In addition to losing the pillar of my paternal side of the family; We lost the other half of a vicious, relentless prayer warrior duo.
I can remember being little, spending the night with them and waking up to the sounds of both feverishly praying and praising God. They would pray about EVERYTHING; Their sons, daughters, grandchildren, great grandchildren, their church, acquaintances, politics, the country and the world.
When we were very sick, my parents would call on them and over they would come. They would lay the sick one of us down, anoint us with oil, lay their hands on us and pray. And Pray. And Pray. I can remember all of those instances vividly - even down to the time I caught pneumonia when I was 5, strep throat when I was 10. I can feel their hands on my arm and the energy that came through their words and their faith. By the time they had finished, my grandma was always in tears and praising God for his unfailing love and incredible power.
When Jakob had his near drowning incident at 20months, My Grandpa Murray was one of the first people we called. I need him there to pray. I remember joining hands with him and the Chaplin and praying for God's hand of healing.
Every time you would see my Grandpa, he'd tell you that he'd been praying for you. There were many times as a young person, I would inwardly roll my eyes...of course he was praying for us, he always did. He was a preacher for a living; that was his job. I did not realize how lucky we were to have his prayers going up, every day.
I also did not realize how lucky we were to have living examples of "how" to pray - lessons that never left, carried with me to adulthood. While there is something gained by being secluded and knelt in prayer; They taught me you could pray anywhere, anytime. They taught me that you could approach God like you would a father, or a friend. You needn't worry about the 'right' words, or the 'right' atmosphere. You simply had to pray and believe. You prayed without ceasing.
The inheritance we received from my grandparents could not be bought yet remains one of the richest gifts I've ever received.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:18).
I was incredibly lucky to have them in my life, and I wish I would've expressed that more while they were here.