Prayers that God answers. Any examples?

by punkofnice 259 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • humbled

    I'll try to fast forward through those 4-5 years. One problem I have doing that is showing how my life was radically transformed with the loss of the amenities of civilization i.e. running water, plumbing, electicity and telephone (no cell phones in the 70's) to a very rustic life in the Ozark mountains. I had finally married my husband in a simple civil ceremony when our daughter was a year old. A year later we had another daughter. We raised commercial tomatoes and did a small amount of horse logging. It was hard to make ends meet. So my husband and I accomodated the reduced finances by cutting back on non-essentials on the farm where we lived--all utilities. He introduced me to items familiar to his childhood: kerosene lamps, a well bucket, and a wood cook stove. These details of life are not presented as local color--but because they had a huge impact on how I dealt with the spiritual crisis that crested when our youngest was a toddler and I was as cut off from the outside world as I have ever been.

    What happened that winter my husband shrugs off as "cabin fever"--and you might well see it as that also. None the less, I'll tell it as I understand what happened--a miracle and an answer to a prayer that I hardly knew I was praying.

    It's true that I hardly knew I was praying. As I said previously, I figured I had no claims on God's time since my own attitude to the priest's counsel had not changed. I still justified my breach of his first marriage. But my oldest child talked now and was making childlike comments about the world around her that challenged me to answer her. I had an ambiguous relation to life and its ultimate meaning-- I wasn't really well formed in those things myself. The beauty of the natural world was all around me in the hills and in my experience of life and death of the animals, my second child was born at home and married life carried trials I found difficult. These things all jogged my spirit and I wanted to talk to the God I had thrown away.

  • humbled

    The prayer that I scarcely prayed is part of what is called "the liturgy of the mass". It was one of the formulaic prayers that are said in Catholic worship services. Yes, I went to mass even though I was barred from communion. Also, as time wore on and I had my babies, I got them baptised. I was catholic through and through. The prayer I allowed myself is that one just before the bread and wine is consecrated. It is a short prayer riffed off from Mark 8:8 said by all attending: "O my Lord, I am not worthy to receive you under my roof, speak but the word and my soul will be healed"

    I figured it was a legit prayer for me in my situation. Also it seemed like a prayer God might deal with.

    The fall before the winter I'm telling about, a church-going couple (I still had a prejudice against "christians" who weren't Catholic) lent me a book about two old Dutch women who were put in a Nazi prison camp for hiding Jews. The story of their faith and suffering --and good humor--was heroic, I thought. Worthy of a Catholic saint even. I had to admit, it made me think--in spite of myself. I got to thinking that-had they BEEN Catholics--they almost certainly would be canonized or at least beatified--you know, put in the pipeline for sainthood. But, on the other hand, these two women thought nothing in their actions. One even died in camp. They felt their lives to be no more than an ordinary response to Jesus' teachings. They would have laughed at the notion of "sainthood".

    And that's when it struck me. All they did, they did because they simply were behaving as a Christian should. Saint=Christian. Christian=Saint. It was a terrifying thought. I realized I was no sort of Christian if it actually had to do with doing what Jesus taught.

  • iCeltic

    None, not a single one from me.

  • humbled

    When winter set in I was in sad shape mentally. (If this makes my story suspect, so be it :) My husband and I had all the usual struggles of two people in love and in marriage--and then some. He carried a burden of guilt and so did I. That's what I think. I had no way to lift the burdens of my life with the resources I had, and my husband could hardly stand for me to share my gloom with him. It registered only as doubt of my love or as a criticism of his providing for us.

    Indeed, winter funds were slim. We had only a bit of landlocked timber that was marketable at the local saw mill. The stand of trees was down the mountain a few benches away and difficult to access during the short winter days. So with cold comimg swiftly on we decided he could log it alone if we slapped together a little log crib/cabin with a tin roof and a barrel stove for warmth .If he didn't try to make it down and back every day, he could pack provisions down to camp with the logging team--hay,grain and canned goods near a pond and thus make the most of the precious light, that brief window for his labors.

    The little girls and I were alone in the farmhouse for those days he was gone. It was a risky way for him to work--laying down the timber, limbing it up and skidding it to a landing where it would wait until the road was either frozen enough or dry enough for us to grab cant hooks to get a load out for pay. But that's how it was. And those days alone with the children only was when I began my struggle to come to peace with God. Because I didn't know how to live my life any more. I wanted to be able to pray to Him.

    Not that I was sorry for anything. That may be hard to grasp that I could feel some guilt but not any sense of real repentence. I had no idea or intention of changing anything. My religion supplied no context for the trouble I was in--unless I considered what the priest had told me.

    Definitely not an option.

    I thought of my quest more as a legal endeavor. In my mind there had to be a "loophole" some legal obscurity that allowed a person who really wanted back in the fold to get there without doing what the priest had told me to do. So I did something I hadn't done before. I found a bible among my husband's many books and began to read it.

