I recently gained a stronger understanding of the power of prayer. I’ve been blessed in my life to have prayers answered. One of my favorite stories happened when I was very small. I love gum, and as my parents were teaching me about God answering prayers, I decided to test it out.
My Personal Prayer Test Drive
Every night for many weeks, I would kneel by my bed and pray for a pack of gum. I then opened my eyes and waited for that pack of gum to materialize on the bed. Obviously, that’s not what happened, so I figured God was there to answer more important prayers than giving me gum. I stopped asking. Ten years later, my dad invented a new kind of gum, and I had every prayer I ever offered up for gum answered many times over.
Last week, my dad was in the hospital with his 12th intestinal blockage. We were so worried about him. That worry became prayers for his recovery and that he wouldn’t need to have more of his intestines surgically removed. My young son offered the sweetest prayers asking God to “make Grandpa all better.”
Then, two days after he entered the hospital, he got to go home. His blockage cleared and he didn’t need surgery! I am so grateful for a direct line to heaven. Too often when those we love are desperately ill, we feel powerless. But we have been given by birthright a tool more powerful than we often realize.
I mentioned in “Finding Comfort Through the Savior” that my son has a friend in his preschool whose mother has cancer. Her name is Lacey. This young mom was diagnosed about a year ago with stage 4 small cell uterine cancer. With two little girls, then ages 4 and 18-months, I couldn’t imagine a greater nightmare for a single mom to face. We were all devastated to hear her diagnosis. The survival rate for her kind of cancer was only 15%.
We held a special fast for her. We prayed for her, and she was often in my thoughts. I worried about her family, their emotional health, and what would happen if she did pass away. She was in the hospital frequently, had several surgeries, and received many priesthood blessings. The last year has been rough.
Prayer Makes Miracles Happen
I remember when I first met Lacey thinking that she was gorgeous. Her being model-thin so soon after having her second baby made me jealous. I’ve been blessed with a body that still looks four months pregnant five years after my baby was born, so you may understand where I’m coming from. But last week we received the most amazing news!
As Lacey shared her personal miracle of healing, she has never looked so beautiful. We are all overjoyed because the doctors haven’t been able to find any more cancer. (I hear you must be cancer free for five years to be considered in remission.)
But the fact that she is still here, and currently cancer-free, is a miracle larger and better than I ever expected. We can’t always expect that the Lord’s plan is in line with our pleas for healing, but this time it was — and we are all so grateful.
Before I go on, I want to say that Latter-day Saints haven’t cornered the market on faith, nor do we rely solely on faith for healing. I believe that God gave us modern medicine as a gift to make this earthly experience easier. We pursue good health through good nutrition, exercise, and visits to the doctor’s office as needed — but faith and priesthood blessings are also an important gift from the Lord. And I know they have real power.
It’s a Life-Changer
President Dallin H. Oaks told a story about a very sick girl who was healed by the power of the faith of those who loved her. He said:
“Many Latter-day Saints have experienced the power of faith in healing the sick. We also hear examples of this among people of faith in other churches. A Texas newspaperman described such a miracle. When a five-year-old girl breathed with difficulty and became feverish, her parents rushed her to the hospital. By the time she arrived there, her kidneys and lungs had shut down, her fever was 107 degrees, and her body was bright red and covered with purple lesions.
The doctors said she was dying of toxic shock syndrome, cause unknown. As word spread to family and friends, God-fearing people began praying for her, and a special prayer service was held in their Protestant congregation in Waco, Texas.
Miraculously, she suddenly returned from the brink of death and was released from the hospital in a little over a week. Her grandfather wrote, ‘She is living proof that God does answer prayers and work miracles'” (Dallin H. Oaks, “Healing the Sick,” April 2010).
I am so grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who hears and answers our prayers — and I am especially grateful for the recent gifts of healing in my circle of family and friends.
Patty thrives on all things creative. You’ll often find her in the garden pretending she is a suburban farmer. She loves meeting new people, and is devoted to her friends and family. In her heart she is a Midwesterner even though life has moved her all over the country. She believes in “blooming where you’re planted” and has found purpose in every place she has been. She has a deep and abiding love for the Savior and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And she loves editing LDS Blogs because it is a constant spiritual uplift. Not many people can say their job builds their witness of the Savior.