Praying grandmothers, with love and power like no other

Praying grandmothers, with love and power like no other
Praying grandmothers have the power to change the world.

If you don’t know about the power of praying grandmothers, then you definitely need to keep reading, because praying grandmothers can change the world. They are women with strength unlike others because they can make you the best meal you ever had, discipline you in love whether words or deeds, or find a peppermint buried in the bottom of their bag to give you at just the right moment when you think you might fall asleep in church.  That’s what they do. They always have the right things at just the right time.  It’s amazing that even after they are gone on to be with the Lord, you can still smell their sweetness as if they were here–at least I can.  I am always reminded of my grandmother’s loving presence. It is my belief that both my grandmother’s never ending treks back and forth to church with prayers melted into the cookies or chicken they baked, would later be a life raft that would come forth when I would be drowning in the throes of drug addiction, domestic abuse, illness, poverty and pain. I am a changed woman thanks to the prayers of my grandmothers.

grandmotherAs a writer, you often wonder what to write about and question the validity of your content, wanting to be certain you are speaking factually and coherently, hoping to provide some source of insight or inspiration to those who read. This alone can stifle any writer from putting pen in hand or fingers to keys. I am guilty of this–always second guessing myself, often times feeling inept and ill equipped; but one thing I know like I know that I know is that praying grandmothers can change the world. I know this to be true because I’ve met plenty of them.

Working at a South side charter school, most times it wasn’t the parents that came up to the school for the rebellious student, it would be the grandmother, and when Grandmother showed up, you were about to get some results. I actually preferred to meet with the grandmother. Something about the way they look into the eyes of the grandchild could penetrate irascibility and malcontent.  The same tough child that wasn’t going to listen to anyone would all of sudden become calm and collected when Grandmother came on the scene. She would not stand for any mess.

In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to write about great women of the past who transformed the course of our lives and paved a way for us today. I could write about Zora Neale Hurston, one of my favorite writers, or Sojourner Truth who spoke my story long before I was created when she asked, “Ain’t I a woman?,” but many of us know about them, although truth be told not enough young people know of their history and culture. But I decided to do something different. I decided to write about a praying grandmother who is alive and well right now– a woman I think you should know.

The first of the praying grandmothers has a testimony you wouldn’t even believe. I find it hard to even believe myself but it’s living proof of what I’m saying. Her stored up prayers of protection manifested in a most amazing way when she received a call that she needed to rush to the Christ Hospital on the South side of Chicago. Now mind you, she was at church volunteering when she got the call that she and the family needed to get there as quickly as possible. Of course, we all know, a call like that is never good. She said it seemed like every car in the world was on the street in her way, but eventually she and her daughter arrived, where they were greeted by Chicago Police officers, the church’s chaplains, and several other hospital staff. Needless to say, this was a bleak scene.

But from the moment she got the call to the moment she walked into that hospital, she said she never stopped praying. She just prayed and prayed and prayed–and it worked–because the next thing I will tell you you will find hard to believe because it is quite unbelievable.

She was informed that her grandson had been shot in the head by a 44-magnum, BUT, he was coherent and talking.

That’s where I said, “Pause right there. Coherent and talking???”

“Yes, he was in his room awake and talking.”grandma

She went on to tell me that when she went in there, the bullet was still on the side of her grandson’s head. It was literally sitting on the side of his head protruding like a knot on the side of his head. The next part just makes me speechless. They were able to dislodge the bullet from his temple, and he was released from the hospital on the SAME DAY, walking and talking and saved from death’s door.


This woman is a member of my church who comes faithfully. She helps serve and volunteer and she isn’t someone flashy who really stands out, but what is remarkable about her is her unwavering faith in God and love for her children. She inspires me.

I don’t know why our city is so violent with young people killing each other on Safe Passage routes, or killed by police, or attempt to stick up liquor stores only to find themselves dead. These are stories that in some incredulous way touch my life personally with me knowing the boys personally in my work at the charter school. It makes me sick and sad and mad and unsure about the ways to process so much grief. It’s devastating and depressing, but the silver lining in the dark clouds is knowing that those boys were loved by their grandmothers. If they didn’t have anything else in the world, they had love from their grandmothers and it is a lasting love that is never forgotten.

I thank God for my grandmother’s love, life, and lessons they taught me, and the prayers they offered up for me when I was a lost child.  Instead of politicians, we need praying grandmothers.  They can change the world.

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    Elana Anthony

    I am a wife and mother blessed to have six daughters who fill my home with love and laughter. My passion is writing and teaching, but most especially inspiring people to live healthy lives in my faith-filled fitness classes. My dream is to have my own faith and fitness TV show where people from all the world collectively join together on our "temple" building project of enjoying optimal health. I am a certified group fitness instructor by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), and earned graduate degrees in Writing from DePaul University, in addition to a degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from the California University of Pennsylvania. I have seen and experienced the hand of God work and move in my life, and consider it an honor and blessing to be saved to serve.

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