    It might have been actual Greek and Hebrew for all the good I got from it. None of it made sense. Although when my husband furloughed at the house, I read him bits from the Song of Solomon that we both enjoyed. And Ecclesiastes had the kind of secular wisdom in it that appeals to such an atheistic/agnostic as he is. But I couldn't find a provision for a sinner like me.

  • humbled

    The long and the short of it is this: I hammered on God's toes is the best way I can describe my efforts. If memory serves now, I remember after getting the girls tucked in, sweeping a spot away from the heating stove in the cold room by the kitchen. For when the cooking was done we kept the doors all shut but for around the heating stove else the warmth dissipated so that nobody was warm. I remember thinking of the catholic idea of suffering to please God. Just waiting silently for him to notice me. It didn't seem to work. Or else my fervor just wasn't up to the amount of suffering he required. How could I know? He wasn't talking. I was flying blind.. I kept up these efforts and antics until the first slushy part of spring. It was like a dam had burst in me. I wanted God to give me a break, to make just a small allowance for me. But finally one day I realized how infinitely selfish I was to want God's help with MY life, MY marriage, MY little family when I hadn't given two ***** about the family I helped wreck.

    I don't have the words at all to say how it felt to think of my wrongs. To admit them to myself. It was beyond shame the way it came to me. And I had no way to undo it. I had to talk to God about it. So I did.

    I told him that I would do just what the priest told me to do. every bit of it. By the time my poor husband came up for R&R I was talking to God and determined to sleep in a separate bed.

    That evening I remember seeing his face in the lamp light fall in bewilderment when I told him that I could talk to God again--and reminded him of the terms the priest had given me. I told him that I would clean and straighten out the chicken coop for my quarters so that I could still help on the farm and raise the girls with him. Like his sister.

    He just looked at me and said it wouldn't work. and what could he possibly say to his first family--notwithstanding his ex had remarried too--how could it be that I was this crazy? To tear things up like that? I was so absolutely peaceful that even with that terrible announcement between us the night was calm. He told me that even though he thought counseling mostly a waste he would take me to a therapist--but he thought me too far gone.

    Instead, poor man, he promised to take me to mass the next weekend for our provisioning trip to town. He put his trips and traps together for another stint in the woods before the weekend.

    I was in catholic heaven on earth. My plan was to get to church before mass to make a thorough confession so as to receive Holy Communion and thus seal the deal with God as per the formula given by the priest.

    I hauled and heated bath water the day before. Made sure everything was ready. Receive ample assurance from My husband that he would have the tire canins on the car to get down the bad patches of winter mountain road. The only logistical problem I failed to successfully plan for was our alarm clock.

    As I said, we had no utilities whatsoever making the wind-up alarm clock the only device in the house that moved on its own --but not reliably. Without a radio announcer to call foul on its time keeping, it was something of an art and a math problem rolled into one to wind it each night before bed. There was a certain number of minutes one had to strike off or else add to approximate the hour and minute that the rest of the world kept. So I made plenty of allowance for slippagethat night and went to bed looking forward to my appointment with God in the morning.

    To say everything went off like clockwork is to really tell the truth. Breakfast, chores, dress the kids and me. Bundled in the car, down the road on the chained wheels. I was Joan of Arc, St. Bernadette, St. Bridget --on my way to a life with God.

  • AndDontCallMeShirley


    Entirely Possible:

    So, not a single concrete example.

    Looks that way.

    Punkie- looks like your topic has been hijacked.

  • LoisLane looking for Superman
    LoisLane looking for Superman

    Hey Shirley, Pardon me for calling you that, but HEY, this woman is telling us about HER religious experience.

    You don't have to listen.

    Go away. Go to the fridge and get a beer, grab a bag of chips, reheat a slice of Pizza...but GO.

    This woman needs to talk. She needs to get things off of her chest.

    Don'tCallMe ...are you gone now?


    Humble, I am listening.

    Just Lois

  • LoisLane looking for Superman
    LoisLane looking for Superman

    3rdGen, I am so sorry for all the heartache you have endured.

    The loss of one's child...(((((3rdGen)))))

    Just Lois

  • humbled

    My apologies to you, ADCMS, it's a problem to give a serious answer to a question that is seriously posed.

    The thread will go the way of all threads here and die its natural death. My story will die with it, so no worry there.

    i considered a separate thread when i realized what was happening--but that seemed inappropriate too.

    It is a risk, to put oneself out once in a while. Perhaps I could be briefer and you could be kinder.


  • LoisLane looking for Superman
    LoisLane looking for Superman


    Since I "met" you, I have wanted to hear your story. Please continue. You have as much right to "speak" as anyone here.

    Don't worry about ADCMS, I think he's watching Baseball or Golf on TV while eating his Pizza and beer.

    Please, continue.

    Just Lois

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