“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.“ – Psalm 46:1
In the Black Church, when someone is in trouble and people need a sign from God, it’s time to call the church mothers.
The women who have been bent but not broken. The women who have been in the pews for generations, wrestling with their faith and mentoring the faith journeys of others. The women whose eyes tell tales of a 1 Thessalonians, pray without ceasing, kind of relationship with God.
These women are what many refer to as the church’s “prayer warriors.”
As a child, I didn’t always understand the term. They didn’t look like traditional soldiers, and they weren’t violent.
What kind of war were they fighting?
Then I had a health scare in college, and the phrase became realer to me.
My heart rate skyrocketed; I couldn’t walk, and I thought I was having a heart attack.
I yelled for help, but no one immediately heard me. I called on God to save my life, and suddenly, though the pain didn’t instantly go away, I had an overwhelming feeling I would be okay.
That week, when I recounted this story to my grandmother, she barely flinched.
She simply said what she would say to me most days.
“I pray for you every day. I pray for all of my children every day. That God would keep you. From dangers seen and unseen.”
I’m thankful my grandmother was praying for me when I didn’t know I needed it. I’m thankful for all of the women at my former church who still pray for me, even when I forget to pray for myself.
Prayer warriors know there is a God who will offer refuge in times of all trouble, but to find the peace in that constant refuge, we have to consistently seek God’s presence, refining our spiritual armor.
Oh God, I’m ready to be my own prayer warrior. Don’t let me take the armor of your Spirit for granted. Amen.