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Question: What can we / should we pray about?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Principled, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    Answer: Absolutely anything and everything!

    The solution is already present in any discordant situation, big or small, meaningful or trivial, be it with a body or a machine, when we turn away from the material “evidence” and look for the spiritual reality, (in other words, what God knows), which is always good, always whole, always harmonious.

    Eugene Peterson’s interpretation of Mark 11:24 in The Message puts it this way:

    “…pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything.” I like that.

    This subject came to my thought this morning as I was reading the daily short inspirational article in the newspaper, the Christian Science Monitor.

    The author (who obviously lived in a very cold part of the US) had a new-ish boiler that had been breaking down continually over two years and though they had used several different engineers from different companies, no-one had been able to fix it permanently – or even discover what the problem was and she’d just been told that just looking at the boiler, without fixing it, was going to cost her more than double the price she’s been quoted over the phone. She writes:

    You can read what happened here:

    'Judge not'

    It reminded me of a time when I was asked to pray for a friend who had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphona. (In case you’re wondering, yes he did have a wonderful healing one night when the room with filled with white light and he felt bathed with divine Love and the next morning, all the tumours around his neck were gone and X-ray showed that the one on his lung had shrunk to the size of a pea – all before any medical treatment had started.)

    Anyway, this friend and I had been working on changing fearful and also resentful thought to a consciousness filled with gratitude and love and as well as the physical healing, he had some other surprises, especially in connection with supply. One little experience that meant a lot to him and his wife was one chilly night when they thought they’d like to light the fire but didn’t have any firewood and they thought, “Let’s go over to Judy’s (I wasn’t there) and borrow some of hers.” Before they even reached my home, their way was blocked by the dead branch of a tree that had fallen over the road – which had broken into log-sized pieces.

    His pick-up truck had been out of service for three months and he desperately needed it for work (he was a builder). He couldn’t afford to take it to a garage, so had constantly been trying to figure out what was wrong with it. Shortly after he started the daily gratitude journal that I’d suggested, he walked outside, looked at the truck and knew exactly what was wrong and fixed it in 5 minutes!

    I had a similar experience once when our main computer at my church’s bookshop (where I work) had gone wonky. The cursor was jumping all over the place. We’d contacted two computer whiz kids who used to work there and they suggested it was a virus and other things. We jumped through hoops trying everything, even bought new software – nothing worked. I came in one day and my colleague was on the computer, struggling to get anything to work. Clear as if a light bulb had come on, I heard an angel message, (I understand angels to be God’s thoughts passing to humankind) saying, “It’s the mouse.” So I told my friend that and she said, “Don’t be silly…” (and gave me all the reasons it couldn’t be the mouse.) Well, I wasn’t going to argue and I wasn’t going to ignore that very specific message either (I don’t know a thing about computers), so I went to the other computer, unplugged the mouse and brought it to the faulty one. Everything worked.

    Prayer is the desire to see things as God sees them, to open our thought and listen. As the lady in the first account said,

    My prayers hadn’t begged God to fix the boiler [or computer] or asked Him to make me love people. They were inspired by a confident trust in Him that an all-knowing and all-acting God had created us to be knowledgeable and right-acting…

    I’ve got loads more examples of how all the answers are already present, before we even ask, but would love to hear about others’ experiences first.

    Love and peace,


    Judy
     
    #1 Principled, Sep 16, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2016
  2. jnani

    jnani Well-Known Member

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    Lovely post Judy!
    Keep them coming.
    Prayer is about being innocent, naked and receptive. It is deeply intimate relating to divine, it is matter of heartfelt intimacy, choice of words and the content don't matter.
    When the heart is humble and willing in the Divine Plan, happen miracles that mind cannot explain.
    Laying in front of the divine plan with open heart and vulnerability, the plan accommodates you, if you are not clinging to any particular outcome.
    In other words a prayer is Essentially the seeking of Divine....desires come true as a shadow of that auspicious seeking. When the pivot is God in your life, your reality smoothed out, purely due to your own heart-relating
     
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  3. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your encouragement Jnani! I'm sure everyone would love to hear of some of your experiences too. I know it's the Christianity pages (and obviously that's the background I write from) but to me, it's all one and no person or religion or philosophy has the monopoly on goodness and truth and spirituality and life and love and light - which to me is what God is.

