Prayer is an eternal mystery that haunts even the most devote warrior in God’s kingdom. For Frances, prayer was her bread and drink. She spent her days and nights in supplication to the Lord. I earnestly believe that it was the prayers of Frances that turned our nation back to the Lord in a great way in the late 1950’s and 1960’s.
Of course there were many others who also prayed and sought God but I experienced first-hand the result of Frances’ ministry. I sat under her teaching and walked hand in hand with her during her times of struggle. I also saw her confidence in prayer. I rejoiced in what God was accomplishing through the hours spend listening, speaking, loving and even wrestling with a holy God.
While TV pundents often proclaim that everyone was stoned during those decades, there was an underground movement that consisted of late teens and young adults whose hearts pled for God to change them and our nation. My husband and I were part that movement–the Jesus Movement. We led a vibrant and holy group of teenagers whose sole ambition was to find a deep relationship with Jesus. They gathered under tents and in churches. They fasted and held all night prayer meetings.
While the focus beamed on the teens and the other young men and women who led this army of teenagers, it was the matrons and masters of prayer–such as Frances–who had plowed the ground, planted the seed and rejoiced in the harvest. Their battle was hard-fought. They struggled and wrestled with the enemy of our souls on their knees, weeping, laughing and facing that dreaded enemy with grace, courage and valor. The power of the Holy Spirit never failed them. The Father’s love always embraced them and assured them that his great destiny would save even the most horrible reprobate.
These prayer warriors didn’t possess the advantages of social media, blogs or the Internet but their prayers had world-wide and lasting effects. Somehow, Christian leaders from around the world heard about Frances and came to her humble home for prayer. They delighted in staying in the home of Frances and her husband. eating her food, laughing and enjoying fellowship long into the night. But they came for prayer–recognizing her vital connection to God that brought success in ministry.
Few of us have been given the grace Frances possessed in determined, steadfast prayer. Yet, all of us can seek God with the grace God has given to us. Frances died stubbornly, without fanfare. She resisted death even after her strength and vigor had been long spent. I asked her oldest daughter, “Why does she struggle, resisting death so strongly?” She believed that Frances clung to a desire to be on earth when the Lord returned.
Was this woman of God perfect? No! Was she a warrior who helped to change the world for Christ? Yes!