Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Power of Prayer

About the time when I was in 5th grade, our two dogs, Tandi and Royal, were lost for 4 days. We lived on 5 acres surrounded by corn and soybean fields. We also had a creek running alongside our property. The dogs had run away numerous times before, but we always found them somewhere down the creek. This time, however, we could not find them.

It was four days of heartache as we looked and prayed. My Uncle made posters announcing a reward if anyone found them. There is one moment, in particular, that I remember from this experience. My mom, siblings and I were sitting around the dining room table praying before Dad got home from work. We prayed that we would be able to find both dogs, that they’d be all right, and that we wouldn’t have to pay the reward.

The next day at school, my sister’s teacher happened to be looking out the window and commented that there were two dogs in the schoolyard. My sister went to the window, asked to call my mom and went back to class (she was always very responsible with her education). We lived in Mokena and the dogs were found at Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort (about 8 miles away next to a major road).

I firmly believe God answered our prayer to show a little girl how powerful He is. I have always been able to point back to that moment, despite how silly the request may seem to some.

My sister’s family just had a similar experience over the past few days. Their youngest, largest dog (Cinnamon) attacked their oldest, smallest dog (Precious). They came home to find blood all over their hallway and “Precious” lying on the floor dead. The dogs never really got along so they always made certain to keep the dogs apart when they were gone. This time, however, the measures just weren’t enough. As Traci was explaining to the kids about what happened, my brother-in-law, Tommy, came up with Precious in his arms telling Traci to call someone because she was still alive! They rushed her to the emergency clinic. Precious had lost huge amounts of blood and was in shock. She has no ears and has a large gash in her neck.

Yesterday, my sister paid us a visit to show us that Precious was better and going home! (She knew Nike had been praying for her - we all were.) I was simply amazed to see Precious walking around. She does look pretty bad. No ears. A large gash in her neck. Shaved. Nikelle couldn’t even handle looking at her and certainly did not want to pet her. Still, Precious was able to walk around and seems very happy to be home again.

The veterinarian said that in all his years of practice, he had never seen an attack to this extent let alone see the animal live! Instantly, our response is “Wow! What a fighter! She’s an amazing dog.” My sister’s response is more accurate, “We have an amazing God.” I believe that my nieces and nephews have learned a lesson in the power of prayer just as I did at a young age.

All of this encourages me as we pray for my Dad. It reminds me that God cares for His creation. He cares for the animals and cares so much more for us. We read this in Matthew 10:29-31, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” We could paraphrase it in my life like this: “Did I not return both the dogs without your having to pay a reward? I protected Precious from death. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered (with losing and gaining and losing and gaining the little hair he has from chemotherapy, these words are very valuable). So don’t be afraid, your Dad is worth far more to Me.”

Reading in the Book of Ezekiel, God has impressed on me that His purpose in everything is so that we will know that He is the Lord. I am praying that He will show us all once again that He is Lord by healing my Dad from this terrible disease. I believe in the power of prayer!

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