    A friend of mine, Tony Lobl, once wrote a very perceptive piece on universal Truth (another name for God) for a newspaper - this is from it:

     
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  4. jnani

    jnani Well-Known Member

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    Great judy! love to read an individual's personal relationship with God. That is the very essence of religion. So I don't look at you as Christian but a lover of God. Same creed as me


    As I am not a follower of any religion anymore, essence of all religions have come alive in me.

    True relationship with divine, which is the very core of your own being is beyond all religion.
    When an intimate love affair with divine comes into play, all religions lose meaning and make sense all at the same time.

    God is Love. Then it is necessary to be in a hell of a love affair with HIM, to know HIS will and drown into the mystery.
    Love
     
  5. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    That's really beautiful Jnani - we are all children of Love, therefore one family.I am very happy to be thought of as a lover of God and the same creed as you. :)

    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
  6. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    And now, here's today's offering:

    A dear friend of mine used to always have her hair coloured a certain shade - let's call it Bashful Blonde. Well, one day her hairdresser told her it was no longer possible to get it in Singapore (where we both lived at the time). She was (almost) devastated but decided to pray about it. Now that might seem very shallow to some, but she knew that "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." (Science and Health p 494 by Mary Baker Eddy) and she felt she had a legitimate human need.

    She also knew that if we put God first in our lives and seek to know His reality (the Kingdom of heaven) then our needs are met. As Jesus said:

    Shortly after they had used up the very last bottle, her hairdresser went away on maternity leave and my friend decided to go to another salon which was closer to home. The new hairdresser exclaimed "Isn't that Bashful Blonde you have on your hair? You might be able to help an American client of mine. Knowing she couldn't get it here, she ordered some direct from America but they would only supply a minimum of 48 bottles, which will be out of date before she can use them all. Would you be willing to buy some off her?" So, my friend's need was met and so was the other lady's. God's law of supply and demand in operation:

    As Kay said, she wouldn't be sending that experience into the Christian Science periodicals for publication, but to her it was just as wonderful as some of her big physical healings! When God meets our need in the small ways, we can then trust HimHer in the big ones.
     
  7. Tashanie

    Tashanie Well-Known Member

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    A friend of mine who is a catholic is sadly in a very bad place at the moment. She is trying to make a new start in her life. I have been helping her with my therapies/life coaching. She prayed for help - and is shortly due to move to Ireland where she will have a chance to make a completely new start. I would say God knows what we need. Hair colour may be a minor thing to one person - but I know to someone else it could be hugely significant.
     
  8. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure you must have been a great comfort to her Sally.

    If you're still in touch with her, please share this poem with her - I'm sure it'll help her feel as loved and cared for as she always is. The poem has been set to music and is a much-loved hymn.

    In heavenly Love abiding...


    In heavenly Love abiding,
    No change my heart shall fear;
    And safe is such confiding,
    For nothing changes here.
    The storm may roar without me,
    My heart may low be laid;
    But God is round about me,
    And can I be dismayed?

    Wherever He may guide me,
    No want shall turn me back;
    My Shepherd is beside me,
    And nothing can I lack.
    His wisdom ever waketh,
    His sight is never dim;
    He knows the way He taketh,
    And I will walk with Him.

    Green pastures are before me,
    Which yet I have not seen;
    Bright skies will soon be o'er me,
    Where darkest clouds have been.
    My hope I cannot measure,
    My path in life is free;
    My Father has my treasure,
    And He will walk with me.

    —Anna L. Waring, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 148

    Just looking for the music and I've found this lovely rendition:

    In Heavenly Love Abiding - Mormon Tabernacle Choir

    And then I found the tune we sing in the CS Hymnal - this was recorded ad hoc by a group of friends in a tunnel in the dark:

     
    #8 Principled, Sep 19, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2016
  9. jnani

    jnani Well-Known Member

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    Lovely post. Thanks for sharing the hair colour incident. Mind makes big and small....in the eyes of whole it just is.
    Most people can recall that their smaller wishes come true relatively easily and effortlessly than their big and more pressing ones. Precisely because there is more mental and emotional investment and as a result more fear and doubt about big ones
    Whereas small and insignificant does not have a grip over mind, so mind is out of the way and blessings come flooding. When mind is busy clinging to and fussing over 'significant' huge, life changing desires to come about, it is sat in its own way, clogging all possibility of grace.
    I am enjoying your posts very much, as always
     
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  10. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your kind words, Jnani.

    I'm on a roll now! :p

    Here's another memory of one divine Mind and the answers being there before we ask.


