power of prayer

Bishop Skip Adams of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina offers a blessing during the noonday prayer at Grace Church Cathedral in August 2017. 

Last month, we asked readers to describe how other people's prayers have impacted them in good times and in bad. After receiving many submissions, we've selected five writers to receive free tickets to the Charleston Leadership Foundation’s 17th annual Prayer Breakfast on Thursday.

Those five entries are printed below. To read all of the submissions, visit www.postandcourier.com

'The peace was overwhelming' 

Many years ago I lost my almost 8-year-old son to brain abscesses. My husband and I were devastated. Shortly after his funeral, I was talking with a friend on the phone, who is a nun, and was inconsolable. My friend then suggested that I ask the Holy Spirit for peace. When I hung up, still standing by my phone, I prayed and asked his help, and immediately I experienced a flood of peace falling over me. The peace was overwhelming.

After that day, I still ached for our loss but was able to know he was OK.

— Sandra Foley

Surviving a fall 

I was the CYO Volunteer Athletic Director in a small Catholic school in Ohio. One night, while closing the gymnasium, I noticed the American Flag had come loose and one corner detached. Being the only person in the gym, I got a 28-foot extension ladder and climbed up to reattach the corner of the flag.

As I fixed it, the ladder started sliding down the wall. As I fell, I invoked the Blessed Mother in Italian, "Auitami Madonna di Monte Berico," (Help me Blessed Mother of Monte Berico)! I felt her presence during my fall. I landed heavily but did not break anything. I was very sore for a few days. My daily faith in prayer, visiting our church in Vicenza, Italy, throughout my life, reading about apparitions and testimonials of answered prayers came true in that moment. I now am one of those answered prayers.

— Joseph R. Kohut, Summerville

Prayer chain 

In January of 1970, I learned I was pregnant for the first time in 17 years of marriage. At the end of February, I was admitted to the hospital with intense stomach cramps. One evening the nurses urged my husband to go home. He refused to leave me. About midnight my appendix ruptured. A mayday call went out. I was wheeled into surgery. A nun took my hand, exclaiming, "What faith!" My carpool companions set up a prayer chain. The only prognosis the doctors could give my husband was "We’ll have to see."

He began praying for me and our child. Days later, my obstetrician detected my baby’s heartbeat. He shouted, "Praise God!" On Aug. 2, my baby arrived healthy and perfectly formed. God heard and answered those prayers on my behalf. He covered my child in the womb. "Marvelous are your works, O God."

— Dorothy Glover

Praying about cancer diagnosis 

I’m a six-year survivor of breast cancer. This summer I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer that has metastasized to the liver. The moment I shared my diagnosis, immediate prayer requests were generated, beginning with the parishioners of St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church and the Prayer Warrior ministry. A beautiful and heartfelt sight it was when 50 parishioners, family and friends, showed up at our home to say a rosary for my family and me. My co-workers offered their prayers and added me to their churches prayer lists, as did the companies that we do business with. From the U.S. to Australia, I am being lifted up by prayer. The power of these prayers has allowed me to be at peace with my diagnosis and have hope for the future. Every morning is a new start to a glorious day and gives me cause to say "Chin up Buttercup!"

— Karen Haun

Praying for the 'small things' 

In the 1990s copiers were expensive, so I bought a reconditioned one for my CPA practice. Years later when it quit working, the copier technician announced that it needed a new drum and would cost hundreds of dollars. I told him to not repair it since we did not have the money. At meals my husband reminded our young children to pray for Mama’s copier. I secretly scoffed thinking, "Why should Jesus care about such a small thing as my copier?"

One day the technician called to say, "You won’t believe it!" I told him I might since my family had been praying. He found a new drum for $100 at a surplus store, and asked if he could install it at no charge! At supper we thanked Jesus for caring about small things, like copiers. Jesus longs to have a relationship with each of us, and He answers prayer.

