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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Power of Prayer

Three true stories:

On September 15, 2004, I had a remarkable prayer experience. Here is what happened:
Nola just called from “the set” where our seven year old daughter Kaylin is acting in her first major role in a television commercial. She has the only dialogue in the commercial (about fifteen lines) and my wife was anxious because the filming had been going on for quite some time and Kaylin didn't seem to be giving the director what he wanted. After each "take," Kaylin would turn her head to look at the director for approval – when apparently she was supposed to look at an artificial "mark" the director had placed beside the camera. No matter how many times the director told Kaylin to look at the "mark" after saying her lines, she kept turning her head to him as if to say, "How was that?" And of course, each time she did this, they had to redo the take all over again. Meanwhile, each time she did this, my wife felt like she would surely die from the anxiety. (Nola was watching from just far enough away so as not to distract Kaylin.) Finally, when my wife couldn't stand it anymore, she stepped out of earshot to call me.


Over the phone, I tried as best I could to settle her down. “You need to do your best to stay calm,” I said. “This is a big day for both of you. And being upset isn’t going to help. Of course, Kaylin is going to make mistakes. She’s just learning – and the people who hired her are well aware of that. Besides, they work with kids all the time. And you know the old saying in film: 'Never work with kids or animals.' Well, there’s a reason they say that. Kids and animals are SO unpredictable -- it takes a lot of patience to work with them.” Nola seemed to relax a bit, and because I was feeling so helpless, I suggested that she say a prayer for Kaylin. “What do you think I’ve been doing all morning?” she snapped back. “Okay, okay,” I said. “I’m sorry. How about I go and say a prayer myself?” "Great," she said, "We’ll take all the help we can get." And with that, I said I would, and I asked Nola to call me back and let me know how things were going.
The second I hung up, I immediately got down on my knees, bowed my head to the floor and prayed. "Dear God, Please help Kaylin. She has wanted to be an actress ever since she was three years old. And here she is with this big job and it is such an important day for her -- in accordance with Your will, please help her to perform in a way that meets with the director's approval. Also, please be with Nola and help her to trust that everything is going to be okay. This is a big day for her too. Thank you, God. Amen.”
After concluding this prayer, I remained bowed on the floor, my mind calm and still (as in meditation), my eyes closed. Because I was in such a complete state of surrender, after a minute or two, without my conscious intention, my body suddenly began to move – something it often does when I am praying – for instance, sometimes my head will nod ‘yes’ as if it agrees with what I am saying, or sometimes ‘no’ as if it disagrees. In this case however, my body suddenly rose up into a kneeling position and my hands began to clap very rapidly. But because I was accustomed to occasional movement during my prayers, rather than being jolted out of stillness, it was very natural for me to simply leave my eyes closed and let my body do what it wanted to do. And so the clapping continued for several seconds and then it just stopped. A few moments later, my head bowed back down to the floor where I remained in stillness for about two more minutes until all of a sudden I burst out laughing. I had no idea what was so funny, and yet, the laughter continued for several seconds until all the anxiety I had felt at the start of my prayers was gone. I thanked God once again, opened my eyes, got up, and returned my attention to the bills I was paying when my wife had first called.
About a half hour later, the phone rang. It was Nola. She and Kaylin were in the car on their way to a new filming location and they were lost. I gave Nola directions and then asked what had happened.
“Oh yeah," Nola said, suddenly remembering that she was supposed to have called me. "Probably no more than two minutes after we talked," she said, "they did a take where Kaylin suddenly did exactly what the director wanted and everyone was so thankful, they all broke out in spontaneous applause.”
"That’s really funny," I said, "because a few minutes after I started praying, my hands suddenly started to clap." Then I told her how a few minutes after that I broke out laughing.
"Well that makes sense," Nola said, "because just after they finished clapping, they immediately went on to do Kaylin's close-up. The director told her to shout out her lines really loudly (there was going to be an idling motorcycle next to her in the final edit) and the way she did it, it was so funny and adorable, everyone on the set started laughing and that was that. One and done!"
Coincidence or amazing spirit connection? To me, this was a beautiful confirmation of the powerful and miraculous nature of prayer.
*****
UPDATE: Nov 15, 2011: Shortly after this incident happened, I began to feel a growing sense of dissatisfaction with my career. And I couldn't help but wonder if maybe I had made a wrong turn somewhere in my life. The feeling was so pronounced, I decided I was ready to make a correction, if corrections could be made. Consequently, I began to include in my prayers a prayer that went something like this: "Please let me be no more or no less than exactly who I am, in accordance with your will, and in service always to the highest good, whatever the consequences may be. Please show me the way, that I might walk in your exact footsteps." For the continuing story of my spiritual journey, please see this link. For more about prayer, please see The Power of Prayer -- Part 2

*****
Here are two more prayer stories courtesy of 1111 Angels Message Board

Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:07 am Post subject: Amazing Angel story (by justlittleme)

Amy, in a journaling workshop, relates a true story which comes originally from Dr Caroline Myss, a pioneer in the field of energy medicine and human consciousness. She tells of a car accident where the driver, Maggie, is so badly hurt that her soul literally takes flight, leaving her body to float above it and the wreck of the car she is in. All the time, she is fully conscious of events around her, the other cars on the road, the onlookers, and those who rush to help her. Then she becomes aware of something else: a beam of light coming from the driver of the fifth car behind her in the queue of traffic now forming. The light enters the wreck of her own car and then her body, slumped unconscious in her seat. Then all is dark and silent.
Maggie wakes some time later in a hospital and, when she is fully recovered, remembers the sensation of floating above her body and the strange beam of light she had seen. She finds that she can remember the number plate of the car five cars behind her, the one the light had come from. That is the first curious thing - because if her consciousness (her soul) hadn’t truly left her body, how could she have seen this number plate?
Because Maggie knows the number plate of the car, she is able to find the driver and calls on her one day. After introducing herself, she relates the sensation of floating above her body and seeing the light which had entered it from the person she is now with. ”Do you have any idea what that light was?” she asks. ”Oh yes,” says the other driver. “At that point, I was praying for you.”
A little energy goes a long way -- in this case, the energy of one simple prayer.
*****
Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:20 am Post subject: More than I asked for (by artguys)

In prayer I have spent the majority of my time in worship and thanks. I have never directly asked for anything for myself, always for others and for the world and the universe. Still, the teachings of our celestial friends were telling me that it was OK to ask for things and/or circumstances as long as it was for the greater good and in accordance with His Will. So I thought I would give it a try and see what happened.
I’m an artist and selling paintings is an irregular thing. I hadn’t sold a painting for a couple of months and was beginning to think I might run out of money. So, as I began my evening stillness (meditation), I thought, “Alright. I’ll ask for a little business – as long as it is in accordance with His Will and for the greater good.”
The next morning the phone rang. It was a gallery owner with whom I had had some dealings. He asked if I would be interested in doing one or two large murals for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. When I hung up the phone, I was quite taken with how quickly my prayers had been answered and to what degree they had been answered – much better than selling a painting or two!
But that’s not all.
Each summer I go to Nova Scotia to paint. In order to do that, I have someone stay in my home and take care of my business. I have to have this in order to take off to Nova Scotia. I’m about eight weeks from leaving and had not heard a word from anyone about staying at my place. So, I thought I would ask during my morning stillness.
About two hours later I was walking down the street and I ran into a friend who said, “Are you still looking for someone to stay at your place this summer?” Her brother and his new wife were relocating, had no money and needed a place to stay while they looked for jobs and a more permanent home. My need and their need fit like a hand in a glove.
Two hours! Could I have asked for more? I don’t think so.

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