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She Brings the Kingdom of the Enemy Down!

Debbie White - 700 Club Producer

Author Violent James has been quoted as saying, “A praying mother is more precious and valuable than all the riches in the world.”

Altheresa Howard is one of those mothers. She treasures her role as a praying mother. She knows that one, if not, the most important responsibility of a mother is to love and nurture and teach our children to pray as early as possible. 

Pastor, author, and radio host Altheresa Howard has spent much of her life living what she believes: teaching others, and her 3 children and 8 grandchildren, about living a life for Christ – especially when it comes to prayer. Altheresa says she learned the power of prayer through personal experience. After she became a Christian at 19, she prayed for healing from a painful life-long skin condition. 

"The lepers came to Jesus and asked if he would heal them and He said, “I will, be clean,” Altheresa says. “I started believing God for my healing and God healed me.” From that moment on, Altheresa approached everything in life with faith and prayer.  She would need both when in January, 2020, her 31-year-old daughter Courtney was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Altheresa says that she and her family prayed against the disease immediately. I began to say, “No, the devil is a liar, we are not accepting this. We went into prayer warrior mode 24/7." Courtney was prescribed an aggressive chemotherapy regimen that would require a 7 day hospital stay every three weeks.  

Courtney remembers, “My mom always taught us that the power of life and death is in the power of the tongue, and I knew the moment I accepted it, that’s what it would be.”

It wasn’t long before Altheresa's family would face another crisis. Two days before Courtney would begin her 1st week of chemo, Altheresa’s youngest daughter, Aiesha, went into labor 4 months early. Aiesha recalls, “When they were rushing me to go to surgery, my body’s reaction was to cry, but I had to think on God’s goodness and His promise that my son would be fine."

With two daughters and a grandson now in the same hospital, Altheresa and her husband Eddie called on family, friends and the faithful at their church to pray. The baby named “KD” made it through the night, but would continue to fight for his life. Doctors warned that anything could go wrong, including complete organ failure. Altheresa led the charge in prayer. “Everything that they would say could potentially go wrong, we would go into prayer about those things,” says Altheresa.

Aiesha, who was still in the hospital recovering from her c-section, remembers one bright spot on the journey; the first time she held her baby. “Just being able to feel his warmth, just to touch his fingers and toes was life changing.”

Meanwhile, Altheresa kept a faithful, unwavering vigil. Walking the hospital halls between the rooms of her children, praying non-stop. She prayed by KD’s incubator and then would brighten Aiesha’s day with faith filled reports on his progress. She often slept overnight in a chair in Courtney’s room.  

Altheresa says she vowed two things, “I was going to commit like never before to do what God needed me to do and two, I was going to do everything I could to bring down the kingdom of the enemy.”

Finally, the family would see God answering their prayers. In the coming weeks, KD would continue to improve; gaining weight and passing rigorous tests. In late April, four months after his birth, KD went home, healthy, weighing almost 7 pounds. Altheresa will never forget that moment when she welcomed KD home. She sang to her son, “He’s coming home, he’s coming home.” She says, “It was a very joyous moment."

Then, just a few weeks later, Courtney finished chemotherapy and rang the victory bell reserved for those who complete all their treatments. “Being able to ring that bell, knowing that this chapter was done, I did actually cry that day and I hugged all the nurses,” recalls Courtney.

Several weeks later, Courtney was officially declared cancer free. “After all the tests came back all clean and I’m like officially done, I heard the Spirit of the Lord say, 'It is finished.'” Courtney remembers, “I was so ecstatic that I did a “happy dance” with my young son in the hospital parking garage for all to see.”

The family says God answered yet another prayer. After being told she couldn’t conceive after chemotherapy, Courtney got pregnant and had a baby boy in October of that year. Altheresa believes, “It was God saying, 'Look, here’s the blessings, the double portion coming back from all the enemy brought your way.'”

When the family celebrates Mother’s Day this year and every year, Courtney and Aeisha’s hope is always that they can carry on their mother’s legacy by being courageous women of prayer. They want to raise their own children to live godly lives, and to never forget the power of prayer. 

Courtney says, “Mom, I love you. I appreciate your selflessness and your love. I am grateful for the many things you taught us and I’m grateful that you are the mom God chose for us.”

Aeisha had her own tribute to her mother, “My mom taught me to always have faith in God, and believe that absolutely nothing was impossible.”

Altheresa's many grandchildren aren’t quite as vocal yet, but they want to send along their love too, and wish their grandmother a “Happy Mother’s Day.”

Altheresa wants to encourage all parents, “Don’t give up on the praying, we are sometimes standing in between whatever the enemy is wanting to do and those children. Our prayers can help bring our children through. Don’t give up on those children. Don’t ever stop praying.”

    

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