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I have five grown children who have all left me. The nerve of those kids!

They are now pursuing their gifts and destiny in the only kingdom that really matters. Each one of them is figuring out life for themselves without their mama's daily input or opinions.

I certainly hope that what my five children learned while living at home has given them some type of road map for the journey of life. I hope that they haven't forgotten to pray, to read the Word, to be kind, to sing, to play, to dream, to make meaningful priorities, to be unselfish and to trust God.

I have discovered that the timeless saying is really true: "A mother holds her children's hands for just a little while, but she holds their hearts forever."

The hardest days of the year to be away from all of my children is on the day of each of their births. A mom remembers the joy, the pain, the challenge and the significance of the day of each of her children's births.

My youngest was born when I was standing on the threshold of 40, and she has been one of the greatest miracles of my entire life. After giving birth to four of the most dynamic, energetic and creative human beings ever born, I was given the gift of one more. Her birthday is May 30, and this year, I wasn't with her on her birthday.

What I often do on the day that commemorates the birth of one of my children is to spend extra time in prayer for the one whom my heart is celebrating.

  • I pray for the birthday child's walk with the Lord and for wisdom in all of their life decisions.
  • I pray that they will be kind and that others will be kind to them.
  • I pray that they will climb mountains with diligence and experience valleys with humility.
  • I pray that they will think like God thinks and experience the joy of His presence.
  • I pray that they will be people of honor and of integrity.

This year, as I was ending my prayer celebration in honor of Joni, my youngest, I began to think about whose birthday was next. I realized that the next birthday that belonged to a member of the original Clan McLeod was on Sept. 2, which was basically three months hence. And then, I had the instant realization that these two birthdays were separated by a mere three months or just a little over 90 summer days.

A light bulb went off in my spirit! The Holy Spirit spoke to me in that moment,

"Carol, what if you prayed for specific needs in all of your children's lives for five minutes a day for the next three months? It will take you 25 minutes a day: five minutes for each of your five children."

The Holy Spirit continued His prompting, " Carol, would you want to do a "Five-Minute Prayer Experiment" with me?"

I was literally breathless with anticipation to see what I, prayer and the Holy Spirit could accomplish to strengthen my kids' lives in only five minutes a day over a period of roughly 90 days. The next day, I found one Scripture for each of my children that I would be praying over them over the course of the next 2,160 hours.

Every day from May 30 through Sept. 2, 2018, I will spend 25 minutes in prayer; this will consist of five bursts of five minutes each. Sometimes it is when I am walking. Sometimes it is when I am unloading the dishwasher. Sometimes it is when I am folding clothes. Sometimes it is when I am driving.

Sometimes I pray out loud, and sometimes it is an inner prayer. I pray the Word over each of my children, and I pray for specific needs in their individual lives.

The minutes fly by, and the presence of the Lord is tangible!

I am expecting God to intervene in the lives of my children, and I am beginning to realize that expectation is the breeding ground for miracles. A mother's prayer is a powerful way to impact the lives of their children even after they are grown and gone.

Our grown children can run away from our words but they can never escape our prayers so our strategy should always be to talk less and to pray more!

"Prayer is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honour of a Christian." —Spurgeon

Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written eight books, including The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, Defiant Joy!, Holy Estrogen!, No More Ordinary, Refined, Joy For All Seasons, Let There Be Joy! and Pass the Joy, Please! which releases on February 1, 2018.Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at justjoyministries.com.

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