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A Praying Mother

One outstanding example of a praying person is Monica, who was the mother of Augustine of Hippo. Hippo was a city in North Africa. Today North Africa is predominantly lslamic, but in Augustine’s day, (13 November 354 AD -28 August430 AD) it was an important centre of Christianity.

Augustine is considered as one of the greatest leaders of the early church. By secular writers he is considered as one of the pillars of Western civilization. His writings on Christian doctrine have had a profound impact on the shape of the theology of the church. He was an exceedingly clever person, whose insights into biblical interpretation were nothing short of astounding. He is still considered one of the most influential and most important early theologians of the church. You might see him often referred to if you read anything about Christianity in magazines and books. You will usually see his name credited. Among his many writings is a book called, “Confessions,” which was the testimony of his conversion. His book “Confessions” makes interesting reading! He was the young man who prayed “Lord, make me chaste {sexually pure} – but not yet!”

ln his younger days he lived an immoral and godless life. His great intellectual abilities provided him with a good income as a professor of Rhetoric in the city of Milan. He lived in relative luxury and enjoyed a life of sin. However, he was blessed with a praying mother. His mother, Monica, was a committed Christian who never stopped praying for the salvation of her son. God saw the many tears she shed out of concern over the wicked life her son was living and He heard her many earnest prayers on behalf of her wayward son. One afternoon while Augustine aged 32 years, was sitting in a garden he overheard some children singing ‘Take up and read! Take up and read!’ He became inwardly convinced by the Spirit that he should take up the scroll of the New Testament that he had with him. He began reading the 13th chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans. He was deeply convicted of his sin and came to faith in Jesus Christ. He turned away from his life of sin and became deeply devoted to God. He became a most zealous exponent of grace and stood firmly for orthodox Christianity against many errors circulating in his day. He finally settled in the North Africa city of Hippo, where he became bishop. His conversion highlights the importance of praying for the conversion of our family members and for others. Let us follow in the footsteps of Monica in earnest prayer for the salvation of our loved ones, who are unconverted.