Wisdom//

How I Learned the Power of Prayer

Through the process, I learned to find serenity.

Martin Novak/ Shutterstock
Martin Novak/ Shutterstock

Prayer is communication between one person and a supreme being. The very thought of surrendering to someone or something may seem foolish, but it is in this foolishness that many people have come to find peace, strength, and wisdom in a very busy world.

Much to contrary belief, prayer isn’t for the weak. Instead, I see prayer as one saying: I don’t know it all and I’m willing to listen and learn. I strongly believe some of the burnout issues many experience today can be resolved through a time of prayer — spending time in quiet and stillness, away from all distractions.

Prayer has always played a big role in my life, from the nighttime prayers my siblings and I recited at night, or the grace we said at mealtimes.  In fact, I believe so much in the power of prayer because I saw the evidence of answers to specific prayers made while I was growing up. 

My maternal grandmother was notorious for being the prayer warrior in the neighborhood, and if there was a sign of a sniffle, she would immediately pray with us or anyone who stopped by. Miraculously, we got healed from whatever was ailing us at the time.

Coming from that upbringing, prayer continued to play a huge role in my life right through college.  In school, I’d pray before exams or any big presentations. I also saw the power of prayer at work when I was experiencing difficulty in a class. I’d simply ask for guidance on how to study in the form of prayer. The peace I felt after that time of prayer, and the sense of direction and clarity was typically all I needed to find my aha moment in that course.

As an adult, it has been no different managing many overwhelming situations, from running a business or navigating my home life. The scripture that says, “Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders — He’ll carry your load, He’ll help you out…” Psalm 55:22, comes to mind, and boy, do I pile my troubles. Prayer remains my first line of therapy.

After I suffered a miscarriage and my doctor recommended therapy, I gently refused, as I felt that my personal strength and resolve comes from a place of prayer. I did pray, cry, and pray again until I felt His peace to move on. For me, I knew prayer would do a lot more than therapy, as I feel I have a relationship that makes it easy for me to pour out my heart. I got up and didn’t look back, even in the weeks following, as baby items I had purchased continued to arrive. Because I felt at peace in that situation, I knew I wouldn’t fall apart. This isn’t always the right course for everyone, so by all means seek therapy, as sometimes a combination of both could be just what one needs to resolve or walk through any outstanding issues.

There’s something about being able to pour your heart out and not feel judged.  Not being religious about how or when I pray has made a big difference for me, as it really is like communicating with a friend sitting in the chair across from you, without ceremony.  I pray in my car, kitchen, shower, or on my walks — there are no boundaries or time limits, just the rule of no disturbance and/or distractions.

When I got the call that I would need to have a biopsy, my first and only reaction was to engage in sessions of prayer (and have a heartfelt conversation with God).  No phone calls were made to any family or friends, it was just me in my prayer closet, and boy, did we have a long conversation. It was prayers in the ensuing days when I got the all clear that sustained me once again, as I saw the miraculous hand of God that comes from my place of prayer.

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