Humane Religion Magazine
January - February 1998 Issue
THE POWER OF PRAYER
A minister decided to take time off to enjoy the beauty of the North woods which were located within an hour's drive of the Parsonage. He always felt justified spending the day this way because, as he often told his congregation, he felt spiritually renewed after spending the day enveloped by the splendor and solitude of God's creation.
And, always, before he left his car to enter the woods, he would take a few minutes to ask God's blessing. On this particular day he had a specific request and he made a promise. If God would provide a big buck for him to kill, the Pastor would "give all the glory to God" when he displayed the mounted deer's head for the edification of his church members.
He moved easily through the woods, confident of God's blessing and protection and picked up his pace when he thought he spotted something in the woods, beyond the hill where he stood. The adrenalin was flowing and his heart was pounding as he began to sprint towards his victim. But he lost his footing and went crashing down the hillside.
Although he was badly hurt, he kept calm—until a dark form came lumbering towards him. It was a huge bear, and the minister was no longer armed. But he was a man who believed in the power of prayer, so in spite of his panic and fear he called upon God. "Lord", he prayed, "this bear is your creation, just as I am your creation. You have breathed the breath of life into both of us; we are children of the same Father. And just as you have caused me to live a life of righteousness, so also you can cause this creature to do the right thing.”
By now the bear was almost upon him, but as the minister voiced his prayer, the animal seemed to be transfixed by what he heard. He paused in his attack and sat back on his haunches. He raised his huge paws and clasped them together. And he prayed: "Lord bless this food which by thy bounty thou hast provided for my nourishment. Amen.”