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The Power of Prayer

This is a post I did a few months ago on a marriage enrichment blog I am helping my husband with. I have temporarily "shut down" the blog since I do not have time for it.

Since I am still a bit out of it and backlogged on everything around the house . . . I do not have time to write a post here either, so here is a re post from Felicity.

I love to pray. Years ago, when I was single, and had no children, I thought nothing of going to adoration at 1 AM. I could spend hours in front of Our Lord. I miss those times and I often yearn for them now. But, life has changed. Now, with three boys, I find myself praying throughout the day when washing dishes, changing the boys, doing laundry, or nursing Andrew. I will admit, I do not get to pray as much as I would like (or probably need too!!).

Pete and I give a talk to engaged couples on prayer in the family. We talk about individual prayer, couple prayer and family prayer. The crowd is a mixed crowd . . . some couple go to holy hours together and others, unfortunately, do not want to have anything to do with prayer. With that being said, we like to give them concrete examples of how prayer can change hearts and bring you closer together. Luckily, we have such a story . . . .

About a year ago, our, then youngest, Caleb, had to go to see a pediatric dermatologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in downtown Baltimore. This Dr is one of the best in his field. Caleb had to go several times, and, each time was the same. It would take us forever to get to his office . . . as with doctors, so specialized, we would wait forever in the waiting area to see him. Finally, we would get called back and then the we would see several doctors in their residencies . . . they would poke at Caleb's head and look at the little blue spot under his hair. They would measure it and ask us questions about it. Once done, they would say that the doctor would be in soon. We finally saw the Dr we were there to see, he would look at Caleb, say he looks fine and say that he needs to see Caleb again in 6 months. In less than 5 minutes, the Dr was in and out and we were left wondering, "Why did we come?" This visit was no different, except that now that Joshua and Caleb were 4 and 1 respectively, the long wait int the waiting room was difficult. They wanted to run and play and I found myself getting more and more impatient. Well, by the time we were done, I was thankful that we would not need to make this trip for another 6 months.

Since it was close to dinner time and we were in Baltimore, Pete suggested we go out to dinner. We went to the Cheesecake factory (YUMMY!!). Pete dropped me and the boys off at the Inner Harbour and he went to park the car. After dinner, we walked back to the car. Pete said it was only a few blocks. We had a stroller for Caleb and, surely, Joshua could handle the walk. We got the the street that Pete parked on and, no van to be found anywhere. I immediately thought it got stolen, but as Pete walked up the street, he saw a sign that he did not see before "Tow Away Zone. No Parking after 4 PM" (It was about 4:15 PM). So, we walked a few blocks to find a traffic police officer who promptly told us that she was certain our car was towed. Then, she kindly told us where the impound lot was. She said it was only a few blocks . . . . well as we began to walk it, only a few blocks was a lot longer than expected. Joshua immediately said he was too tired to walk and for the good, mile, mile and a half walk, Pete and I took turns carrying him. As we walked further and further away from the inner harbor, we walked through areas of Baltimore that definitely would not make it into their tourist brochures. When we finally got to where we were supposed to turn for the lot, we got lost. Luckily, there were a few people standing in front of a building that were able to tell us where to go.

Once in the office of the Lot, we told them what car was ours and we began to fill out the paperwork. It cost almost $400 to get it!!! ($20 of the a fee for just using a credit card). By this time, I was tired, and furious. I just wanted to go home.

We hopped in the van and started to head out of the city. But, we were in an area we did not know with a bunch of one way streets . . . . you guessed it . . . . we got hopelessly lost. We were driving down streets that I am sure I have seen on the news. You know, the places where the drive bys, murders and drug deals happen. After about 20 min of trying to get out of this area, we saw a fire station with firefighters outside of it. We stopped and they took one look at us "Let me guess, you're lost, right?" They directed us out of there and we were on our way home. When we got to the highway and we knew we were on our way home, Pete said "let's pray." OK, now I am usually up for praying, but that it is the last thing I wanted to do at that moment. I was upset that our car got towed and we had to spend almost $400 to get it back (and money does not exactly "grow on trees" for us). I was upset that we even had to come to Baltimore in the first place: it takes almost an hour to get the Johns Hopkins, then we "wasted" a whole day for a Dr to look at my son's head and in less than 5 min. say everything is fine. I was upset that we drove around hopelessly lost in a horrible area of town.

Yes, the last thing I wanted to do was pray. I was angry and I felt I had a right to be angry. I wanted to "wallow" in the bad day we had and just be allowed to "feel what I was feeling". But, it would seem horrible of me if I said "No, I do not want to pray" So I said, "Sure, you lead." (My way of passively praying). Well, as we we were praying, something changed. God began to show me all that I had to be grateful for:
* There was nothing wrong with Caleb, he was healthy
* We had a great dinner as a family
* Our van was not stolen and it was not damaged in the tow (which, I have been told, happens a lot)
* We had $400 to get our car back
* God provided people to point out how to get to the impound lot AND the firefighters to direct us out of Baltimore

Suddenly, I was humbled and filled with gratefulness. God had blessed us with so many blessings that day. I suddenly was thankful for our trip. Thankful to God for all that He has given us. I was especially thankful for Him changing my heart. I could of stayed in a bad mood the rest of the evening, and many people would have said I was justified. But, in that moment of prayer, God touched my heart.

When I got home, I immediately wrote down all that I was thankful for that day.

I still think about that day and I am so thankful that Pete suggested we pray and I am thankful that God, once again, showed me the power that prayer can hold when we open ourselves to His grace and goodness.


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