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Person of the Month: Harriet Tubman

Young Harriet Tubman persistently prayed that she and her family would be set free from the oppression of slavery. Little did she know, God would use her and her resolute faith in Jesus to rescue not only her own family, but hundreds of other enslaved African-Americans as well in what would come to be called The Underground Railroad.

No one knows exactly how Harriet began to call upon God or who taught her to do so. Her parents were faithful church-goers in their later years, so we can suppose they set an example of prayer and taught her what they could. What we do know is that Harriet prayed as a regular habit, expected God to answer, and trusted his answer no matter what. It’s that habit of expectant, trusting prayer that we’d do well to imitate!

Harriet’s prayer life resulted in such a close connection to God that she ultimately was able to follow his leading to freedom. Harriet sensed God telling her to escape under the cover of darkness. When her brothers got scared and returned to the plantation, Harriet pressed on alone with the help of faithful Quakers who guided her on the Underground Railroad. After about a 90-mile journey, Harriet crossed the Mason-Dixon line, tasting freedom for the first time.

But God had more work for Harriet to do! When He told her to return to the South and rescue more slaves, Harriet did not hesitate. Time and time again she followed his lead back into danger, and each time God protected her in her mission. Harriet earned her nickname, “Moses,” by taking around 19 trips South over a period of ten years, rescuing an estimated 300 slaves, including her parents. Harriet clung to faith as her guide, even as bounty hunters sought to trap her.

Talk about life-changing prayer!

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