    Back in the ‘70’s I went on safari with my sister and a brother and his wife. We were in Kenya. We had picked up a brand new hire car with only 6 miles on the clock (not a good idea when you are driving through remote game parks!) We were in the middle of one safari park on our way to a lodge for the night when the engine started coughing and spluttering and finally died. My brother is very technically-minded, but he couldn’t work out what was wrong and there was only a wheel jack, no other tools in the car. Evening was approaching and we knew that the game park was locked at night and we could hear the roars of the lions nearby.

    My sister (who is also a student of Christian Science) went very quiet and I realised she was praying, so I decided I ought to too! After a few minutes, a safari group went past – all those zebra-painted mini buses and we flagged them down. The van at the rear held the mechanics. Well, they were very helpful, but they couldn’t find what the problem was either. They told us they would radio Avis and get them to send us a new car the following morning, but that we would have to spend the night in the car. “Good luck” they said, “Don’t get out of the car” and drove off.

    My sister and I continued praying! The need to find out what the problem was, was an urgent one and so we just held to the fact that there is only ONE divine, universal Mind. Suddenly, my brother called out “I’ve just realised what it is. The petrol is not getting into the carburettor. If only we had a hose, I could rig up a drip feed.”

    My sister and I continued praying. About 5 minutes later, the mechanics came back. “We’ve just realised that the petrol is not getting into the carburettor, so we turned round to help you. Here is a hose for you.” We all had a drink then drained the last drop of water out of the water holder (that was a moment of faith!) and then my brother filled it with petrol, attaching the hose to the carburettor from it. He tied it to the top of the engine and off we went, slowly, but got to the gates before they were locked and then reached the lodge before nightfall.
     
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  11. jnani

    jnani Well-Known Member

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    A lovely share judy. Keep them coming!
    We invest so much in mental chatter about our problems. Complain, moan, analyze, do the detective work, run the story over in a loop, wonder why, wonder why me.....talk it to death, go see friends, therapist, go on retreats...We do absolutely anything but sit with us.
    A moment's pause from the mental chatter...presence is always constantly there, never not there. We just keep talking to phantoms....the Real just sits patiently, until we turn to that Force. Then the relating starts....
     
  12. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jnani - you are so right. (I'm still waiting to hear of some of your experiences by the way) ;)

    This is a really tiny experience, but again, it was huge at the time. I'm a bit embarrassed to share it, but here goes. As those who were around in the early days of HP know, I used to fly as cabin crew.

    Every year we used to spend a day at headquarters taking our safety and medical exams. If we didn't pass them, we lost our flying license

    So one day, a manual for the Birmingham-type of BAC 1-11 arrived in the post, with no cover note, nothing. I thought is was a mistake, as I worked out of Heathrow and we didn't have that type (and besides they were being taken out of service) so I tossed the manual in a drawer and never even looked at it.

    Come the next safety equipment procedures exam, the examiner told everyone except the 1-11 crew to leave the room, then he said we'd have so many questions on the Heathrow 1-11 and then 7 on the Birmingham 1-11, as Heathrow crew were going to be sent up there as they didn't have enough 1-11 trained crew. Oh yes, we were told that of the 7 questions, we could only fail one.

    I was gob-smacked. I had never seen the plane and I hadn't even opened the safety manual. So I did what I always do - I turned to God with all my heart. "Well Father-Mother, I really can of mine own self do nothing in this situation. You are going to have to help me." Thankfully, they were multi choice questions, so as I looked at each set, I just prayed and then ticked the one I was told to tick. I passed.

    Now that is not the right way to pass exams and I can assure everyone that before I was sent to Birmingham, I did a thorough study of that safety manual! :oops:
     
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  13. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    I had a similar experience at an airline reunion a few years ago. There were about 200 of us there, all sitting round tables and we were all asked to donate £2 for charity in the 'heads and tails' competition. Someone would throw the coin and you had to sit or stand, according to whether you thought it would be heads or tails. Well, I don't gamble and I felt uncomfortable taking part in anything that involved the belief of luck, but I also didn't want to be the only one of 200 sitting it out and looking like Mrs Goody-Two-Shoes, especially as it was for charity. So I said, "OK Father, I'll play, but I don't want to win." Each time I was told whether to sit or stand very clearly. Eventually there were just two of us left and were invited up onto the stage. I told the other woman to go first and reminded my divine Parent that I didn't want to win. I didn't. Yippee!

    It was interesting though, just how specific each instruction was.

    That has reminded me of my Bracknell experience.

