Prayer is powerful hope. Prayer offers calm where there may be chaos. I respect anyone’s decision not to believe in this power, but I have seen it work too many times in my life not to believe it. Let me tell you a few stories about prayer in my experience.
When I was little if I misbehaved my mother would say, “Wait until your father comes home and I tell him what you did.” Every time she said that I would pray that God would make her forget by the time my dad came home, and since I never found out what dad would do, I was sure that God was listening to my prayers.
My sister had already had breast cancer once and had to go in for another biopsy years later. She told me if the tumor was malignant, she would not accept the treatment. I have a group of friends that I call my prayer warriors, so I asked them to pray that the tumor was benign. When I called my sister the night of the biopsy, she said that when she entered the office, the technician said they wanted to take another x-ray before doing the biopsy. When they took it, there was no tumor. The doctor later said she could not explain it. The tumor had disappeared.
As a Catholic, I have a patron saint. Mine is St. Thèrese de Lisieux. I didn’t know much about her until later in life when I found out that my sister had the same saint. My sister told me that the symbol of St. Thèrese is the rose and that when I saw roses that meant everything would be o.k. St. Thèrese and I have a lot in common. She was French, I am a French teacher. She was a writer; I try to be a writer. She was stubborn and so am I. I was making a tough decision about quitting my job and moving my family. There were a lot of pieces to the decision, and I was worried that I was making the wrong choice. Suddenly, I started seeing roses everywhere. Don’t laugh, but they were even on the Chinese take-out box and on the toilet paper in Outback. I pray to St. Thèrese all the time and she comes through for me. My husband has planted roses all around our yard. On a school trip to France, I walked into the cathedral dedicated to her without knowing it until I was inside.
My parents bought a collie when I was born, and we grew up together until I was 13. She was amazing, and for the rest of my life I wanted another collie, but it never worked out until this year. We lost our dog of many years, and although I knew I eventually wanted another one, I wasn’t sure where I should look for it. A thought jumped in my head that said it would come to me. In October, I was out running when my friend Lynn pulled out and said, “I’m going to go rescue a dog. A couple bought it for emotional support, but it is too active for them. It’s a border collie.” I asked my husband if we could just look at him and the rest is history. I was out running several days later, and I thought, “Oh my gosh, I have a collie and it came to me!” I consider it another answered prayer.
I am also grateful that some prayers have not been answered because they were not going to be good for me.
If you are not a believer, you can still see results by sending out positive affirmations. My family used to laugh at me when we would pull into a packed restaurant parking lot and I would say, “We will get right in!” when we went in there would always be a table for four that just opened up. Now, they usually say it before me.