A Mother’s Unanswered Prayers

By Ruth Bell Graham   •   May 2, 2012   •   Topics: ,

Had I been Joseph’s mother
I’d have prayed
protection from his brothers:
“God, keep him safe;
he is so young,
so different from
the others.”
Mercifully she never knew
there would be slavery
and prison, too.

Had I been Moses’ mother
I’d have wept
to keep my little son;
praying she might forget
the babe drawn from the water
of the Nile,
had I not kept
him for her
nursing him the while?
Was he not mine
and she
but Pharaoh’s daughter?

Had I been Daniel’s mother
I should have pled
“Give victory!
This Babylonian horde—
godless and cruel—
don’t let them take him captive
—better dead,
Almighty Lord!”

Had I been Mary—
Oh, had I been she,
I would have cried
as never a mother cried,
“… Anything, O God,
anything …
but crucified!”

With such prayers
my finite wisdom
would assail
Infinite Wisdom;
God, how fortunate
Infinite Wisdom
should prevail!

Taken by permission from “Ruth Bell Graham’s Collected Poems,” by Ruth Bell Graham, ©1977, 1992, 1997 The Ruth Graham Literary Trust.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published but you will receive our next BGEA ministry update. You can opt out of future emails at any time.


  1. Ruth says:

    As Mother of Three Very Precious Sons and Watching all 3 of them go through their own personal Life trials I know What the Verse is to ” Lay my Isaac Down” You have to Let Go and Let God in His Wisdom do His will in his time and lead those Children.

  2. Diane says:

    Thank you God for giving me perfect eyesight all my 71 years so that I can continue to read this wonderful Decision Magazine. My inspiration for 55 years.

  3. barbara says:

    thank you God for dying for my sins.

  4. Reba says:

    This is so true and a blessing. I Love it very much thank you for letting us read it.

  5. Lisa says:

    Not my will, but Thine…I lay my Isaac down…and trust God with my precious son. The pain of a mother penned so poignantly.