This past week on my personal Facebook page I asked for prayer from my friends and family for something of which I could not divulge the details. I was overwhelmed by the likes and the comments of “done”, “praying”, “thinking of you, hope everything is okay!” and so on. After lots of prayer on my part I started to think about prayer and how it has changed my life over the years.
I am a true believer in prayer and the power it holds over situations. I have experienced too many close and personal experiences with prayer to not believe in its power. As a child I was terrified of the boogie man, and I also was convinced if I flushed the toilet in the middle of the night that a snake or alligator would somehow swim up at that moment to swallow me alive. On many occasions I would run back to my bed after I flushed the toilet, and throw the covers over my head, and plead with Jesus to please keep me safe. The prayers always worked, and I would soon go back to sleep safely in my bed.
As I reached my early teenage years I dealt a lot with severe depression and feelings of being lost, unwanted, and unloved. I struggled to find meaning in my life and what my purpose was as a young girl blossoming into a woman. I was counseled by my Pastor at the time, and the one comfort in all of it was after he talked to me, he would prayer with me. At fifteen years of age, it was hard to be me and it did not help that I felt like my life was totally upside-down, and in a downward spiral going nowhere good. I dated a young man for nearly a year, and in my young heart I thought he was the one, but we went our separate ways. I was heart-broken. Then I had a deranged young man harass me for nearly six months (which they would now consider bullying). He would run my car off the road, leave message after message of nasty phone calls, and threaten to kill me. It was an extremely rough year. I felt as if there was battle inside me, and by the end I was ready to end it all.
I remember it was a Sunday afternoon I had finished my algebra. Suddenly, a feeling of dread overwhelmed me like a floodgate had opened. My mother had left for town, my father and grandfather were laying tile in my parent’s master bathroom. I found myself in our kitchen with a knife to my wrist. I was over my life and ready to end the pain. Voices screamed in my head and even in the room, “You are not worth living!” In the moment before I slit my left wrist I cried out to Jesus in a last horrific wail “I don’t want to die! Please make the pain stop!” Instantly, I felt a presence envelop around my shoulders, and an audible voice said “Put the knife down. It will be okay, because I have a purpose for your life.” It said I was worthy of my family, friends, and I could finally be at peace. I dropped the knife, and I just started to sob, because He had heard my pleas for help. Prayer saved my life that day.
Another example in my life of why I believe in the power of prayer occurred the day before I married my husband Michael. The stress of the wedding plans became too much, and as a result I fell seriously ill. I ended up in the intensive care unit with a kidney infection that went septic throughout my body. Never before or after in my life have I been that sick or in so much pain. I wanted to die because of the physical pain. The doctors said later they mentioned the possibility of my death to my my soon-to-be husband and family. They were not able to regulate my potassium or sodium levels, and I came close to cardiac arrest. My grandmother left the hospital around 10:30 a.m. to ask for special prayer at the Bozeman, Montana Adventist church. It was 11:20 a.m. when she finally arrived there, and stood up to tell the church about my peril. The congregation immediately stopped the service, and they prayed for me. It was at that exact moment, the doctors said they regained control of my vital blood values, and my heart was spared. The doctors were stunned, because if my family brought me to the hospital even two hours later, it would not have been my life they were saving, but what donor organs they could that were not infected. There is no doubt in my mind I would be dead if it had not been for the prayers of the local church and my family. After that, I had a long road ahead of me to get my strength back, but it was the power of prayer that preserved my miracle of life. I married my husband the next day, but in the hospital atrium instead of the church.
The last example of the power of prayer I share is one of my son Tristan. I started out with a normal pregnancy, but always had issues gaining weight. Because I was so small at thirty weeks, they did a thorough ultrasound to determine the fluid levels around Tristan. They found his fluid and oxygen levels were lower than normal. From that point onward in my pregnancy I had two ultrasound visits per week until I was induced at 37.5 weeks. After he was born and I had delivered the placenta, they discovered there was a large area that was crystallized. After the pathology report came back, we discovered it was an area of placental abruption, and the placenta had died in that area. Doctor’s, midwives and other professionals who still record his history at various appointments all remark about how lucky we are he is even alive given the size of the area that was dead. It was not luck to me, because after the first ultrasound when they discovered the issues, I went to church that weekend, and I asked for prayer. The congregation prayed for me and Tristan. Even after church, the pastor and elders had another special prayer session together with me. It was not luck Tristan survived. It was the power of prayer.
Prayer has a physical affect on the human body and the mind. It transcends languages to bring people together in times of crises like what occurred with the several natural disasters in Japan and parts of the United States this past summer. It heals people on a daily basis, physically and emotionally. I completely believe and know the prayers for my Facebook family and friends help each other heal bodies, minds and spirits to make people whole once again.
“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go.” –Abraham Lincoln