    One night, I drove to see a girlfriend who lives near Bracknell in Berks. Anyone who knows Bracknell will know that it is all roundabouts and office blocks – not my favourite place I have to admit, so whenever I visited my friend I used to go across country, through a forest and farmland, instead of through the town centre. That route, though it was pretty, had very few houses and those were the days before mobile phones.

    When I got back in the car to return home I heard this voice in my head saying "Go home through Bracknell" I protested, saying "But you know I don’t like Bracknell" Silence. "OK, OK I’ll be obedient."

    I got to the first roundabout where I should have turned left to get home but the voice said to keep going straight. I started to protest, but then was told just to be obedient and listen, so I headed off away from home, very puzzled. At the next roundabout I was permitted to turn left and head for home.

    I was driving a little Renault 5 in those days and when I got to a mini roundabout just below the Renault garage, all my warning lights came on. I pointed the car up the ramp to the garage and had just enough impetus to arrive right outside the service door where my radiator blew up! It was night, so obviously they were closed, but I wrote a note and pushed my keys through their letter box, then went to the house next door where the owners let me use their phone and I rang my friend to come and pick me up and take me home. "You were lucky,” she said. "Luck had nothing to do with it" I replied.
     
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  14. scommstech

    scommstech Active Member

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    That last post of Judy's reminded me of an incident that my daughter experienced.
    She was driving her car and returning from her aunties funeral. It had been a long drive and she was tired. As she neared home and was approached a blind left hand corner she says that she distinctively heard her auntie say slow down. This she did and the next second a large truck cut the corner heading towards her. Had she continued she says that she would certainly have hit it almost head on.
    I can't say for sure if anything as distinct as that has ever happed to me, but I certainly know that it happens.
     
  15. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Scomm. Lovely to hear about that! I understand these wonderful messages of protection to be angels - God's thoughts passing to man. We all need to listen more.

    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
  16. jnani

    jnani Well-Known Member

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    ok the first one that pops up in my mind is

    A few years back when Britain briefly went into riots and violence was spreading to more and more cities....the News channels reporting these incidents on a loop. Not much else got reported during that period.
    Naturally it was very distressing time for all the victims and the same vibe was telecSt to every family watching all across the country.
    I didn't sit down and watch news as such but my husband does. I am usually in and out stopping to have a look now and again. I caught this look on my son's faces...it was an anguished desire to stop this madness, if they could....that was the defining moment for me. I called them out, away from the Telly, we went upstairs and I said, if we want it to stop, we should ask God to do so. Shall we pray. "Yes please, mummy"
    So the three of us sat down and prayed.
    After a few moments, when we opened our eyes we felt lightness in our hearts, the burden of sorrow, sadness and anguish for the country, her people, victims, perpetrators all got lifted.
    In the next hour or so, a gentleman, who had lost a son to that violence was seen urging people to go home and make a up of tea....the tide of violence turned.
    I remember peace dawning after that.

    My experience is that one cannot pray, unless Divine inspires them to pray.
    So I tend to look at the very urge to pray as the answering of the prayer itself.
     
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  17. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    That is really beautiful jnani! If only everyone did that instead of being sucked into the images of violence and feelings of hopelessness, what a different world we would live in.

    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
  18. Charis

    Charis Active Member

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    Wonderful and inspiring examples, Judy and Jnani! :)

    Judy's story about the airline exam just reminded me of a somewhat similar experience I had some years ago, when I was still at university. In this case I HAD been studying what I was supposed to, but apparently to no avail...

    It was almost the end of the year and my introductory statistics exam was approaching. This was a subject I knew I wasn't going to pursue further — I'd had a difficult year at uni and gradually realised the course I was in was not what I truly wanted to do, so I was looking for a new pathway for my studies (which I eventually found, but that's another story). But regardless, being a studious sort of person, I still wanted to do well in my final assessments even for the subjects I wouldn't be taking again. It matters to me that I do my best in whatever I'm given to do.

    For statistics class, we'd had a great teacher who explained everything well and it all made sense while we were doing the various equations in the classroom. But again and again I found that when I tried to do the same things for homework, I just couldn't get it. As the exam was approaching, I was finding it harder and harder to study. I could understand it in theory — well, sort of — but when I tried to work out the practical exercises, they almost never came out right. It was quite baffling, really — and off-putting, too. :confused:

    Finally the exam day came. I turned over the paper as the reading time began and sure enough, had just what I'd feared — that dreaded moment when you look at every question on the paper and realise you have no clue how to answer any of them. :eek::eek::eek: Or that's exactly what it felt like. I was fast freezing up.

