Summary: I know that many mothers pray. Sometimes they pray out of necessity. Sometimes they pray because motherhood is not easy, but extremely difficult. (Powerpoint available - #302)



(Revised: 2018)

(Powerpoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at and request #302.)

TEXT: Matthew 20:20?23

ILL. Someone wrote, "Mother's Day is traditionally the day when children give something back to their mothers for all the spit they produce to wash dirty faces, all the old gum they held in their hands, all the noses they wiped, & all the bloody knees they 'made well' with their kisses.

"This is the day mothers are rewarded for washing sheets in the middle of the night, driving kids to school when they missed the bus, & enduring all those football & soccer games in the rain.

"It's a day of appreciation for making your children finish something they said they couldn't do, not believing them when they said, 'I hate you,' & sharing their good times & their bad."

A. What are mothers? Well, mothers are teachers. Mothers are disciplinarians. Mothers are cleaning ladies. Some mothers are gardeners & mowers of lawns. Mothers are nurses & doctors & psychologists & counselors & chauffeurs & coaches.

Mothers are developers of personalities, molders of vocabularies, & shapers of attitudes. Mothers are soft voices saying, "I love you." And mothers are a link to God, a child's first impression of God's love. Mothers are all these things & much, much more.

ILL. One of my favorite columns by Erma Bombeck told of God in the act of creating mothers. She said that on the day God created mothers He had already worked long overtime. An angel said to Him, "Lord, you sure are spending a lot of time on this one."

The Lord turned & said, "Have you read the specs on this model? She is supposed to be completely washable, but not plastic. She is to have 180 moving parts, all of them replaceable. She is to have a kiss that will heal everything from a broken leg to a broken heart.

“She is to have a lap that will disappear whenever she stands up. She is to be able to function on black coffee & leftovers. And she is supposed to have six pairs of hands." "Six pairs of hands," said the angel, "that's impossible." "It's not the six pairs of hands that bother me," said the Lord, "It's the three pairs of eyes.

"She is supposed to have one pair that sees through closed doors so that whenever she says, 'What are you kids doing in there?' she already knows what they're doing in there."

"She has another pair in the back of her head to see all the things she is not supposed to see but must see. And she has one pair right in front that can look at a child who goofed & communicate love & understanding without saying a word."

"That's too much." said the angel, "You can't put that much in one model. Why don't you rest for a while & resume your creating tomorrow?"

"No, I can't," said the Lord. "I'm close to creating someone very much like myself. I've already come up with a model who can heal herself when she is sick ? who can feed a family of six with one pound of hamburger ? & who can persuade a nine year old to take a shower."

Then the angel looked at the model of motherhood a little more closely & said, "She's too soft." "Oh, but she is tough," said the Lord. "You'd be surprised at how much this mother can do."

"Can she think?" asked the angel. "Not only can she think," said the Lord, "but she can reason & compromise & persuade."

Then the angel reached over & touched her cheek. "This one has a leak," he said. "I told you that you couldn't put that much in one model." "That's not a leak," said the Lord. "That's a tear."

"What's a tear for?" asked the angel. "Well it's for joy, for sadness, for sorrow, for disappointment, for pride." "You're a genius," said the angel. And the Lord said, "Oh, but I didn't put it there."

B. Maybe with all this in mind we can better understand Mrs. Zebedee, the mother of the apostles James & John. Now please follow along with me as I read Matthew 20:20?23.

"Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus with her sons &, kneeling down, asked a favor of Him. 'What is it you want?' He asked. She said, 'Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right & the other at your left in your kingdom.'

"'You don't know what you are asking,' Jesus said to them. 'Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?' 'We can,' they answered.

"Jesus said to them, 'You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.'"

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Donald Carter

commented on May 2, 2008

Enjoyed reading message! Helpful!

Greg Nance

commented on May 5, 2008

What a gold mine! You've enriched my preaching once again with ideas and illustrations that move the message from the head to the heart.

Derrick Hensley

commented on May 5, 2008

Well thought out and great insight on James and John's mother

Donna Szalacsi

commented on May 4, 2010

Great message

Mike Shreve

commented on May 9, 2010

I loved it and it gave me some great tools to use thank u brother

Randy Wilson

commented on Apr 25, 2011

Great message! Thoughtful

Don Landwehr

commented on May 6, 2011

very good my first time to use your resource and I am all ready impressed

Suresh Manoharan

commented on May 2, 2012

A touching message making us once again understand the agape love of a mother.

Ryan Good

commented on May 12, 2012

Powerful and insightful sermon. May God richly bless you.

Clark Struebing

commented on May 3, 2013

great truth and great insight in to the hard job of being a mother

Ipeleng Senyane

commented on May 9, 2013

This sermons lack scriptures is like you are reading a magazine.

Bob Brydon

commented on May 8, 2014

Didn't your mother ever teach you that if you can't say something nice... don't say anything at all? We need to encourage and build up our fellow pastors, not criticize and tear them down. Live and learn!

Dearl Hardy

commented on Dec 3, 2014

please post your sermons on here so others can scrutinize and critique them as well, i would love to read some of yours, especially since you feel you can do better than one of the most gifted people I know in communicating Gods message.

Ken Boswell

commented on May 5, 2015

I agree that sermons need to be bible based and thoroughly documented scripturally, but the words of scripture are so deep that one can preach a sermon from one verse, one phrase, even one word. Last Sunday evening I preached on I Jn. 1:9 and each word made a whole point in the sermon.

Debra Darby

commented on May 7, 2021

I agree, Boswell

Mike Kramer

commented on May 6, 2015

Pastor Melvin rocks! Leave his message alone.

Daniel Abu

commented on May 9, 2020

@Ipeleng Senyane, I beg you in the name of God, please kindly refrain from killing another Pastor, especially on this platform. Pastors all over the world are having a hard time as it is, and the last thing we need is to come here and then get a bullet from our colleagues. It's not good. We are already being hunted, please don't take away this place of refuge. Blessings.

Rick Pendleton

commented on May 5, 2015

Puts a good spin on a person I have always seen as negative. Great insights.

Roshanda Denson

commented on May 11, 2018

Very fulfilling to the heart and mind of one that cares for her children but teaches love without even saying the word love! Good sermon

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