Thursday, June 6, 2013

Prayers Please

Have you ever wondered if your prayers really made a difference? I mean a REAL difference. When I was younger I used to wonder if my one little prayer in this vast universe of millions of prayers really made a difference.

I suppose it was divine intervention, but I had this question answered...literally.

Almost 15 years ago when I was a SAHM and living outside of Philadelphia, there was a very tragic accident on the interstate. A young woman and her fiancé were on their way home from pre-marriage counseling and a freak accident left the young woman dead and her fiancé uninjured. This young woman was to be married in only two weeks and she was her parents' only child. My heart ached for her parents, and I could not shake my own sense of sorrow for this family. I found myself praying for her parents and fiancé throughout my day.

A couple of days later, I was at Talbots, where I worked about four hours a week in the evening just to get out of the house. A woman came into the store and I approached her to ask if I could help her find anything. She looked into my eyes and told me "I am looking for something to wear to my daughter's funeral."

Without a moment of thought, I grabbed her hand in mine and blurted out "I have been praying for you". I instinctively knew it was the young woman's mother. It still gives me goose bumps and I get choked up when I remember that moment.

The woman took me into her arms and said to me "It is only because of YOU, YOUR prayers, that I am able to get through every day and survive this unbearable pain." She went on to tell me that she knew "people" were praying for her, but to meet me, a stranger, and feel the love and compassion I offered, was of great comfort to her. She told me she would never forget me, and that she would remember this moment during the dark days to come.

I honestly thought I was going to faint after this encounter. My manager thought I had seen a ghost, but I had seen the Lord at work through me. My prayers DO make a difference. Most of us will never know or meet the strangers we pray for, and our prayers will impact those strangers in ways we will never realize. I suppose that is part of faith...knowing without having to see for yourself.

As a hospice social worker, I deal with death and grief on a daily basis. While some deaths are more tragic than others, it in no way minimizes the pain and grief that follows a loss. I love my job and many wonder how I can love a job that seems so depressing. I look at my job as a gift. It is a privilege to share the extremely intimate journey with a patient and their family as they face impending death. Knowing that I am providing comfort and support along this journey is a very rewarding feeling.

I woke this morning with an impending sense of gloom...maybe it was the dark and cloudy sky that first gave me that sense, but as my morning wore on, I felt a blanket of sadness settling over me as I encountered sad news after sad news.

I have already made some new blog friends since starting my own blog in April, and I was saddened when I read that some of my new blog friends are experiencing their own losses and grief right now.
My blog friend at Simply LKJ lost her dog this week, who had been a member of the family for 13 years. A friend of my blog friend, Preppy Empty Nester tragically lost her 11 year old son this week, and the father of my blog friend at Always in a Southern State of Mind fell and broke his leg and needs prayers. In addition, a friend of mine posted on FB today about a friend of hers who accidentally drown this week on a family vacation...he was the father of five young children. I also ask for prayers for Rob Brenner, and his wife and children as he continues to recover from a brain tumor. I randomly came across his story on FB last November and did not know him, but his wife's spirit and strong faith through such pain and adversity really struck me and I continued to follow their story and pray for them. She is an inspirational woman.
Rob with his wife, Dawn, and their two children
Please pray for these families and all others in need of prayer right now.
Blessings to you all...

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Simply LKJ said...

What a beautiful post. I am a firm believer in prayer, for those we know and for those we do not. Thank you for including me in yours. I will be praying for those you listed as well. Thanks for bringing them to our attention.

Katie Clooney said...

What a sweet beautiful post. I am a strong believer in the power of prayer. I also don't believe in coincidences. God put that grieving mother in your path so she could meet one of the many who was praying for her. Thank you so much for mentioning my friend and her need for prayers in your post.

suburban prep said...

I have to admit that prayer is what has gotten me and other members of my family through some real hardships.
Prayer is something that is not held in by bounds it is limitless.
My sister had stage 4 Non-Hodgkins in 2000 and into 2001. Cards were sent out to many members of the family and friends and then they were sent to my sister so she would know where prayers were coming from. I think that they were coming from all over the world. My sister was given a 10 % chance of living and she is now almost going to celebrate her 12 yr anniversary of a bone marrow transplant in August. She always wanted to be a mother and she has a beautiful young daughter that she and her husband adopted in 2004.

Last year my mother had two aortic aneurysm dissections. I am so fortunate to have her still in my life. Just a few months prior my father who just turned 85 in April had a stroke. Both are doing OK considering all they have gone through. It was prayer that I believe helped me through this.

Andrea said...

I'm just reading this post, Christine, and I have tears in my eyes! What a beautiful story. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. When I was 13 my Grandfather suffered a massive heart attack. The doctors told us to start making our arrangements, because he was not going to make it. Well, those doctors didn't know about my Nana and her church prayer chain! My Grandfather survived, and went on to live another 20 years. Just one of many examples... Thank you for sharing this blessed post.

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