I’ve been thinking and praying about the ongoing situation in my former home state of Texas, where many residents have lost power and even water in the midst of extreme cold. I’ve been encouraged by an experience my family had some years ago when we lived in Boston. Our area was hit by a severe tropical storm that knocked down trees and resulted in widespread power outages.
Our home was at the end of a long driveway that was hidden from the main street, and, despite repeated calls, the power company didn’t seem to know about us. We relied on electricity for our heating, cooling, cooking, and hot water, and the outage made it difficult to make meals, do homework, power phones and laptops for work, or keep clean. The building and home supply stores were completely sold out of generators.
At first we thought we could just get through it and assumed our electricity would return soon. But when word got out that it would be a while before power was restored to our area, we began to pray.
I’ve found that instead of leaving you feeling stuck and desperate, prayer lifts thought to a hopeful outlook – and brings with it practical ideas that help us. The kind of prayer I’m talking about includes acknowledging the loving and protecting power of God, good. One of my favorite inspirations for prayer is a verse from the Bible: “I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying unto you, ‘Fear not, I will help you’” (Isaiah 41:13, New King James Version).
As I prayed, it occurred to me that we might be able to use the shower facilities at our community pool, so we went there. The facility was closed, but a groundsman offered to sell us a generator that he didn’t need. It wasn’t a long-term solution, as the generator required gas and supervision while in operation, but we were grateful to finally be able to turn on a few lights and power our refrigerator for food.
As days turned into more than a week, I began to feel hopeless one evening. But the Bible is so full of examples of God meeting people’s needs, in all kinds of circumstances, and I realized this situation was no different – nobody can ever be separated from the care of our divine Parent. So I again reached out to God in prayer.
Early the next morning I woke up with a couple of lines from a poem by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, clearly in my thought: “O gentle presence, peace and joy and power; / O Life divine, that owns each waiting hour...” (“Poems,” p. 4).
These were familiar lines set to music in the “Christian Science Hymnal,” but they suddenly felt so new to me. Unlike power lines, God’s power could never be shut off – God is the one infinite, always-present power. And this divine power is the source of powerful spiritual qualities such as love, wisdom, and joy. These qualities couldn’t be given to just a few and taken from others. God expresses them in each of us. And the idea that divine Life (another name for God) “owns each waiting hour” helped me see that I could feel peaceful, even joyful, throughout this experience.
It was five in the morning and still dark outside, but I heard power trucks and voices in the distance. I ran down our driveway, and saw workers at the power lines up the street.
They were just coming off a night shift, and said they didn’t have our home (or our neighbor’s) on their service list. But because of my prayer that morning, I felt confident that a solution was at hand. Soon afterward, the workers agreed to take a look and discovered a serious problem with our power lines. They couldn’t fix it on the spot, but they ordered a giant generator and manned it for a week, which gave full power to our home and to our neighbor’s until the electricity could be restored.
I was so grateful for the inspiration that not only awakened me at just the right time to hear the power trucks, but delivered a message of God’s consistent peace and power, which is where I put my hope and trust. The Bible instructs, “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things ...: for that he is strong in power; not one faileth” (Isaiah 40:26).
I am praying to know that the same is true for all those who are waiting for power, food, heat, or water in Texas and beyond right now. Everyone has the God-given right to know and experience this spiritual fact: that we cannot be left out of the care and protection that God gives each one of us, so that “not one faileth.”
Some more great ideas! To read or listen to an account of physical healing through prayer in The Christian Science Journal titled “Severe hand injury quickly healed,” please click through to www.JSH-Online.com. There is no paywall for this content.