Do Prayers Really Work?

do-prayers-really-work-2

 

I usually I give you tips, recipes, workouts, or menu plans. Occasionally you get perspective. Today you get inspiration, and it’s gift-wrapped in my belief about God. Sorry if that’s not your style. It’s just that after a certain sequence of events happened last winter, I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that I should write about it. Stories like these are meant to be shared.

This whole story begins with a canister of IsaPro…and because it is the product of the week, it seems that the perfect time has arrived. So here it is…an experience that affirms to me that God is more than just an ethereal concept, and yes – prayers to Him really do work.

One evening last winter my husband was out shoveling the driveway before running a few quick errands. I asked him if he would include in his errands the delivery of some IsaPro to a friend down the street. He said he would, and so I set the canister on the trunk of his car while he finished shoveling, and I went back into the house. The next morning, I discovered that my friend had never received the IsaPro. When I asked my husband where this canister could be, his eyes got wide. He had no idea what had happened to it.

After a quick search of the car and garage, we concluded that he must have forgotten all about it and driven away with the IsaPro on his trunk. Somewhere along the way the canister probably flew off the car and lodged into a snow bank as he turned a corner.

Because the cost of replacing this loss would be ours (almost $50) we had good incentive to find it. We scoured the surrounding streets and neighborhood, but it was in vain. The protein powder was nowhere to be found.

I know that worse luck could certainly have befallen us, but even so…I was unsettled about it. If I had to spend an unexpected $50 that day, this was certainly not the way I would have chosen to do it. This was literally the equivalent of tossing a $50 bill out my car window. The situation continued to trouble me all morning, until I finally decided I would try to strike a deal with God. After all, I reasoned, He knew exactly where this IsaPro was. If it was His will, then He could certainly find a way to let me know how to find it. I knew that bartering with Him was a long shot – and completely His call – but I thought I’d try my luck anyway.

Here was my proposal: If God would help me find this canister of IsaPro, then I promised I would give that same $50 I would have to spend to replace it to someone in need. Well, you know how it is with prayer; upon saying “amen” there were no sudden visions or beams of light that appeared. I had no idea how my prayer was received.

So I went about my busy day, business as usual. Then later that afternoon…it happened. God answered my prayer. As I drove down a busy street about a half of a mile from our home, a little flash of blue (the color of the IsaPro lid) caught my eye. I quickly pulled over. Sure enough, buried deep in a dirty snow bank, I found a beat up, run over, scratched and dented canister of IsaPro…the seal still perfectly in place.

Wow. I smiled to myself with a slight case of the chills. Did that really just happen?

With the canister of Isa Pro in my hands, I knew what came next.

After a quick prayer of thanks, I asked who He would have me share the $50 with. When no one came to mind, I decided I would share it with a family I knew who was in need.

Now, I think I’ve made my point. I could conclude with a warm, fuzzy moral: yes, prayers do really work. The likelihood that my eye would have caught such a tiny glint of blue in a dirty snow bank, going at such a fast speed, is too unlikely to call coincidence. But there is still the matter of where I would give the promised fifty dollars. So read on…

Later that night I found myself deep in the throes of the Bewitching Hour (that 60-minute stretch before dinner that is straight from the Twilight Zone, when blood sugar is low, tempers are high, and everyone seems possessed.) I was frantically boiling spaghetti noodles, reviewing spelling words with the 4th grader, and preparing for a meeting that I would be holding in my home in less than an hour (baby attached to my hip all the while) when I got a phone call. It was from a good friend who asked if I was interested in ordering some products from a home party she had hosted earlier in the week. Talk about bad timing! “I’m sorry,” I told her. “I’m really busy right now. Can we talk tomorrow?”
“That’s okay,” she said, though everything about the way she said it told me it wasn’t. “I have to close my party tonight, so tomorrow will be too late.  Don’t worry about it.” Then she added, “I just really needed to get another order tonight so I could earn a free mop.” Something about the dejected tone of her voice was just enough to shake me out of my self-absorption. Peeling my attention away from the mayhem surrounding me, I tuned in to her needs in a moment of compassion.

“Leanna,” I said. “How much more did you need to sell in order to get the free mop?”

“Well, I just need one more $50 order,” she said.

Okay…did that just zing you the way it zinged me that night? What were the odds that someone would call me with a $50 need on a day that I had just promised God that I would give $50 to someone? But…all of this  for a mop? I said a quick prayer that went a little something like this: “Really? This is where you want me to give that $50?” And then came that warm feeling that I have learned to recognize as communication from God. I knew what I needed to do.

“Okay, Leanna. I will order $50 worth of product,” I said. “Just pick me out something good.”

“Really?” She gushed. “Oh, Jenny, you’re the best friend! How can I thank you enough?” And then came the jewel of this whole story. She said, “I was really busy this week and didn’t have enough time to collect all of the orders I had hoped for.  All day I have been praying and praying that somehow I could find someone who would place a $50 order so I could earn that mop I wanted so much.”

So let’s go back to the original question: Do prayers really work? I guess that’s up to you to decide. Personally, I believe that they do. And I believe that prayers don’t need to be rationed or hoarded, used only sparingly for drastic circumstances the way you might cash in on an emergency savings account. From desperate pleadings in moments of crisis to the quiet, even trivial, wishes of the heart, I believe that prayer is meant to be a part of our every day life. And I believe that our prayers are answered a lot more frequently that we might believe. Sometimes it just takes having the eyes to see it.

