Prayer, the act of talking to God. When said alone it is heard by no one else but you and your higher power, in our case our Father in Heaven. It can be the most life altering action you may experience. Not just any prayer, but the gut-wrenching broken-hearted prayer cried with all your body and soul because there is no one else and nowhere else to turn. In those darkest moments, when we are finally ready to surrender our will for His will, we meet our God and know our own true heart.
It was a prayer said in a moment like this that changed the course of my life. A newly single mother of five, spending another sleepless night in the dark basement of my mother's home, exhausted and spent, I finally collapsed to my knees begging for help. I recently left my marriage and home for a very good reason. I was taking my children and beginning again alone. When I say alone, I mean ALONE. Only a single parent with the prospect of raising a family can understand what it means to be in a bed, crowded with tiny sleeping bodies, feeling completely and absolutely alone in the universe while still responsible for everything and everyone. Who would ever want me and my five children?
In the dark, I fell to my knees and begged God with all my soul to help me become comfortable being single. To help me find a way to survive alone. To somehow, let me know it was going to be all right. I felt nothing. No answer. I waited only to cry myself to sleep.
The next day, my father gave me a blessing as is custom in our church. He laid his hands on my head, not knowing about my midnight tears, or prayers. He rambled on in his fatherly way, then suddenly paused. He took a breath, and I felt a warmth fill my entire being. He said, "Shannon, the Lord has prepared someone very special for you." A picture entered my mind, and warmth flooded my heart. I knew I wouldn't be alone. I knew everything would be OK. I opened my heart up to hope and possibilities.
In the Bible, Matthew Chapter 6:8 reads:
"... for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him."
When my mother was praying for help, I was praying for peace. My tiny child's heart begged for the warmth and love I knew my Father in Heaven could give. I was going through therapy to help with the abuse I had suffered as a young child. It was helping. But I still felt terror and fear at night. Nightmares were so very real to me.
My mother had taught me to pray for protection from them. Every night, I pleaded for help and relief from these fears and anxiety. One particular night, I knelt down to pray. I was exhausted and anxious yet was filled with such a warmth, tears flooded my eyes. I felt my great-grandmother's arms around me. I felt her kiss my forehead. I knew she was watching over me, and that I would be OK.
One prayer had taken the anxiety that was my constant companion and replaced it with peace and love. I still had nightmares from time to time, but I no longer feared them. I no longer felt powerless. Though this may not be a huge change to some, it changed how I viewed myself. I was loved.
We both believe that when we finally reach a point that we are ready to let go, the greatest answers to prayer come in the most unexpected ways.
Dream, hope and plan. Then, share your deepest wishes with God. Continue to do what you know is right. Be the best person you can be, and watch the miracles that happen to you and all around you. Pray morning, noon and night. When all else fails pray again, and see what happiness Heaven has in store for you.