Genesis 25:21-22- Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah, his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her, and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. NKJV
How well I remember carrying each of our girls. Some of the memories are fond, and some of them are not. But I remember well the times I would pray over them as they were in my womb. As I have watched them over the years turn into the godly young women that they are, I see the fruitfulness of those prayers.
Rebekah was the wife of Isaac, and the Bible says that she was barren. Isaac knew that God could provide children to a barren woman; after all, his mom had been barren and gave birth to him in her old age. So Isaac prayed to God and asked Him to bless Rebekah with a child. God responded and blessed her with twins, Jacob and Esau!
They didn’t have ultrasounds at that time, so there was no help to tell her what was going on inside her womb. Although she had never experienced pregnancy before, she noticed that something was going on in her womb that seemed to be unusual. Not that ultrasound would have been able to help her!
But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.Genesis 25:22 NKJV
Rebekah prayed about the children in her womb. She wanted to know what was happening inside of her and why? God responded:
“Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger.”Genesis 25:23 NKJV
Wow! That’s a lot to take in. Rebekah may have known that she had two babies, but she didn’t know that she was carrying two nations in her womb. That’s pretty special! Before she could rejoice over that, God revealed to her that one nation would be stronger than the other and that the older son would serve the younger son.
I am sure that Rebekah didn’t know what to make of this word from God. We know that she was a wise young lady when she was chosen to be Isaac’s bride. We know from the scriptures that he loved her, and she was a great comfort to him. Things were going well, and now she would give birth to two mighty men who would both be patriarchs of their own nation. What was she to do moving forward?
As a mother, I learned early the value of praying over our children. Not wanting to take anything from their wonderful father, today it’s not about him! I prayed about everything concerning them. I prayed about the schools they attended, their teachers, their assignments, and their friends. I prayed about them coming to know Jesus at a young age and that their salvation would be real and their convictions would be strong. I prayed they would love God, love to work in His kingdom, be tithers, stay chaste, etc.
I prayed about the paths they would walk in and the careers they would choose, and I prayed and am still praying for the godly men that will someday claim their hearts. No matter how old children are, they will always require our prayers.
Motherhood isn’t easy, but it is special. As our children’s first teachers, we can greatly influence their lives. We can be a positive source of influence or negatively influence them. With Rebekah’s twins, we can see that her grown children may have had a different perspective on how their mother influenced their lives. Whatever they would say, we are sure that she did influence both of their lives.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.Psalm 127:4 NKJV
A warrior directs his aim in the path he wants his arrow to travel. Much like we are to direct our children. We shouldn’t force our children to go a certain way, but we can certainly nurture and point them in certain directions.
One day I walked into the room where my husband and one of our daughters were conversing. She shared with him that she wanted to take a year off from her academics. In her junior year, she was completing high school and wanted to work on her music. I listened for a few minutes, and then I said that she had two options: stay in high school for her senior year or begin college. Those were her only choices. She wasn’t happy at the time, but she went to college and did well. She was an excellent student, and while I wasn’t interested in telling her what she had to major in, I felt it was important to let her know that she had to stay in school. (Again, not taking anything away from the influence of her father, because she followed in his footsteps in so many ways, it’s funny!)
We were spared a lot of trauma and drama in raising our girls through the years. Prayer was the vehicle that kept me sane as the mother of three beautiful, talented, and independent-thinking young ladies. Whether I was praying with my husband, my friends, or solo, I learned to take our girls to God in prayer.
That’s how Rebekah started her journey of motherhood. She prayed about her children. While the Bible doesn’t give us much information about her relationship with them, we know that she had a favorite son, Jacob. We also know that she decided God needed her help in bringing about His will in Jacob’s life. I’m sure I didn’t do it all correctly, either. But I wonder what Rebekah’s sons would have been if she had ended the way she started? Inquiring of the Lord!
Nevertheless, Rebekah’s son Jacob became Israel, patriarch of the nation of Israel. His life was a challenge since he was named a deceiver, but Jacob went on to have some real encounters with the Lord. God was with him when he went to live with Laban. We know that because he met God on the way and had the kind of encounter we all would like to have:
Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.Genesis 28:12 NKJV
Jacob knew that God was in that place. He decreed that if God would be with him and bring him back safely to his father’s land, God would be his God. On his way back home, he had another encounter with God where God changed his name from Jacob to Israel! Rebekah’s son may have not gotten it all right at the beginning of his years, but he did in his later years.
Mothers! It isn’t too late to start praying over your children! If you started and slacked off, take up the challenge again. Prayer makes all the difference in the lives of our children. Even when we pray, there are so many obstacles and challenges before our children, but praying minimizes and even stops a lot of the plans of the wicked one. I believe that when Jacob left his mother to go to her brother’s home, she once again began to pray. His latter years were greater than his first! He had an encounter with God that put him on God’s path for him. I believe his mother was a great part of that!
Let me take this time to wish every mother a wonderful time on the day that is all about you, Mother’s Day! We do our best, pray our way through, and trust God! None of us are perfect but know that we are perfectly suited to raise our children; that’s why they are ours! Be encouraged, and keep up the great work that God has given you! Wonderful Jesus!