First Lady’s Corner: What it Means to Pray Through

What it Means to Pray Through by Mother Elizabeth Dabney

Her birthday is unknown, but she set her heart to live a consecrated life.

Mother Dabney’s father died when she was young, but her mother was determined to instill in her the values of a life in God. Mother Dabney married a very successful singer, and they pursued a self-centered lifestyle, traveling from city to city “free from responsibilities.” However, it was not long before this life made them both utterly miserable.

Mother Dabney’s husband had been running from a call to preach the gospel since he was five years old, when he used to preach to sticks on the ground. Through a series of shakings in the lives of this young couple—which included several unnatural plagues of roaches, tremors on a train, and serious prophetic words— Mother Dabney’s husband accepted his call to preach the gospel.

In 1925, Elizabeth Dabney and her husband went to work for a mission in Philadelphia.  She lived in a rough neighborhood.  She began to pray – and not just pray, but she prayed through.  She promised God she would pray until the Lord answered her prayers for her community.  The Lord prompted her to meet Him the next morning at the Schuylkill River at 7:30am sharp.  Mother Dabney was so nervous about missing her prayer appointment that she stayed up all night crocheting.

The next morning she went to the river and drew a circle in the sand and uttered the words, “If you will give my husband a church and congregation, I will walk with You for three years in prayer, both day and night.  I will meet you every morning, stay all day.  I will devote all of my time to You.  I will fast 72 hours each week for two years. While I fast I will not go home to sleep but stay at the church.”

Mother Dabney never permitted anything to interfere with her conversation time with God. She suffered. She says, “The flesh on my bones was numb; I fasted, not eating or drinking natural food, but I had a direct supply from heaven.”

Through the power of the Holy Spirit manifesting in prayer meetings, some of Mother Dabney’s most vocal critics witnessed miraculous healings take place in their own lives. Chemically burned eyes were completely restored, and dead men were brought back to life.

When her three-year period of consecration ended, the Lord appeared to her in a furnace and said that He had anointed her prayer ministry and that anywhere she traveled, many people would be saved. The local church that her husband had been shepherding for years also experienced tremendous growth, and a gift was given to them in the form of a beautiful new facility completely paid for in advance called The Garden of Prayer in Philadelphia.

Mother Dabney’s book is entitled “What It Means to Pray Through.” The book chronicles her life in ministry. Towards the end of the book she recounts several testimonies of healings and miracles. Ambulances would stop at the church on the way to the hospital for the patients to sit under her prayers.

Mother Dabney wasn’t one to lay hands she just prayed and allowed the Lord to do the work. She says that people would come in to the church under the prayer and the Lord would move on them so greatly that people would wring their hands because they didn’t know what to do with themselves. Thousands of people were healed from all manner of diseases under her ministry and her knees were all torn up because she spent so much time in prayer.

The greatest thing I learned in reading about Mother Dabney’s life is the power of prayer. She didn’t just add prayer to her life but she made it her life and because of it, many were blessed, healed and delivered. She teaches us that praying through requires, discipline, diligence, dedication, and sacrifice.

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