We often hear about the role of prayer in people’s lives.
In a blind drawing, these 15 people who wrote in about their prayers will receive tickets to the prayer breakfast. Tickets may be picked up at the registration table the morning of the event.
Sandy Wilson Jr.
Mary Anne Boudolf
So with the upcoming 12th annual Charleston Leadership Prayer Breakfast, it sparked an idea.
The Post and Courier asked its readers to share their reflections on how prayer has affected their lives, and the responses poured in.
The testimonies below reveal the power of religious conviction and in some cases, the life-changing ways that faith resulted in understanding, healing and lifelong love.
As our way of saying thanks for sharing, all of the submissions were pooled, and a blind drawing was conducted to provide breakfast tickets to 15 people who shared their prayer reflections.
Here is what our readers said about prayer in their lives:
The power of prayer is why I am here today. In 1982, I was 32 and had a newborn. I was also diagnosed with metastasized melanoma. The prognosis was death. That day I went into my daughter’s room and sat in a rocking chair. I prayed to God. I ask him to heal me. At that MOMENT, my fear of death was gone and a wonderful peace embraced me. Yes, miracles happen in prayer.
After many failed relationships, I decided to ask God for a husband instead of “finding” one myself. I found scriptures to support my request and listed 10 criteria my future spouse must meet.
At church, I was led by God to look at the heart and not outward appearances. Soon afterward, I met Clarence, and four months later, we were married. It’s been 30 years, and Clarence still meets my criteria.
When my husband was diagnosed with a terminal malignancy, I asked, “How can I deal with this?” There were times I’d have to leave the room to regain my composure. In my helplessness, I found God’s strength. I asked God to heal him, but God had greater plans. ... God gave us his strength and fresh grace each day and took both of us by the hand through the “valley of the shadow of death.”
Elizabeth B. Godfrey
Thirty seconds changed my life forever from a healthy nurse to someone who could not even walk due to a brain stem lesion. There was no medication or surgery to help, just constant prayer. Because of faith and prayer, I am now able to walk and use my hands. I no longer take anything for granted but praise God that because of Isaiah 53:5, I am able to live abundantly.
Brenda Trexler McGowan
In 1963, I was married with four precious children, living a life of status quo, yet I was losing all hope in life. I finally came to the end of myself and cried out to God in prayer. My circumstances did not change, but he transformed me. For the last 45 years, I have lived an abundant life with renewed joy. The power of prayer in my life? I am living proof of the hope and restoration God brings with prayer. Re. Lamentations 3:20-23 and John 10:10
I learned about the power of prayer early in my life. The prayer that touched me the most was when we were leaving Dad’s and Mom’s to go home. Dad always said the most loving and caring prayer for our safety in traveling. I never made it through without tears. Prayers were answered for a sister with breast cancer and a nephew seriously wounded in Afghanistan. Prayer is truly a gift.
Bonnie L. Sharp
When I am working in my garden, I take a break and admire the work that I have done.
While on break, I notice the birds around me singing, the colorful butterflies and bees flying around. I see the colors in the trees and the beautiful blue sky with big white clouds overhead.
I am assured of how great and mighty is our Lord and God. I pray the Lord’s prayer and a cool breeze touches my face letting me know that God is listening and that God is love and God is good.
I had the same experience the other day while watching the sun set at Bowen’s Island.
Given a 20 percent chance of survival in 1991, I was delivered from leukemia (acute lymphocytic leukemia) because God answered the fervent prayers of family, friends and strangers. MUSC oncologists advised against pregnancy. I prayed to God for a healthy son anyway. Silas, our miracle baby, was born January 1996. God gave Silas’ name months before his gender was confirmed. “Silas” means “asked of God.” In 2007, God healed my bleeding brain. There is infinite power in prayer.
Prayer is an essential ingredient in the Christian’s life. God leads us through prayer. I was living in the north and I did not want to relocate to South Carolina even though my sister encouraged me for three years to do so. I prayed continually, and one day I received a forwarded email which said: “Don’t ask the Lord to direct your pathway if you refuse to move your feet!” I started packing.
Knowing that I am connected to the “source” of all possibilities 24/7 keeps me spiritually centered in the “moment” where miracles occur. Being present by praying for the blessings of gratitude, thanksgiving, gives me joy, peace and kindness to pay it forward, thus “Keep the Flow of Love” moving to all. In light, love, blessings, amen.
Aleene T. Kann
In June, a friend was hit by a car while biking. She had several injuries, including a leg that was broken in several places. After four months, the bones were not healing, and doctors were looking for alternative treatments. She came to a Bible study at Seacoast and four ladies prayed over her. When she returned to the doctor a few days later, he could not explain the change medically. God is good!
As a child, I learned bedtime prayers from my mother, who started each day reading the bible (King James version), and ended each day on her knees in prayer. She was and will always be my inspiration to know and to love the Lord.
As an adult, I try to take time for prayer in the morning and evening. When I do, it focuses my mind on forgiveness, thankfulness and for others going through difficult times. I receive guidance for myself when facing dark times, and I find joy surrounding me when life is good. I’m never alone; I always feel God’s presence and his love. There is no greater comfort.
I believe prayer changes me more than that for which I pray.
When in prayer, I think about my worthiness of accepting what I ask for. I analyze why I am asking God for whatever it is I seek. ... Is it for his glory or for mine? Will it improve others’ lives, or my own.
