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Threads of Prayer

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I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations (Psalm 89:1).

Years before my birth, God began weaving the fabric of my life with vibrant threads of prayer. Without those threads, I would never have been born.

In 1929, Nicolai Siemens, the man who later became my father, was imprisoned in Moscow’s dreaded Lubyanka Prison. A pastor, he awaited deportation to Siberia.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Illinois, his older brother read this headline in the newspaper: “Russia Deports 2,000 Germans to Siberia Camps.” Sensing his brother Nicolai was among them, he felt burdened to pray for Nicolai’s release.

Sixty Christians gathered for a prayer vigil, praying earnestly into the night. Finally, my uncle announced, “We can stop now. I have the conviction God has answered our prayers.” God answered that same hour, and my father was miraculously released and reunited with his wife and newborn son. Within days, they exited Moscow’s Red Gate on a train to freedom.

Years later, my family immigrated to Blaine, Washington. By 1944, the family had grown to five daughters and two sons. My forty-four-year-old mother didn’t want any surprise additions, but her daughters were praying for a baby sister. Soon they saw used baby clothes hanging on the clothesline, announcing my mother’s pregnancy.

As the birth approached, my brothers predicted, “It’s going to be a boy,” then added, “We already have too many girls.”

“Did you pray about it?” the girls questioned. The boys sheepishly hung their heads.

“We did!” exclaimed my sisters with confidence, “and we prayed for a girl.”

I’m thankful God answered their prayers with my birth!

My life was further woven with the fervent prayers of my godly parents, who interceded daily for my siblings and me. As a result, I accepted the Lord as a preschooler and learned the value of prayer through family devotions and my parents’ example. Later I married a Christian man, and we raised a son and a daughter who love the Lord.

Then came 1988, a year when big changes impacted my life. Within six months, both my parents died, and our firstborn left for college. I felt the loss of my parents’ prayers.

But God is faithful. He provided prayer partners through Moms in Touch (now called Moms in Prayer) to pray with me for my children. I’ve continued meeting weekly with mothers, now grandmothers, for more than thirty years.

Prayer also helped me during times of illness, such as my cancer diagnosis and our seventeen-month-old grandson’s open-heart surgery. Through the prayers of many, God has preserved my life for eighteen more years, and our grandson is now sixteen.

As a grandmother of five precious grandchildren from ages eleven to twenty-two, I thank God for the ripple effect of prayer. Not only did prayer change me, but it changed my entire family.

My husband and I pray together regularly, and we met with my extended family of siblings and children for many years to pray for family needs. Now we share email requests and pray for each other as needs arise.

We have stayed connected through prayer during the ups of graduations and marriages and the downs of illness and death. God has blessed us, and we continue to reap the fruit of my parents’ faithful prayers. As we follow their example, our prayers become the lasting threads woven into the fabric of future generations.

O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come (Psalm 65:2).

Lydia E. Harris
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Lydia E. Harris has accumulated over 1,000 writing credits since 1998. Her articles have appeared in such publications as Clubhouse, Clubhouse Jr., LIVE, Mature Years, and Purpose. She has also contributed to 29 books, including Blessed Among Women, For Better, For Worse, The Power of Prayer, and Treasures of a Woman’s Heart. For the past 20 years Lydia has written “A Cup of Tea With Lydia,” a column published in 20 Country Register newspapers in the US and Canada, with about a half-million readers. She and her husband live in Lake Forest Park, WA.