A while back, I was discussing with a dear friend in Israel via email about a teenage family friend who had been diagnosed with a rare cancer. He promised to pray for the young man and offered to even place his name in Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall – if we would send him the full names of the teen and his mother, including her maiden name.
Our Jewish friend explained that He needed the mother’s name because he was taught growing up that God hears the cries of mothers and quickly answers their prayers.
As a mother and grandmother, I loved that thought. But I found myself wondering where that line of reasoning came from and if it was scripturally sound.
Thankfully, my pastor had the answer. He referred me to Genesis 21 and the story of Hagar and her son Ishmael, as they were cast out from Abraham’s camp with only bread and water. Wandering in the harsh heat of the wilderness, they were soon near death.
Placing her adolescent son under a bush, Hagar retreated about a bow’s shot away because she could not bear to watch Ishmael die of thirst and hunger.
As she wept and cried out to God, the Bible says the most amazing thing in verse 17:
And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, ‘What aileth thee, Hagar? Fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is (Genesis 21:17).
Then, God instructed her to lift up her son and directed her to an unseen well. After they drank their fill, God went on to save her son and make him a great nation, just as He promised Hagar that day in the wilderness.
Wow! A mother cried out to God on behalf of her child, but God heard the voice of her son. In essence, God answered her prayers by providing what her child needed. And that makes perfect sense to me because even as a mother, I do not fully know what my child truly needs or what it will take to meet those needs.
But God does!
So, I quickly sent our friend the requested info, thanking him for his care and concern. A week later, I excitedly sent an additional email to let him know that God had totally healed this young man. Even the doctors were amazed at what occurred in his body.
Now, this entire experience reminded me of many other miraculous answers to the prayers of mothers, including my own. But as I pondered all these moms and their miracle children, one mother stood out in my mind – Francine Perry.
A couple of years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Francine about her prodigal daughter, Laura.
Francine and her husband Paul raised their daughter in the church, so when Laura announced that she was going to live as a man, they were shocked and devastated. Though Laura did eventually have radical surgeries, her parents would not give up on the promises of God.
They never shut their door or their hearts to Laura, but they did refuse to acknowledge her as a man or call her by her chosen male name of Jake. For Francine, the next few years became a constant process of surrendering her heart and her child to God. But she never stopped praying for her prodigal daughter to return.
In fact, Francine and the women in the Bible study group she led began to partner together to pray for Laura. These women were determined to see Laura come home, and the unified prayers of these 100 mothers were soon heard and answered in the most unexpected way.
The group was growing so fast that many other people began to ask for online study resources. Since that was an area of expertise for Laura, Francine offered her daughter the job of creating and maintaining a website to showcase their Bible lessons.
Because she needed the paying job, Laura took it with no thought of how it would impact her own life. But as she read her mother’s lessons in order to write summaries for the website, Laura began asking Francine questions.
The truth and life of God’s Word began to change Laura’s heart and mind. Before long, Laura came home, and the women in Francine’s study group began to minister to the returned prodigal in every area of life, through clothes, work, and constant encouragement. Even so, it was a long process of continual growth and change for Laura.
But now, as they say, the rest is history.
Laura Perry has become one of the most outspoken voices of God’s truth and hope to those who are still out there lost in the LGBTQ community. She is a living testimony that God answers the prayers of a mother’s heart.
A dynamic speaker, Laura ministers to sexually broken individuals as a full-time staff member of First Stone Ministries. She also authored Transgender to Transformed, her autobiographical account of answered prayers. And on May 14, 2022, Laura was married to Perry Smalts, a music minister at her home church in Oklahoma City.
Sharing wedding day photos on her Facebook page, Laura wrote, “I am so thankful to the Lord for bringing us together and for redeeming my life beyond my wildest dreams. God’s redemption and restoration are so far beyond what we could even imagine.”
But for those mothers still waiting for their prodigals to come home, Francine Perry offers encouragement to keep focusing on God and never stop praying.
“If you will submit to the Holy Spirit, and let Him work in you,” says Francine, “He will work on your prodigal. You will see a miracle in your life.”
And most miraculous of all, our faithful God always hears and heeds the heartfelt prayers of a mother’s heart by attending to the soul cries of her child.
Hagar and Francine Perry are proof of that scriptural truth.