Do you pray? Do you expect results? Or is prayer just a last resort when things get desperate? Research shows that most Americans pray, but “when” and “how” might be the critical questions. My colleague, Val Minard, writing for the October 11, 2017 edition of MyCentralJersey.com, recounts the experience of a friend caught in the recent hurricane in Florida. Despite dire predictions, Florida was spared much of the potential devastation. She believes and gives some good evidence for her faith that prayer makes a difference. Here’s Val:
For some, prayer may not play a big part in their life until a life-threatening situation arises. That was certainly borne out recently when hurricanes Harvey and Irma struck the mainland United States. There were millions of prayer requests on Google.
But is prayer just a shot in the dark or a last resort when all else fails? As a Christian Scientist, I’ve come to see prayer as that which opens my eyes to the ever-presence and power of God — not “a God who is presumed on occasion to set aside laws of nature,” but “a God who is infinite Love acting through immutable spiritual law” (Robert Peel, Spiritual Healing in a Scientific Age, Harper & Row, 1987.)
Former Monmouth Beach resident Joanne Ivy Stankievich didn’t hesitate to pray during Hurricane Irma. She was confident that turning to God would bring safety and protection.
When she and her husband had moved to their lakeside home in Naples, Florida, three years earlier from New Jersey, neighbors had told them they probably wouldn’t need the hurricane shutters most of the surrounding homes had. So they had planned, should they ever need protection, to board up their windows with plywood.
What they hadn’t anticipated, when Hurricane Irma approached, was how quickly all basic supplies such as plywood would be sold out. Events escalated so fast that by the time it was obvious they should leave their home, all shelters were full, airports had been shut down, and all escape routes were clogged with traffic….