In your prayers do not babble as the Gentiles do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matt. 6:7-8
The last semester of college for our only daughter! Engaged, making good grades, working in a national political campaign, what could go wrong? She had just come home from a semester abroad, and for the first time was sharing living space with people she had not known before. Still, just four months to go. What COULD go wrong?
A major catastrophe, that’s what. Her engagement ring was missing! She knew just where she had put it before going to bed, and it was not there. She tore her room apart; I went to Aggieland and systematically tore her room apart from wall to wall and corner to corner. We took the washing machine and the plumbing apart—no ring! In her heart, she knew one of the roommates with a rather questionable character had it. I didn’t know what to think.
She prayed; I prayed; all of our family and friends prayed. I offered up verbose, grandiose prayers in my best English teacher and Christian voice. I read books on prayer. I pleaded with God. I promised God. Still, no ring to be found.
In desperation one night, I offered this short prayer: “God, you know we need to find this ring, but that ring is not the most important thing. If someone does have the ring, please change that person’s heart. In your name I pray. Amen.” I went to sleep feeling peaceful for the first time in weeks.
Around noon the next day, our daughter called shouting, “My ring was under my door when I came in from class!” A miracle? No. Our God answered a prayer humbly offered up for the right reason. He knew before we did what needed to happen. He changed a heart! Our good fortune in having the engagement ring back was secondary.
Most precious God, Thank you for listening to us so intently when we empty our hearts to you in faltering words. Thank you for the opportunity to learn and grow during the dark moments of life. Help us to be aware of your presence every minute of every day. Amen
A retired educator, Bettye Carpenter is a member of the Power and Light Community.