This I Believe

Charlene - West Des Moines, Iowa
Entered on September 12, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I Believe

I believe in the power of prayer. When I was a child, I attended a weekly Sunday School class and though I listened at the time, praying was the most difficult aspect of my religion to comprehend. Sunday School teachers, right or wrong, instructed, “Eyes tightly closed please, bow your heads, clasped your hands together.”

Why? Why couldn’t I just look heavenward, where God supposedly lived? Then one day I prayed looking upward–my parents answered my question by informing me that I could indeed look to the skies and just talk to God.

When I was a teenager, I left prayer behind and instead listened and admired my friends’ timely advice. A time came, though, when I married and delivered my first child. I delved into my past and started praying earnestly for my new son’s well-being. My prayers were answered! I began to gain a partial understanding of the threads woven in Heavenly timelessness.

Prayer, since, has guided me through many occasions. I reluctantly accepted that God could respond with a resounding “No!“ too, . Many times during my life I prayed for what now one could only call inconsequential events, such as passing a test in school or getting that date I yearned for, or that my baby’s first footsteps would be for me as the witness. At the same time, I recalled from those Sunday School days of years past that prayers can be prayed for any one thing or any one person. I just had to call on my higher power and believe that God notes that no prayer is inadmissible; I began to believe that the power of prayer connected me to God.

Luckily, I have led a most fortunate life, with a devoted husband who dearly loves me and I, him. We have had three wonderful and mostly healthy and happy children. So is this because of prayer? I’ll never know for certain but I believe so. We have always managed to stay ahead of our bills too.

Though our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, I don’t believe prayer should be a penalty where one is convicted for falling asleep in church or forced upon those who have been branded with the letter “A.” Prayer should be a comfort that people utilize to engage contact with God.

I believe in the power of prayer as a conversation with a higher power. Through the power of prayer, one can spew gratitude and thankfulness for one’s life and then ask for the desires of one’s heart. This seems to me to be the rightful way to engage God in conversation.

The subjects of my prayers involve family, friends, and our world, but lately they primarily enlist care over my military son and prayer for me, too, as I continue treatment for an inoperable brain tumor. Prayer is powerful but one must exercise it to find its utility. Sadly many of us don’t.