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A legacy of prayer, trust and faith

By Tonya S. Swindell

I’m learning to pray, trust and have faith, and I’m thankful family and friends have shown me the way.

In Titus 2:3-6, Paul encourages older women to teach younger women. So I try to learn all I can from seasoned women of wisdom who have been there, done that and trusted God in the midst of their problems.

Like the young woman named Elizabeth who was mentored by an older woman named Miss Clara in the movie “War Room,” I have seen and gleaned strategies to help build my faith.

My friend Cynthia is a good role model, because she targets a prayer and attacks it with bulldog-like tenacity and faith. In a spiritual sense, her attitude toward God reminds me of Jacob from the Bible, who wrestled with an angel and said, “I’m holding on and I won’t let go until you bless my soul.”

Cynthia joins hearts and hands with a partner, and then releases prayer, which is focused on God’s promises. She keeps on praying until something happens. Sometimes results occur within days, weeks, or months; but often manifestation requires years.

No matter how long it takes, Cynthia will burst into a room with eyes gleaming and mouth speaking: “Hey y’all! I’ve got a praise report!” Then she’ll describe what the Lord has done.

I’ve learned that testifying expresses my appreciation, builds trust and prophesies, “What God has done for me, He will do for you.” My mom always says, “Remember what He has done, and remember what He will do!”

By recalling past victories, my faith builds, and I gradually learn to trust God more.

Growing up, I saw my mother pray on her knees before she went to bed. I also watched my father pray at home and at church. Faith exhibited by my parents lets me know my maternal grandparents, “Me Me and Big Daddy,” and my paternal grandparents, “Grandma and Granddaddy,” followed biblical teaching to train up a child in the way they should go so that when they are old, they will not depart from it.

I believe faith obtained by my grandparents was passed down from other relatives. Some of my ancestors were slaves, and I feel sure they taught younger relatives to pray. Even though their lives originated on another continent, they developed trust and faith and fully relied on God. As a result of being kept alive, my matriarchs and patriarchs survived and later thrived.

Proverbs 13:22 says “a good man leaves an inheritance [of moral stability and goodness] to his children’s children.”

Just as seeds of faith passed down from family and friends then took root and blossomed inside my heart, my prayer, hope and confession is that seedlings will grow and propagate within my children’s hearts.

May our descendants be like trees planted by rivers of Living Water coming into full maturity and producing fruit at their appointed time.

Tonya Swindell writes a blog for www.inspirenewlife.org and a teacher for Kingdom Building Equipping School (KBES.com). She can be reached at 1brightot@gmail.com.