Never underate prayers. Especially those of a determined, faith filled, loving Christian mother. It was the Vietnam war era. My praying mother, "little Mary", as family members called her, prayed all three of her sons free of that place of death and darkness. Mama always had such a small sweet voice that often an answered call on the phone was met with "little girl, can I speak to your mother"? But her heart and tenacity were as a lion's. Oh yes we'd have gone to war if we'd been called, but her answered prayers redirected us from that killing field. I well remember standing in a line buck naked with the other draftees as the doctor, a captain, examined me and said "get your clothes on, you're going home". I admit I wasn't sad. We were not given the liberty to refuse, they just drafted you and sent you there. Though I would have set my face and gone, my dream did not involve being buried in a nameless rice paddy in the Vietnam delta. Our government was sending many young men to their doom in a war they didn't intend to win. So, first as the eldest, I was 4F-ed due to an industrial accident I suffered when I was 17 that cost me half of two fingers. 4F meant that I was physically not qualified. My brother next down, Jimmy, even though he carried an inoperable bullet in his back from a shooting accident as a boy, was able to join the Air Force but was kept stationed stateside. God had saved him before as a teenager when shot though the left lung with the bullet missing his heart by only two inches. The youngest brother, Gene, was a different case. Drafted into the Army and trained as a medic he was headed directly for Southeast Asia. Vietnam. The life expectancy of a medic in Vietnam in the late 60's early 70's was nil. They were among the first picked off by VC snipers. Sitting in a Dallas Ft. Worth airport for the first leg of his fateful journey along with several other fearful, grim faced young men who waited anxiously while pondering their fate. Wondering if they'd ever see home and loved ones again. A call came over the loudspeaker for Gene as they waited and wonder of wonders at the very last minute Gene had received a change of orders, a heavenly redirect! God had pulled the lives of these young men from the flames of almost certain death. Gene was ordered instead to spend his hitch in a hospital in Germany as were his comrades that the Lord had delivered from the war. Men who had received a last hour reprieve from their sentence. My mother's prayers not only delivered her son but also those that were with him. Our praying mother had contacted everyone she could think of to pray with her for her son, including the folks at Oral Roberts University. Her tenacity was amazing considering that she was and had been for years afflicted with the horrors of "Lupus" - the wolf. Hospital stays, surgeries, and all the very bad things associated with the dangerous high doses of the Steroid prednisone, such as paper thin skin that tore and bruised oh so easily. When Gene was born he was anemic and not in the best condition because of the Lupus. This condition carried on for many years with him being wan and sickly. The wolf not only tried to Kill Mary but also her baby boy. But little Mary Francis had done it. Her faith and prayers gotten straight through to the Heavenly Father and she was granted her hard won, hard kept sons. Never underestimate the power or effectiveness of your prayers or those born of a faithful mother's love. And Jesus told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. Luke 18:1 ESV Psalm 22:9-11 KJVS 9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts. 10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly. 11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. More Deliverances are wrought by prayer than we are able to dream of. It's not the masses of people praying in great cathedrals that move the Lord upon His Holy Throne, though He hears, it's the unknown, lonely Christians travailing in prayer in some out of the way place. Places like your home and mine. Mothers and fathers interceding for their children. For each other. See you soon mama.