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Sunday, February 5, 2012

When God answers prayer

It's 6:30 in the morning.  I can't tell you the last time I was up this early in the morning.  

Last week, I stumbled across an old bottle of Ritalin I'd forgotten all about.  I looked at the expiration date and realized it's about a year and a half past it's expiration date, but I didn't want to throw it away so I put it in my night table, figuring I might try it sometime or other and see what happened.

Well, I've been sleeping a LOT lately.  More than usual even which is saying something.

Recently we started going to church again.  It's been a long time and I'll be honest, getting up in time to make it even to the 11:00 service has been difficult.  Last night I went to bed early and knew I'd still have trouble getting up to get dressed and ready in time, so I figured I'd take a Ritalin right before I went to sleep.  

Now, it's been almost three years since I was on medication.  I took them for seven years and they'd stopped working completely.  My sleep doctor recommended I go off medication for three to six months to see if my body would "reset".  It didn't.  He suggested a year.  Still didn't reset.  The Ritalin worked for about a week and then I reverted right back to sleeping my life away.

I knew that if I took one, one of three things would happen.

I'd still sleep all night.

I'd go to sleep and wake up and not be able to go back to sleep again, or

I wouldn't sleep at all.

The second was spot on.  I slept for about an hour before Molly kitten decided to snuggle up against my face and woke me up.  As hard as I tried, I couldn't go back to sleep.  Since I always fall asleep while I try to say my prayers, I figured that would be a good time to work on that.  While I was praying, I remembered one very important prayer I'd once uttered.

I was very involved in church since childhood.  I don't remember not going to church until the past four or five years.  A story for another day.  My dad though, he refused to go with us.  I always wished he'd go, as a child I was worried about what might happen to him if he died.  I prayed and prayed that one Sunday morning, he'd get up and go to church with me and Mom, but it never happened.

Well, one particular week, we were having a revival at our church.  The minister preached about prayer.  About the power of prayer and how we should be careful what we pray for.  I remember him saying exactly "If you pray "whatever it takes" be prepared for what might happen."

I thought about it and at the time I thought I could handle whatever might happen.  I wanted my Dad in church.  I wanted him "saved" so if anything ever happened to him, he'd go to Heaven.  I was sixteen years old.  I prayed the "whatever it takes" prayer.

My Dad went to church that Sunday.  First time in my entire life.

On Tuesday, he was dead.

When the doctor came out and told us he was gone, the first thing I thought about was that prayer.  The next few days while we were planning the funeral, accepting people at the house with food, while I was trying to sleep, a week later when I went to work at my first job all I thought about was that prayer.  

On one side, I felt this preternatural peace about my Dad.  I knew then as I know now without a doubt he's in Heaven.  On the other side, I felt guilt.  I still feel guilt sometimes.  I lost one of the most important things in my life that day, and I'll always feel like it started with a prayer.

I'll wrap this up by saying, that yes, God answers prayers, and yes, always be careful what you pray for.

Please read this post to read about my friend Michelle and help her get her life back.
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