Friday, March 28, 2014

POWERFUL PRAYERS IN MY LIFE by W. C. Barber

About five months ago, I began taking at least one hour out of my day for what I call my quiet time. It’s my time alone with God. I pray, reflect and just listen. This time is most often spent in my office with the door closed, phones off, and the blinds closed. I really do not want any distractions. I always begin with a prayer offering thanks. I have finally gotten past asking for what I want and things I think I need.  

 As I reflect on my life, I am always amazed at the things that come back to me.  As I try to explain the "whys" of my past, I wonder why I turned my back on God over and over. 

About 15 years ago, I was hospitalized with something that I thought would be an easy and simple cure.  It turned out that the "easy" was not so much. I was in ICU for about six weeks, with a total hospital stay of four and a half months. When I awoke, I found out about the many friends, family, churches, as well as a large group of Nuns on retreat in Canada that had been praying for me, and praying daily. Since I was just learning how close I came to death, I was very thankful for the chance to continue living. One would think that this would be the eye opening moment that would change a person forever. Well it did, but not for long and not the way it should have. It did not take long before I was right back to where I had been, turning my back on God.

I wish I could say this was the only time, but that is not the case at all. I have had several set backs that were health-related. Each time I would pray and others around me would pray. (thank goodness they had a better relationship with God than I did)  The prayers were answered, I would get better, go back to work, and pretty soon I was back to the same old me.

Even though I was raised in a Christian home, I don’t think I ever realized the true meaning of prayer, and certainly not how powerful it could be. Sure, I prayed, but maybe it was not exactly prayer, since I was just mouthing words with no sincerity or expectation.

I have been told all my life that God answered prayers, and I am living proof of that. I have also been told that when God answered prayers, He would also give you a "sign" that would give you an answer.  I was told that He did not simply just "talk" to you. Well, He has given me some signs since I have started my quiet time, (and I sure hope I got the interpretation right) but He has also spoken to me. Yes, spoken, and I tell you it scared me absolutely to death. I even got up and went to the window to see if someone was outside talking! I was truly shaken. The best I can explain is that it was like a loving and soft-spoken parent talking to a child.  It brings me to tears, (literally) every time this happens. He does not do this every day, but He seems to know exactly when the time is right. You would think I would have at least learned that much by now.

I ask Him every day to forgive me for all my actions of the past, but also to help me every day forward. I have even gained enough courage to ask why he would let me live, bring me back to life, after all that I had done. So far my answer has been that He will let me know when the time is right and it will be a very special thing. At this point in my life, I believe every word. Please pray for me that I continue to have the diligence to be patient and wait and that my actions now would bring a positive light to shed on others. The Power of Prayer is a wonderful thing!!