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A Praying Apron

Posted by on in Men & Women of Intercession
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Imagine its 1710 in a little village called Epworth, England. You’re the wife of the town cobbler and its been a very busy day for your husband so you’re taking some deliveries for him throughout the village. Spring has arrived and everyone has their windows open, grateful for a taste of fresh, clean air. As you go along you pass the parsonage and glance inside the open window. The sight that meets your eyes stops you in your tracks.


There are 8 children on the floor, table and chairs. Some are reading, some are working mathematical equations and a few smaller children are playing with blocks and sticks. In the midst of them is woman, sitting in a chair, and over her face is an apron. Yes, she has set an apron over her face and sits quietly and still. You shake your head, That Susanna Wesley is a strange one, you say to yourself as you walk on. 


Yes, that woman was Susanna Wesley, and that was her praying apron.



From a very young age Susanna decided firmly upon never spending more time in leisure than in prayer and seeking God. Imagine what our lives would look like if we took that to heart! How much less TV, phone time, games, and other useless entertainment would we absorb? It’s safe to say that Susanna had far less time for leisure than she did for prayer. After all, she gave birth to 19 children and although only 10 survived, we must admit, her hands were full. 


Despite growing up in a time where women and girls had little to no formal education Susanna herself could read very well and was very intelligent. It was this that first led her later husband, Samuel, to fall in love with and marry her. Samuel was an Anglican rector, but he traveled often, so the weight of raising a family and running the farm fell solely on Susanna’s shoulders. This however was not enough for her to neglect her own prayer time of 2 hours every day underneath her apron, nor to keep her from raising her children to know God, and spend their time in praying as well. She also prioritized all her children’s education teaching them both Biblically and classically. 


There is an old adage that says, “Behind every great man is a great woman.” 


I think it’s safe to say that more correctly, behind every great person of God, is great person of prayer.  Susanna raised two sons, John and Charles who grew up to lead thousands of men and women to Christ. And I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that it all began when they saw their incredibly busy, hardworking mother take time out of her day to pray. 


Are we following after God the way Susanna Wesley did? Are we prioritizing our prayer time? Are we spending anywhere near the amount of time in prayer as we are in things of pleasure? 


I hope this quick look at Susanna Wesley’s life encourages you to continue to pray, to set time aside even in the busiest of seasons, and to never stop prevailing for our country. I hope it encourages you that you don’t have to be the great pastor or evangelist that the world knows. You can make a difference in the world by praying. Praying each and every day.


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