The Power of Prayer
“God, please give my daughter back to me,” I prayed. I glanced up at the crucifix on the wall in the Trauma ICU at St. Louis University Hospital. It would take a miracle to save Lori. After being critically injured in an automobile accident, she was deeply sedated on life support.
“I’m sorry. We couldn’t stop the bleeding,” the trauma surgeon, a kindly man with a beard, had told me before they moved her to ICU. Knowing she could die at any moment, I asked for a priest. He anointed her and we prayed.
It was so unfair. At twenty-four years of age, she had her whole life ahead of her. She was beautiful — a petite brunette whose gorgeous brown eyes, radiant smile, and caring ways had won her many friends. Like me, she had become a teacher. She loved her job teaching science at a Catholic high school for girls.
The following day, surgeons operated again and stopped Lori’s internal bleeding. She improved slightly, then took a turn for the worse. Yet she did not die. Days turned into weeks while she remained in a coma. I spent each day by her side talking to her, praying, often with friends crowded into the small ICU cubicle.
Her liver and kidneys failed, causing her to swell and become discolored. Her weight soared from 105 to 180 pounds! She developed pneumonia and other infections. Her doctors said that even if she survived, she might have brain damage.
I knew she must be suffering. I thought maybe it wasn’t fair to keep asking God to preserve her life.
“If you feel called to go towards the light, then you must go,” I told her. “I will miss you terribly. But I know we will meet again in heaven.” Then I put her in God’s keeping. I left the hospital that night feeling sad, but at peace. I was humbly grateful too for the gift of faith. I wondered how people could get through such difficult times without it.
She developed toxic shock and collapsed lungs. Her doctors did not think she could possibly survive the night. I hurried back to the hospital. The priest once again anointed her. Fearing the worst, we prayed throughout the night.
In the morning, she was slightly better, and she continued to improve in the days to come. By the time she awoke, doctors and nurses were calling her “the miracle girl”. Even her doctors credited prayer with saving her. She said she had seen heaven, a place filled with golden light. A voice had told her she belonged in heaven, but not yet. I told Lori about all the wonderful people who had prayed for her. She appeared on a St. Louis televised series called “The Power of Prayer”. She said that even while comatose, she could hear our prayers, and they filled her with hope and courage.
I firmly believe in the power of prayer to work miracles. I witnessed one!
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