— Genia Kornegay, Mount Pleasant

'The power of prayer'

In December 1994 I was admitted into Roper Hospital for congestive heart failure. After being released by them five days later, I would undergo a very intense study at MUSC for a possible heart transplant. During testing, they had determined that my heart was only working at 13 percent and said I was a perfect candidate for a transplant. My cardiologist told me my heart was the largest that he had seen.

MUSC kept wanting to put me on the transplant list however, my insurance company kept declining because I had no trouble walking. I believe because of much prayer by my church, my sister's church and others that God used my insurance company to keep declining coverage so I would keep my own heart. Gratefully and thankfully today, 24 years later, I not only still have it but it's back up to 45 percent. Praise God for the power of prayer.

— Wallace Parker, North Charleston

'We thank God every day'

Church and prayer didn't mean much to our family after Mom threw the priest out of our house for calling her six children "bastards." Seems Pop had no particular religion and that was a "no-no" in the church. Life had it's good and bad times, each being taken care of by our close-knit family without much religion.

Fast forward 30 years. Married and with a beautiful 2-year-old little girl, a team of doctor's delivered the devastating news that she had leukemia. A co-worker, Percy Fields and wife Mary arranged a prayer vigil at their little church and insisted they "lay hands" on our little girl. Skeptically, we agreed so as not to insult these wonderful people. A week later we received the final test results: No positive signs of leukemia. Our doctors were dumb-struck without explanation.

Sixty years have since passed. Our little girl is a nurse helping the sick and praying with them, and we thank God every day for His Prayer Life Line and never ending love for those that ask.

— Roy Jindracek, Goose Creek

Day of Healing prayers 

In 2007 I was scheduled to be a prayer minister at a Saturday, Day of Healing Prayer at St. Michael’s Church and found myself in the emergency room with my wife at 4 a.m. on the Thursday beforehand. The MRI diagnosis was a full stroke (not a TIA) that left my left arm limp and lifeless. At the Day of Healing Prayer on Saturday morning, I was lifted up for healing by all the prayer ministers at 10 a.m. that morning and at 10 a.m. on that same Saturday morning in the hospital, my left arm was restored to complete wholeness.

— David J. Richardson

'My God Box'

I have done this for many years. I bought an old golden box at local thrift store and when I pray a prayer, I write it on small slip of paper and date it. I pray about the matter and when prayer is answered, I say a big "Thank you Jesus" and write on another the date the prayer was answered. Every year on Dec. 31, I open box and read each of the small slips of paper and makes me very grateful for prayers answered. I call this my little "God Box."

— Jeri Burch

From tragedy to triumph 

It was during World War II; families were tough, hard and strong. Ginnie Adams was an orphan at age 5 when her dad, Sam, was killed instantly in a hunting accident by my dad, Ben.

During Ginnie’s childhood, she lived with Grandma, our family and finally was adopted by our aunt, Mazie Brown. I admired Ginnie so much growing up on how she adjusted to every situation so peacefully and easily. I asked her one day how she managed to have such great outlook on life and she said, “I have a direct line to Jesus!” I knew how she prayed these beautiful prayers as a child. I wanted a direct line to Jesus, too.

Ginnie Adams Carter has been the perfect example of how other people’s prayers have impacted me all my life to know, she really does have a direct line to Jesus. Amen.

— Aleene Kann, Summerville

'If you hurt, he hurt'

The power of prayer by a special friend, Rev. Stump Keller, for my family in good times and hardships was brought home to me at his funeral recently. St. Stephens community will never be the same without this praying man. Praying for others was Stumps gift: If you hurt, he hurt. And he reminded us your faith alone heals. I reflected back to the times he was there praying for me, my husband and my family, and especially in the final days of my husband's passing from lung cancer in 2016. Eighty-seven years was more than plenty for Stump's time here on earth, as I was told by family members earlier. He prayed and "argued with the angels" over their delay in allowing him to pass over to God's promises. He ordained his grandson, Robbie Ballentine, in 2007 and in so doing taught him The Power of Prayer. Robbie will keep the prayer of faith going at St. Stephens Evangelical Church. I am comforted knowing we all benefit when the power of prayer is discussed in The Post and Courier, and makes our lives fuller as we embrace Gods gift of prayer.

