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Faith & Family: Moms in Prayer provides quiet support

Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — Paula Cable, from left, Tammi Gardner and Cindy Gwin bow their heads in prayer at the beginning of the local Moms in Prayer International group Tuesday at Trinity Episcopal Day School.
Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — Paula Cable, from left, Tammi Gardner and Cindy Gwin bow their heads in prayer at the beginning of the local Moms in Prayer International group Tuesday at Trinity Episcopal Day School.

NATCHEZ — Approximately three years ago, Sharon Blattner saw Trinity Episcopal Day School undergo changes, and she said those changes weighed heavily on her heart.

Blattner, whose son, Seth Blattner, is an eighth grader at Trinity, said she overheard people in the community saying negative things about the school. Instead of becoming discouraged by it, Blattner took it upon herself to create a prayer group to help uplift the school.

After doing some research online, Blattner came across the Moms in Prayer International group and decided to implement its program at Trinity. Now, the group meets on Tuesdays at 8 a.m. at the school and has anywhere from three to eight moms joining in.

“We’ve seen incredible answers to prayers since we started,” Blattner said.

The non-denominational group begins with a few moments of praise, followed by silent confessions and thanksgiving. Then the moms pray for the students of the school and whatever the needs of the school are at the time. They’ll also take time to pray for one another if any of them has a need.

Students can also place prayer requests inside a prayer box for the group to lift up to God.

Blattner recalled reading about a school that had drug and gang problems when a group of moms formed a similar group. Afterward, that school supposedly went through great transformation, and Blattner said she hoped the group at Trinity could help bring positive things to her son’s school as well. She also said praying with other moms helps quell worries they might have about their children.

“As parents, you’re always worried about your children, especially when they’re at school, because they’re out of sight,” Blattner said. “This replaces that worry with peace.”

Paula Cable has two sons, Jeremy and Jesse, who attended Trinity but have since graduated. However, Cable still makes time each Tuesday to be a part of the group.

“I think it really has become more of a family,” Cable said. “Things have come up that are very personal that we’ve been able to share that you wouldn’t normally be able to share in a church setting or even in small groups. These are very intimate things about each other’s personal lives that we’re able to pray for.”

In the past several years, the group has asked God to provide a good headmaster and school chaplain. Blattner said God gave them both with headmaster Les Hegwood and chaplain C.J. Meaders.

“They’ve both been an amazing answer to prayer,” Blattner said.

Meaders said he’s encouraged by the fact that a group of women have taken time out of their day to pray for the school.

“I think Jesus’ example shows us that part of the Christian life is to be grounded in prayer, which means praying regularly,” Meaders said. “These moms in prayer are a clear example of that kind of dedication, and you can bet they’re praying daily in their personal lives, too.”

Hegwood said as an Episcopalian school, groups like Moms for Prayer have a special place in the school’s overall experience.

“You think about how central worship and prayer is to us as a Christian school, and we want everyone to come to the table and feel welcome,” Hegwood said. “There are ladies in there from different denominations praying for all kids, not just Christians. Them being there honoring that time, that’s just an extension of our identity.”