27 August 2008

The power of prayer

I have always believed in the power of prayer, but the lesson was really brought home to me today.

I've been having some friend trouble lately. Someone who I thought was a dear friend, who was there for me and loved me without judging is showing herself to be someone other than that. And another so-called friend has been talking about me and betraying my confidences and it's really upsetting me. Last night I was really mad about it, and just feeling resentful and bitter, and just angry.

It was the first thing I thought of when I opened my eyes this morning. And I thought, I don't want to spend all day being pissed off about this. There isn't anything I can do to change it and stewing over it isn't going to make it go away. So, I just said, "God please help me to forgive and not hold such anger in my heart. I don't want to be that person, holding a grudge. Please help me today." That was it....no long, drawn out strings of fancy words or anything, just a couple of simple sentences. Then I went on about my day.

I went to the office for a half day today, and on my way I stopped at the gas station to buy a cup of coffee. I MUST have coffee....I need it like an addict needs crack. So I'm in line to pay (in my uniform) and as the man in front of me is walking away, he says over his shoulder, "You're doing good things. It isn't much but your coffee is paid for. Have a nice day." I stood there dumbfounded for a second....that sort of thing has only ever happened once or twice when someone has thanked me for my service. So I put my hat on, grabbed my purse and chased him to his car. I just said, "That was a very kind thing you did and I appreciate it. Thank you." And I noticed on his car was a Vietnam veteran magnet. That made me feel so good. Good thing number one.

When I got to the office, it was just one of those days where everything you are working on falls into place perfectly and all my questions were answered, and everything I touched worked out beautifully. Good thing number two. I got a good amount of work done, and headed home. When I got to the house, I saw a box on the front porch, from FTD floral delivery. ??? What could it be? As it turns out, my friend and coworker Cathy and I were TDY (temporary duty) together last month and we happened to see this particular kind of plant, a Lucky Bamboo plant, and I commented on how cool I thought it was. Out of the blue, for no apparent reason, Cathy sent me a Lucky Bamboo, with the most awesome gift card that read, "If I had a flower for every time you made me smile and laugh, I'd have a garden to walk in forever. I hope this makes you smile." Good thing number three.

Then, after I left her a tear-stained voice mail, I opened my email to find several "I love you" notes from a couple of other friends. Good thing number four. Telling me that, although some people in my life don't seem to value me and my friendship, there are others who do.

Could I ask for any more confirmation that prayer works? No, God didn't stop a building from falling on me, but that isn't how He does things. But with these things that happened to me today, I feel like He set up surround-sound in my world to make sure I heard the message loud and clear.

Roger that.

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