— Sue George

'Belief of healing'

I went through lung cancer. Upon receiving news, I went to my Lord Jesus Christ in prayer, turning it over to Jesus. l attend Blessed Hope Baptist Church, worked at Joint Base Charleston and operated and maintained two car washes, Splash N Dash of Goose Creek and Wando Wash of Mount Pleasant. I spoke and prayed with many requesting strength to make it through and belief of healing. One week of radiation, two hours a day and chemo the same week one 8-hour day and four 2-hour days. An upper lobe removal from my right lung. Then I finished that same week of chemotherapy. The strength received through prayer was overwhelming and amazing. I am now 60 years young and all is well. Just give your problems to the Lord Jesus Christ pray for strength and be Amazed. To God be the Glory.

— Robert Thomas

A chaplain's prayers

It was to be a family visit to South Florida from South Carolina, but in mid-Florida, the SUV flipped. Dad died at the scene and mom was airlifted to hospital, where she was in a coma and in ICU for 3 months. My three brothers and I, all from South Carolina, took turns going to Florida to stay with her for a week. One my brothers, Larry, had put prayer requests each day in the church chaplain's prayer request box. Midweek, he noticed that his daily prayer requests kept falling out of the box. It was full. So he had the chaplain paged over the hospital to come to ICU. Larry told him that he’d not been responding to the prayers in the box, and that our mom could go either way. He prayed with Mom, and she did make a strong recovery. And Larry now routinely attends church with her.

— Debra Kidder

'Our miracle child'

Our granddaughter, Morgan, has Marfan Syndrome, so she has to be very careful of her body. On Oct. 16, 2016, Morgan was in a very minor car accident with no real injuries that could be seen except her seat belt tugged very hard against her chest. Knowing she had Marfan Syndrome, the EMS wanted her to be checked out at the hospital. They took X-rays and a CAT scan where the doctors saw a "bleed" at the top of her aorta close to her heart. They felt it was life threatening and showed the scan to her parents and other doctors and felt she needed surgery immediately. Her mother called, texted and emailed all her friends, church and family to pray for her. When the doctors opened her up, "the bleed" was gone. That is what the power of prayer did for Morgan. She is our miracle child. She was 19 at the time."

— Joyce Thielman

'All the prayer warriors' 

Prayer has been an important part of my life; giving thanks and praise, praying for healing for myself and others, asking for guidance in all things. But with the diagnosis of inoperable stage 3 lung cancer early this year, I found out how profoundly blessed I could be, knowing so many others were praying for me! With all the "prayer warriors" of family and friends, from clergy and the many prayer ministers at St. Michael’s church, I’ve been experiencing miracles on my journey through chemo and radiation that even surprised those involved in my treatment. The cancer has not spread, the tumor has shrunk considerably and I continue my treatment with the assurance that God hears these prayers of the faithful. No matter what the future may hold, I am convinced the power of these prayers will continue to carry me through with hope, peace and confidence.

— Judith Biggie, Mount Pleasant

Vet tries to 'fill the void'

I'm a war vet who has seen a lot and needed some answers to a world of hate, and wars at home and abroad. As a young man at that time, I was an active player in that hate and killing. I became numb to everything around me after years of trying to fill the void in my life with booze and money. I was at a point to end my life, but God answered the prayer of a dying mother. I found God who was always there. It was me who was missing. Because of prayer, I've been clean and sober for nine years, a cancer and stroke survivor for five years. God and I talk to each other every day.

— Albert Robison, Charleston


Reach Lauren Sausser at 843-937-5598. 

Lauren Sausser is the Features Editor at The Post and Courier. She also covers health care issues in South Carolina.

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