Not all prayers are answered in such an obvious way as they were for myself and my friend Leanna in this story. But occasionally I believe that we are blessed with such experiences so that we can more easily recognize His hand in our daily lives. Answer to prayer is often painstakingly slow…so slow that we might miss it if we don’t know what to look for. But my conviction after this experience is if God would go to the trouble to help my friend Leanna get a mop, then He is certainly aware of the weightier matters in our lives. If He could hear such a prayer from her, then there is no doubt that He knows the desires of your heart. And if He is willing to orchestrate such a string of events to bring to fruition such an inconsequential wish as getting a free mop, then what must He be orchestrating to answer your sincere prayer?

So pray on, my friends. Those prayers really work, and if you keep saying them, you will have your own remarkable story. Perhaps you already do. If so, please consider sharing those stories with us in the comments section at the top of this post. Remember, stories like these are meant to be shared.

14 thoughts on “Do Prayers Really Work?

  1. melanie

    i love this, jenn! thanks for sharing! and thanks for being the type of person who lives in a way that you have these types of experiences. xo

    Reply
  2. martha suttner

    Lovely story, Jenny. Personally, I do not believe in coincidence of happenings. If I had my wish, I would extricate the word “coincidence” from every dictionary on our planet. Nice job, Jenny. Martha

    Reply
  3. Katie Clark

    Thank you for sharing this. What an uplifting story to read. Tonight I came across some blog posts that really rubbed me the wrong way and made me feel so sad, and this was just what I needed to get me out of that funk. Prayers DO work. And this is just another wonderful example of that. No such thing as coincidences for sure.

    Reply
    1. jenny Post author

      You’re welcome! I’m glad this story found you on a day that you needed it. Remember, God is watching over you!

      Reply
  4. day

    Your story meant a lot to me. You see your story didn’t end with a friend getting a mop. Last week my husband and best friend told me he thought we needed a divorce. I have been devastated by this announcement and praying so hard. I know that divorce isn’t God’s design. I’m really struggling. And today was a hard day. So I sat on my back porch kids just off to bed and husband still at work. Just needed me time. After the day I was questioning myself and God and asking if prayer works. I read your story and it hit me that if God can help someone get a mop then He will help me restore my marriage. So your friend got a mop and I got a renewed spirit in God’s divine love and power. Thank you for lifting me up by sharing your story. And if you don’t mind, please add my husband and I to your prayers.

    Reply
    1. Alicia

      Wow! I too stumbled on this little story while viewing a friends pin on freezer meals. It seemed like no coincidence that I needed a reminder on the power of prayer. As I neared the end of the story I began thinking about my current situation and how much I needed Gods direction, more then ever, in my life. Then I read your response and my eyes filled with tears. Six weeks ago my husband and best friend said he wanted to be separated so he could figure out if he was still in love with me. I was so caught off guard that I repeated what he’d said, out loud, 3 or 4 times followed by, “You are leaving me and your three kids so you can decide if you’re still in love with me?” “Yes.” “Yes.” “Yes!”
      These last few weeks I have found myself just as confused as the day he first told me. I’ve questioned everything and I still can’t make sense of it. In all my diligence, it didn’t occur to me that I should pray.
      Thank you for sharing!
      Alicia

      Reply
      1. jenny Post author

        Alicia, I’m glad this post found you at the right time. I will pray for you during this difficult time in your life. Remember, He is there and will help you if you ask.

        Reply
  5. Marty

    I was frantic because I couldn’t find my i-pad. My husband had dropped me off at my sister’s house in Las Vegas and then drove on to California to surf while I visited with my family. I remembered having it in the car before he dropped me off but couldn’t remember having it at my sister’s house. I worried… DID I PUT IT ON THE ROOF OF THE CAR? Yikes! I hope not. We drove around the neighborhood looking for it, thinking it might have fallen off when he drove away. Had I left it in the car? My husband looked all over in the interior. I finally prayed. My answer was, “Don’t worry about it.” AHHH! I agonized! Heavenly Father obviously thought in the grand Scheme of things, i-pads don’t matter. I just knew it was gone forever! The next morning, I got a text from my husband… “I found the i-pad, it was on the roof of the car, under the surfboard.” It had survived the ride to California from Las Vegas on the roof of the car! No wonder Heavenly Father told me not to worry, He had taken care of it all along. Although the i-pad was not important to Him, He knew it was important to me and had taken care of it. Thank you, Lord for your tender mercies!

    Reply
    1. jenny Post author

      I love stories like this! What are the chances your iPad wouldn’t fly off the car? It’s funny that we have to learn over and over again to trust God when He tells us all is well. Thanks for sharing this inspirational story!

      Reply
  6. sue

    A few months ago, a friend was going to see a Medium and had one opening left and asked me to go. Unfortunately I had committed to do a focus research study at a facility way across town (about 30minutes) in another county. When I got to the focus group, I was told that there had been a mistake and someone had called me the day before to let me know that it had been cancelled. I did not receive a phone call or voice mail from anyone. I would not have driven clear across town in a thunderstorm if I knew it had been cancelled. As I am leaving, I called my daughter who said “Mom, call Mrs. D and see if the Medium spot is still open and if it is you need to go.” So I did. And it was still open. And it was being held at the Medium’s house which was literally less than 5 minutes from where I was. Now mind you, I was in another part of town that I NEVER go to unless there is a specific reason for me to be there. She was on her way, so she met me at the end of the woman’s neighborhood so we could go in together. It was one of the best experiences ever! To each his own on Mediums and how they relate to others on the other side, but she told me several things about family members that had recently passed away and it totally blew me away. I am always finding dimes in my path…just single dimes in the oddest places and many times when I am upset or stressed. I believed they were signs from my grandmother. I was able to speak to the Medium about my dimes and she confirmed that they indeed are signs but from my grandfather not my grandmother. Many other things were said and I left with total peace and happiness in my heart. I really really believe that it was a plan for me to show up in that part of town, have my appointment cancelled and I was meant to be at that Medium appointment.

    Reply

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