Often, I end up giving thanks for all God has given me.
Prayer has enhanced my strength, visions, love and wisdom. Through daily prayer, my desire toward righteousness matures, following the footsteps of our savior. Prayer has uplifted my poor comprehension, allowing a better education to fight sinfulness. Prayer has redirected my footsteps, allowing a victorious relationship with God. Faithfully praying has reconstructed my entire life with happiness, security and love toward serving all mankind. Mercy and truthfulness will remain within my life until God calls me home.
Forty-one years ago, I said a simple prayer that changed my life forever. I asked Jesus into my heart at a time of depression and despair. The heaviness of both spirits lifted from me, and joy and daily change came for a new life of prayer. Someone said, “Prayer is the rudder of history.” How true for personal problems, and world events.
It has taken me years to appreciate the power of prayer. As a child, it was often a wish list to God or a more meaningful “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” each night.
Now decades later, prayer is conversation with the one closer than my next breath. The God who has gifted me with life and salvation is near at hand to petition, to thank, to intercede for others, and finally to adore as Lord of all, protector, redeemer, father, brother and Spirit who infuses my feeble soul with divine love and peace, and I am so grateful.
Prayer is a sharing between myself and my Lord where my soul is laid bare. There is thanksgiving and revelations about myself that I could have never seen on my own. Prayer changes my purpose, wants and desires. During some of my darkest days, this world could not comfort me. But Jesus Christ was and has always been there to wipe my tears and give me strength for the day when I seek him.
All the good that lies within and around me is due to prayer. It sums up my relationship with my creator. I pray with my church community and as an individual. My prayer involves speaking, singing, writing, listening and waiting ... often for the still, small encounter with the living God. My prayer involves interceding for others, strangers or friends: some who pray themselves, some that don’t. It’s the greatest gift I could give anyone.
Prayer has become a way of life for me.
There are times when I have felt inadequate, unworthy and incompetent. But somehow all of this disappears when I stop and pray, letting God guide my life instead of me thinking I know best. Prayer gives me the happiness of life because of God and his promise to all of us “Trust in him at all times, O people.” Palms 62: 8
I am a member of two powerful prayer groups that have had magnificent impact on many people. The Seacoast Summerville Care Team of 66 devout, praying Christians has witnessed many of God’s miracle healings, including cancer victims, severe illness, and coma patients who were not expected to live and are now leading normal lives. The Santee Cooper Prayer Team consists of more than 100 prayer warriors who also witness God’s healing hand daily. God is good.
Like many in this seemingly endless poor economy, I find myself in need of income. My prayers for the Lord to provide are consistently answered in amazing, yet unexpected ways. A while back, I needed a new scarf and a virtual stranger gave me a box of beautiful yarn with which I made many scarves and shared them. He warmed my body, my heart and enabled me to share his love with others. Prayer answered.
Martha L. Shaw
Twelve years ago, I was admitted to the hospital with kidney failure and inflammation of the liver of unknown etiology. My doctor said, “I don’t think she’ll make it through the night.” On my first dialysis, I prayed to God to heal me or let me die. ... My liver and kidney functions returned to normal within two weeks. God saved my life and healed me. Everything is still normal today. To God be the glory!
Mary Anne Boudolf
As a young child, I began having asthma attacks. This continued until the age of 33. Holding a job was difficult. My parents prayed for me many times, but God’s timing was not yet. On July 4, 1975, God sent Evangelist Josephine Anderson to pray for me. She anointed me, prayed, and God instantly took the asthma away from me and my 5-year-old daughter. I have now been a pastor for 35 years.
Sandy Wilson Jr.
Pastor, St. Mary’s Holiness Church
Prayer changed my life and continues to impact it daily. Prayer makes it possible to pursue passion, purpose and power. When unable to pray, others interceded and I overcame difficult circumstances. Paying it forward when others come to mind, I intercede for them and expect them to overcome. Prayer allows the expression of emotions, dreams and cares to God almighty who responds like a loving father to his child. Living in prayer, by God’s word (Bible) and a holy lifestyle ushers in the kingdom of God
Prayer brings great peace from knowing I am not alone. If I reach out to God through prayer, he is always there to listen, love and comfort. Prayer with and for others brings fellowship in him. Prayer also brings great power for “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippines 4:13. But I would not have that peace nor that power without the relationship with God ... through prayer.
In my humble opinion, after praying daily for 42 years, prayer keeps me connected to God’s plan for my life, often this shows clearly my plan and God’s plan are not always the same.
For instance, God’s view of success is usually different than what we have been taught. I’ve learned God loves me very much. However, even in the middle of prayer, we face huge challenges that we can’t see why God would allow.
Prayer saved my life and my hair during intense chemotherapy in 2008. I underwent two surgeries removing part of my lung, ribs, chest wall and more. Outlook was bleak but God had/has big plans for me. I asked God to spare my hair if I was to battle this disease. Friends and family joined in my prayer request. I am now 5 1/2 years cancer free and never lost a hair. Prayer works!!!
‘The Power of Prayer’
Across the darkness in my heart
There came a Light so bright
That shone through every wall I’d built
And wakened my soul to delight.
What wondrous miracles come from our Lord
To draw us to himself
Bringing harmony, insight and wisdom
That take us from ourselves.
What joy to escape the bondage of lies
And live as eagles fly
What other hope can loose our chains
And take us to heaven when we die!