior heart was highlighted. Oh, what a legacy to seek in my own life. What wonder if decades after I’m gone, one of my descendants still speaks of my prayer covering!

My grandmother, Agnes (Nessa) Bubeck wasn’t perfect, just like the rest of us. But all who have come after her—her five sons, sixteen grandchildren and countless great-grands—all remember her as a woman who prayed, often on her knees by her bed late into the night. We joke that she had to pray because it was her only way to “protect” five rambunctious boys growing up on an Iowa farm back in the 1920s into the early fifties. She prayed for their safety, but also that they’d all grow into men after God’s own heart. 

During the last week of December, I started to sense a new calling on my life to pray more. Oh, I have been teaching and writing on the importance of prayer for years. But actually “doing” the praying has been more elusive for me.

Perhaps you can relate?

On New Year’s Day, I journaled that I want to be a true prayer warrior who prays more consistently over my family this year. Yes, I know that those type of new year confessions can fade away within weeks. But I pray that isn’t so this time.

Just three days after my journaled prayer, my uncle shared about my Grandma Nessa’s prayer legacy at his brother’s funeral. I don’t think that was a coincidence, but a gentle reminder from God that I can try to at least follow in her footprints . . . or her kneeprints of prayer.

I’ve chosen Prayer as my word for 2019, and I’ve taken up the challenge to Pray, Already! Will you join me in seeking to be more faithful in prayer this year? And perhaps one day we, too, will have a loved one still talking about our prayer covering long after we’re gone.

Photo of some of Grandma Nessa’s descendants (around 1966), including her three oldest sons who all lived into their nineties and went to Glory this past year. I’m the little girl in the blue plaid dress who adored her grandma and always knew she was praying for me.

I’d love to hear from you. How do you keep prayer a priority in your own life? Or, feel free to share your own struggles in prayer and we can pray for each other.

(Farm Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash)

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18 Responses

  1. Judy thank you so much for sharing your heart. It brought me to tears! I want to be a prayer warrior like Mom Bubeck.Our sermon Sunday was about worshipping Monday through Saturday!
    Love, Janean

    1. Aunt, Janean! So glad you read this as it was your beloved husband’s eulogy for his brother that met my heart in such a profound way. You and Uncle Larry are continue the legacy of prayer for all of us! Love and miss you!

  2. Yes, yes, and yes. I will join you, Judy. I long for prayer to be my first weapon of defense against the tactics of the enemy, but too often prayer is my last line of defense. I’ve also been challenged this new year to come boldly before His throne of grace and believe His promises. I’m reading two books to help me with this commitment: “Fervent “ by Priscilla Shirer, and “The Prayer of the Lord” by R.C. Sproul.
    Thank you for your stories of your precious grandmother and family. <3

  3. Psalm 16:6 The boundary lines for me have fallen in pleasant places.Surely I have a delightful inheritance.
    Praise God for our delightful inheritance. May my children and descendants also treasure it!

  4. kneeprints of prayer- I love the image you e created with these words. What an excellent quest for the year. I struggle as the mom of a prodigal to stay on my knees. It seems it should be just the opposite, but I often feel so defeated. My word for the year is not what you’d think… It’s rebel. In the sense of rebelling against my selfish desires and the many distractions of this world. My verse is Romans 12:1-2. Part of my rebellion will too be a fortified prayer life! Thanks Judy for always bringing us such a good word.
    “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬
    PS- I listened and took notes on your most recent speaking engagement I so enjoyed it and learned a lot.

    1. Amy Elaine, Thank you for sharing some of your journey and for your encouragement! I love your word for this year, rebel, and Rom. 12:1-2. So powerful. And, I understand about the weariness of continuing to pray for your loved one. I’ll message you via FB as I’d love to send you the handouts from my talk that I think will encourage you in that journey.

  5. These past few years have been hard to pray, to know how or what to pray. Our grandson went to be with Jesus November 2015. He was 2 weeks old. We prayed so hard 24/7 for our grandson. Then God took him. My husband and I have struggled with prayer ever since. Yes I pray but I pray differently now. God please help me to pray Your will not mine, and to accept Your will with joy and obedience. May others see only Christ in me.

    Thank you for you sharing. I will join you in praying to be a prayer Warrior, to keep prayer a priority.

  6. I love this Judy! I have tried to be a faithful prayer warrior…even more so during this last year. Alex got married in November in Florida and my mother-in-law, (Alex’s only living grandparent) really wanted to be there…she lived in Columbus, Ohio. Her health started to decline last January…none of us wanted to say it out loud, but we truly didn’t think she would be able to be there. Many sweet women in bible study prayed about it all year. She was there with us on November 3rd…celebrating Alex & Kimmy’s big day and looking and feeling wonderful. God answered our prayers with a wonderful celebration and she was able to spend several days with us in Florida. Two weeks later, her health rapidly declined and we said goodbye to her on December 3rd…one month to the day after the wedding. I will be forever thankful that God blessed us with the wonderful gift of having her with us at the wedding. I loved hearing you talk about your grandma Nessa’s prayer legacy…I would love to be remembered as a faithful prayer warrior…as she was. Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. What a rich legacy your grandma left you with! As a pastor’s wife for over thrity years now, I count prayer for my church family both a privelage and a calling. My husband’s two prioeties are preaching and praying. I can’t help him preach but I do help him pray. I’ve seen barren women bear children, sinner tranformed into saints, and many healed by the power of Christ. Yet, this season I find my discipline to pray for the Body lacking, my previous ferver diverted to other things. I’ll pray you become a dillegent prayer warrior. If the Lord puts me on your heart, please, pray I’ll be a faithful helpmeet and keep church members in prayer. My word for 2019 is finding. I’m glad to find you! May He find us both faithful!

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