Praying for Mothers in Israel To Arise & Touch This Generation
By Fawn Parish
Her name was Janet and she gave me a terrible word from God. I was taking her to Los Angeles International Airport and she said to me "Fawn, God told me to tell you that you are a Mother in Israel." My heart slid past my knees. I was positive God had more important ambitions than that for my life. I'd long nursed at the breast of destiny, and all I'd end up being was a "Mother in Israel"? It certainly wasn't what I'd envisioned for my future. A "Mother in Israel"? I saw a plump Babushka stirring a watered down kettle of soup. This was God's call for my life?
That was over 15 years ago. In the ensuing years, I have slowly appreciated the fact that God had indeed called me to be exactly that. Of course, I would have preferred continents bowing at the feet of Jesus because of God's Words through me. I would have chosen speaking to millions. But I've learned that being a Mother in Israel is a high and holy calling. It's a Scriptural term used only twice, and it's exemplified in two women in the Old Testament, Deborah and an un-named wise woman who lived in Abel. (Judges 4, 5 & 2 Samuel 20:15-20)
While their circumstances were quite different, both women had four things in common.
1). They arose and led.
2). They took evil seriously.
3). They knew what God wanted done,
4). They called a community into their destiny and saw deliverance.
You know all the stereotypes there are about women. In Deborah's day, the jokes were probably even more troublesome. But the cultural attitudes of their day, did not confine these two women's obedience. Deborah arose and led. The un-named woman at Abel, seeing Joab assault her city, arose and led. Neither woman sat back and let apathy seduce or caress them. Neither woman nursed excuses. Neither woman whined "But I am just a woman…what could I possibly do?"
Both women understood that leadership is not a gift to the person leading, it's a gift to the people being led. When the children of Israel cried out in their cruel bondage in Egypt, God's answer was to send them a leader, Moses. When Egypt was about to undergo seven years of famine, God solution was to send them a leader, Joseph. When the Moabites were stealing the harvest every year, God solution was a leader, Gideon. When Jerusalem's walls were a heap of rubble, God's answer was to send a leader, Nehamiah. Leaders are a gift to the people because without godly leadership, people do whatever is right in their own eyes.
Our generation is crying out for people who know God and have the holy chutzpah to arise and lead. Pray for Mother's in Israel to arise and lead in every sphere of culture and influence. (Judges 5:7)
Both Deborah and this un-named woman took evil seriously. They didn't just sit back and sing "Que Sera, Sera, whatever will be, will be." They were not fatalists. They believed oppression was wrong. They understood that there are some things worth giving your life for. Like Shamma who defended the field of lentils, they were not going to give ground, simply because resistance involved hardship.
(2 Samuel 23:11-12)
My friend Carey, discovered that the Mason's were going to lay the foundation stone for a new public elementary school in her neighborhood. She wrote a kind letter to the Superintendent of Schools, saying that if the Mason's came, the pastoral community would like equal time to bless the school in prayer. She created quite a fury. Unknown to our community the Mason's always laid the foundation stone for every public facility. But because my friend took evil seriously, she got involved. And because she got involved that school is the first in that city not to have had Masonic involvement. Pray for Mother's in Israel to arise who take evil seriously and will not be seduced by apathy. (2 Samuel 20:16-19)
Both Deborah and the lady at Abel, knew what needed to happen. They had nurtured a secret history with God. They were wise because they had treasured the ways of God. They were wiser than their teachers because they feared the Lord. Pray for Mother's in Israel to arise and lead who know the ways of God and fear the Lord. (Proverbs 14:26 Isaiah 33:6)
Both these women summoned others into their destiny. They didn't try to bring deliverance by themselves. They created a deliverance community. (Samson is a prime example of how strength without community brings destruction). God is always creating community. Deborah called Barak and the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun. The un-named woman called the whole town of Abel together, these women used their influence to summon a community to destiny. (2 Samuel 20:22) Pray for Mothers in Israel to arise and summon a community to it's destiny. (Judges 4:6)
Debrorah's influence and obedience opened a door for Jael to be a deliverer.
John Wesley once returned to London in a huff because he heard that one of his leaders was preaching without a license. He was furious. His mother Susanna said to him gently, "Just listen to this man and then decide." John listened and was cut to the quick at the man's anointing and ability to preach. Susanna's wisdom enabled John to eventually place a high value on lay preaching.
Pray for Mothers in Israel to arise that open doors for other's to express their gifts.
Both of these women's obedience had huge consequences for the lives of many. Each of them had been assigned by God a different circle of influence. Deborah had national influence, and the un-named wise woman had city-wide influence. In the West we tend to think that the bigger the circle of influence the more important you are, but in the Kingdom, obedience is what God treasures. These two lives are instructive to us…don't judge your circle of influence by another. Let God choose your arena of influence and be obedient.
And what does all this have to do with us as Lydian's? Why does it matter?
I believe that Lydia is perfectly poised to become Mother's in Israel to this generation. Unlike the boomer generation that said "Don't trust anyone over 30", this generation is crying out for spiritual mothers and fathers. They are longing for trans-generational relationships. But this longing, this craving in their hearts often goes unnoticed, because they don't know how to ask for it. We must initiate the invitation. The two Mother's in Israel in Scripture didn't wait for an invitation,
they issued invitations. Pray for Mother's in Israel to be bold in issuing invitations to relationship.
Recently I was finishing a Presbyterian women's retreat on the Book of Ruth. I felt the Holy Spirit wanted to make a left turn, so I asked if the audience was willing to go a different direction. "Yes!" they said with laughter. Since Ruth is a book about trans-generational relationship that brings both generations into destiny, I asked everyone under 30 to come forward. I felt like I was at an auction being outbid. "No!" the group shouted. "Everyone under 35." "OK," I said. "No!", they shouted again, "Everyone under 40." So I had everyone under 40 come forward and face the audience. Then I had everyone over 40 come forward and embrace them and offer to pray and walk with them through their challenges. On the evaluation woman after woman said that was the most meaningful moment of the retreat. Some long term relationships are being formed even now from that simple invitation.
Maybe dear Lydian, Satan has whispered in your ear that your best days are over. Maybe your greatest aspiration now is just to see the Lord's face. No, no, no! My generation desperately needs you. We need your wisdom, your
encouragement, your prayers. We need you to summon us into our destiny. We need you to believe that God's hand is upon us. We need you to impart to us all you know about God. My generation craves an older generation that will take Psalm 78 seriously.
This generation desperately needs you dear Mother in Israel. They need you just as you are. You don't have to have all the answers. All you need is two arms and two lips. Arms to embrace and lips to kiss and pray. This generation craves spiritual parenting-Mother's in Israel and Father's in Faith willing to embrace them.
I was standing at the Lydia Conference in Jerusalem, and Campbell McAlpine came up and spontaneously kissed me on the cheek. I was overwhelmed with how fatherless I had felt all my life, and Campbell's unexpected kiss went straight to the marrow of my soul. Another time, I was preaching on a Sunday morning at a Presbyterian church and an elderly gentleman dressed in an immaculate suit (rare in Southern California), came up and kissed me and disappeared into the crowd. My heart was touched beyond telling.
Ask God to give you the name of someone younger than yourself you might embrace. Be conscious of those younger than yourself, who would love to have you ask them out to lunch or coffee. Perhaps God will lead you to initiate a prayer relationship. Perhaps you could call someone younger and ask how you can pray for them. Ask God to show you someone you can call into their destiny. Don't let apathy dull your resolve. Deliverance can come to many because you took evil seriously and were willing to arise and lead. If you dare to arise, God, Deborah, this generation, and a no-name lady in Abel will arise and call you blessed.