8 Unbelievable Stories of Moms Who Changed History with Their Faith

Amanda Idleman

Contributing Writer
Published May 09, 2024
8 Unbelievable Stories of Moms Who Changed History with Their Faith

Mothers shape history as we are the primary influences on our children during their primary years of personality and character formation. The daily grind of motherhood can feel mundane, unseen, and unimportant in a world that values measurable success rather than meaningful relationships. Yet, we know that moms are world changers through our everyday faithful influence that we are devoted to nurturing in our homes.

History shows us how simple acts of faithfulness and love can greatly impact our world! Sometimes we have to look back to gain the vision we need to remain faithful in the work God is calling us to. We can gain inspiration, hope, encouragement, and faith through studying the stories of those who have fought the good fight and finished the race before us.

Here are some unbelievable stories of moms who have changed history with their faith:

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popular hymns

Stories of Faithful Mothers

John Newton most famously wrote the beloved hymn "Amazing Grace." He grew up with a mother who, despite her physical handicaps due to chronic fatigue that was a result of tuberculosis, was faithful to impart her strong faith unto her son. From her bed, she taught young John the catechisms, hymns, and Scripture. When John was a young man, he abandoned the faith of his mother and became a slave ship captain until one perilous night when his ship was hit by a vicious storm. He was scared for his life and, in desperation, cried out to God, asking him to save him so he could repent and serve the Lord. From that day on, he began serving the Lord as a priest and writer of hymns, and even testified to the horrors of the slave trade to Parliament, helping to convince them to ban the slave trade.

Most of us are familiar with the beautiful writings of Charles Spurgeon. His words are full of wisdom and have encouraged countless Christians, but there would have been no Charles Spurgeon as we know him without the faithful prayers of his mother. As a youth, Charles was rebellious, but she went faithfully to God, asking him to redeem his life and use him for God's glory. Her prayers were answered, as Charles was known as the "Prince of Preachers" and credited his mother's influence for his enduring faith.

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woman praying at night  time

A Story of a Patient Mother

Saint Augustine of Hippo is a father of the modern church. His teachings shaped the early church, and his writings are still studied today. Yet, he grew up with a pagan father who enjoyed this world's pleasures. It was the influence of his mother that helped set the example he needed to decide to reject the pagan ways and embrace Christianity. Augustine spent his young years involved with cults and following the example of his father. His mother committed herself to patiently praying and fasting for her lost son. She spoke to Augustine often about the gospel and pleaded for him to change his ways.

Then, one day, the teachings of Bishop Ambrose resonated in his heart, but he felt overwhelmed with his addiction to sexual pleasure. God met him in his brokenness, and he repented after reading Romans 13:13, which encouraged Christians to abandon sexual immorality. Thankfully, his mother was able to witness his baptism right before she passed away. God was faithful to answer her consistent and patient pleas for her son.

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A woman praying, The Joy of Loving God with 'All Your Soul'

Stories of Praying Mothers

Billy Graham is a name recognized in most homes. He led millions to take steps of faith and preached all across the globe. His story started with a faithful praying Mom, Marrow Graham. This faithful and loving mother would gather the family to listen to the Bible and spend time praying together. She modeled what it was to spend time listening to God's word and being in his presence. She prayed daily for her son at 10 am. Her faithful prayers resulted in an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the nations through the ministry of Billy.

Susanna Wesley was the mother of John Wesley, who became a notable evangelist during the 1700s. She was a woman who prayed! She had ten rambunctious children yet spent two hours daily in prayer. On the days that she could not find a way to slip away, she would put her apron over her head so she could focus on the Lord! I need to try that tip in my house! She would pray while the kids played around her. She did not let the chaos of motherhood distract her from her first love. Much of her life her husband traveled, leaving her to parent the ten kids on her own! I can see why she needed to pray so often. God was faithful as John spoke to large crowds about the Lord, and her other son, Charles Wesley, wrote over 9000 hymns that we sing today.

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women at the cross

Stories of Mothers from the Bible

Many mothers from the biblical text change the world! The most notable mother of the Bible is Mary, the mother of Jesus. It's impressive that Mary was highlighted in the Biblical text more than her husband Joseph. God gives special note to her faith, her sacrifice, and her love for her son. She is also credited with being the encouraging voice that pushed Jesus' ministry into action when she asked him to resolve the issue of insufficient wine at a dear friend's wedding celebration (John 2:1-11). She likely had seen her Son to the miraculous in private and asked him to show up for his community on that notable occasion.

Another notable early story of mothers who God saw and did miracles through were Sarah and Hagar. Sarah was promised to bring Abraham's line that would become a chosen people into the world, but she found herself growing old with a closed womb. In desperation, she gave Hagar to her husband to become pregnant on her behalf. Hagar did bring a son into the world but Sarah became consumed with jealousy which led her to mistreat Hagar to the point Hagar fled into the harsh desert climate. Hagar was close to death when God showed up and revealed himself to her as the "God who sees her." She promised to keep her, told her to return to Abraham, and blessed her offspring. This name for God speaks to his caring nature. Sarah, though flawed, was also seen by God. She was given a son in her 90s whose name was Isaac. He became the father of the Israelites. God was faithful, and though his timing was not what she hoped for, he still came through! (Genesis 16-21)

There are countless other stories of how God uses the faithful witness of mothers to advance his kingdom. He honors mothers' roles in their children's lives and their faithful prayers, using them as encouragers, nurturers, and teachers. God promises to comfort and gently lead those that have young (Isaiah 40:11). When we study these stories and so many more, we can see how faithful God is to take care of us and our children.

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Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. She has most recently published a devotional, Comfort: A 30 Day Devotional Exploring God's Heart of Love for Mommas. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.

Originally published Wednesday, 15 May 2024.