    But at the same time as I'd been studying, I'd also started learning about what Judy and others here have described — how to get to know a God who is all-present, all-loving, all-harmonious and who is actually the only true divine Mind, the source of all real consciousness and of all that we truly are. I'd been an agnostic (though still a seeker) for years, but this understanding of God really made sense to me, more than anything else ever had. So, with nothing else left to do, I turned to prayer in just about the only way I could think of: "Father-Mother, You're here... what do YOU know about all this??" (I'm not sure I even managed to put it that coherently in my thoughts, but it was what I meant.)

    Within a few minutes I found myself looking at the exam paper again with less fear than before and realising that some things on it did look familiar. Before long, it was exactly as if God had His (or Her) arms around me gently and was leaning over my shoulder saying — not quite in audible words, but this was the sense of it — "Look at this question first — you know how to do that part, don't you? There, that's right. Now go on to this bit..." And the way to do it would come to me.

    I don't think I completed absolutely every question on the exam, nor did I do them all in order, but I certainly made a good attempt at every one in this way (we would get some marks for showing correct working-out, even if we didn't reach the final answer). What's more, by this stage I just felt so loved and looked after by God — by divine Love — that I really was downright enjoying the whole thing... I was tempted to laugh out loud for the sheer joy of it, but didn't want the invigilators (gosh, that term always sounds scary) to think I was up to anything suspicious. :D

    I went out of that exam just about walking on air — it was the first time I had ever really, really felt God's presence and been sure it really was the Divine speaking to me, not just me trying to "think positive" for myself. I really didn't care how I'd done in the exam by then — it just wasn't an issue any more — but I was awed and so grateful when the results came back some weeks later and it turned out I'd got a High Distinction. :)
     
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  19. scommstech

    scommstech Active Member

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    What a perfectly phrased question![/QUOTE]
     
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  20. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    I just LOVE this true story! :)


    This family had a tradition of making May Day baskets that they would fill with flowers and take them round to people who were house-bound or without families.


    At one point, the two older children decided that they’d outgrown this tradition and it was agreed they would stop doing it, but when the youngest heard this she was very upset until her mother promised that they would continue the tradition for her.


    Unfortunately, she forgot all about it and late on the night of April 30th, a sobbing child remonstrated with her about the broken promise. The mother was overwhelmed as it had been a severe winter and there were no flowers in the garden and it seemed a hopeless situation. But…


    “I figured that at least I could put on a stiff upper lip and make the baskets. We went to the attic, found a wallpaper sample book that provided some designed paper, and with some cutting and scotch-taping had seven baskets ready—for what, I had no idea.


    Our daughter kept saying, "But what about the flowers?" I thought of making some out of crepe paper or colored tissues, but I didn't have any.


    So I sent her off to bed, reminding her (though feeling somewhat of a hypocrite, as I knew there was no answer) that "divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (Science and Health, p. 494).”


    The mother went to bed herself, but couldn’t sleep, so got up and started praying deeply.


    “I can't explain the peace that suddenly surrounded me. No more struggle with stubbornness, a callous outlook, self-righteousness, or spiritual laziness! Just a sense of being surrounded by love.


    I truly feel that was probably the first time I had really prayed righteously. No longer did I have concern for my daughter or flowers or May baskets or self-condemnation or failure. I only had thoughts about God's love for each one of us, and of my gratitude for having a loving Father-Mother God who is always looking after each one's needs. With that peace came a calm assurance. I looked at the clock and saw it was midnight.


    As I rose to turn off the light, a car pulled up out in front. Then a knock at the door. And a voice called out, "Betty, are you in there?" … It was a good friend of mine. I opened the door, and all I saw were lilacs—a bushel of them hiding my friend's face.”


    The flowers were a surprise from the author’s mother who lived some 500 miles away and her friend had been nearby, on her way home, and had offered to bring them, but hadn’t intended dropping them off till the next day, but had then felt impelled to drive past the author’s house to see if there was a light on… Both women cried when this answer to prayer was shared.


    “Well, you can imagine the burst of joy when I woke my daughter up at 6:00 a.m. and showed her the generous fragrant bouquets in her baskets. I grinned as I reminded her how divine Love does indeed meet our EVERY human need (and rebuked myself for my previous doubtfulness).


    From that time on, when a problem seemed to have a dead end—regardless of the nature—our family byword, erasing all doubt, was, "Remember the lilacs at midnight."


    You can read the whole article here: Lilacs at midnight

     
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