— Chapter 3 Introduction —
CAN ANYONE HEAR ME?
Millions of prayers are uttered every moment of every day. Do ours
get lost in the crowd? Should we keep asking when we don't seem to
get any answers? It has
been said that all prayers are answered, but not always in the way we expect
them to be answered. It is also said that everything happens for a reason.
If that is true should we just forget about asking for help and guidance
lives? To answer that question we must remember that praying is a form
of communication and the first thing you need to determine for yourself
is who is on the receiving
end of your prayer.
There are of course people who don’t believe in a Supreme Being and
therefore never try to communicate with that Being. Most people believe
that there is
a God and direct their requests accordingly. Whether you believe in God,
Buddha, Jesus, or your own higher power consider that when you pray,
why you pray and
how you pray may affect the way your prayers are heard and answered.
A good example
of the when, why, and how of a prayer can be found in a true story about
a man named, Joe.
In 1937, Joe had become an embarrassment to his family. He refused to
hold down a job and spent all of his time drinking and gambling. One
city he was beaten severely by men who caught Joe cheating at the card
game they were playing. Joe was thrown out into the alley. Unable to
walk or see clearly,
Joe crawled to a nearby transient hotel and passed out on a shabby mattress
in a room filled with other men much like him. When Joe awoke the next
day, he found
that the room was pitch black even though the manager who wanted him
out of the place claimed it was afternoon. Joe was blind, his vision
away by the beating
he had endured the night before.
For the first time in many years, Joe began to pray. He spent the rest
of the day and the following night asking for help. “Please, God,” Joe whispered. “I’m
young and strong and if you give me back my sight, I will work for you. I don’t
know exactly what that work will be; I’ll leave that up to you. Oh, I know
you’ve probably heard promises from guys like me many times before. And
you’re probably thinking that if you give me back my sight, I won’t
hold up my end of the bargain and go right back to drinking and gambling. But
I won’t do that, Lord. Give me back my sight and I’ll spend
the rest of my life doing your work.”
Joe’s story offers a prime example of when people pray. They turn to God
as a last resort in a time of crisis. Joe’s family had disowned him. He
was in a strange city about to be thrown out into the street. He had no friends,
no money, and no one who cared whether he lived or died. Why Joe prayed is obvious
but perhaps the most important thing is how he prayed. Joe didn’t just
beg for mercy, he promised to change the way he lived and do God’s
Perhaps his blindness was the catalyst that put Joe on the path he was
meant to follow because Joe’s prayer was answered and he regained his sight.
As Joe had said in his prayer, some people would have gone right back to the
things that got them in trouble, but Joe didn’t do that. He kept
the promise he had made. In Fairmont, West Virginia, the Union Rescue
Joe is still operating today. Joe spent the rest of his life helping
people, like himself, rebuild their lives.
Prayer is a powerful tool, even if it is just used to reach the core
of your own spirit and intellect. Whether you pray in a group, with a
in the darkness like Joe, prayer opens the lines of communication between
you and the universe. Even if your prayers seem to go unanswered, they
a purpose in your life, which may simply be acceptance and understanding.
— A Story from Chapter 9 —
Going Home Again
By Maggie TerryViale
Two weeks in the ideal climate of California!
I could feel the gentle moisture of the bay on my face mingle with
the hazy sun as I
gazed at the rolling hills dotted with majestic oaks. Here and
there a vineyard graced a hillside with a celebration of crimson
and yellow leaves
to the vines that
had just been harvested.
I wanted so to move back to the place where I was raised, but the
right. I boarded my flight back to Phoenix and when I walked out
of the airport there I was confronted with oven-like temperatures
city choking in smog. In short, I came back kicking and screaming.
I did not want
to live here. I had spent almost twenty years in Arizona, most of
them wonderful, but my time was up, I told God.
But God didn’t think so. There was more for me still in Phoenix. I could
have rebelled and gone against my Guidance and moved back to California, but
I knew in my heart, for some unknown reason, the timing was not right. Ok. Fine.
All right. I’ll stay. Yes, there were a few grumbles, but as
soon as I agreed to stay, everything shifted.
I fell right into my writing, my circle of friends, and my artwork.
I gazed appreciatively at the hummingbirds of joy that hovered
outside my window.
I saw sunsets that
looked like an orb of gold setting the clouds on fire. Breathtaking.
Even unexpected money flowed in. And the key to my attitude adjustment
desert paradise? Acceptance.
Maggie TerryViale is a co-author of this book.