Dan’s story on the power of prayer,
“Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name.”
When we pray we show faith as Christians. We are taught to pray for our family, friends, ourselves, strangers, even our enemies.
My first heart attack in August 2013 was sudden. I didn’t have time to pray. I was rushed by ambulance into the operating room and had a stent put in within a half hour. My second heart attack in September 2014 was anything but sudden. I had chest pressure for 20 hours the day before, but was feeling fine as I walked into the Emergency at Southlake Hospital.
Finding out you have had a heart attack is alarming, but understanding I needed triple bypass surgery was a shock. I’d like to say I was strong and steadfast in my belief, but I wasn’t. I was nervous, uncertain and scared. I had to wait a week that’s a lot of time to think, to panic, but also to pray.
I walked the halls of the Cardio ward talking to any patient I could. It helped to hear from others who were going through the same thing. My niece, Sarah Bella, who has undergone three heart surgeries was an inspiration to me. My wife Michelle and my Mom came every day. They prayed for me, listened to me, and comforted me. And the prayers of this congregation – all of you – I felt your prayers – I felt your love.
The morning of my surgery I felt a great sense of peace. Michelle and my Mom were at my side as I was wheeled down the hall to the surgery. I was tired of fighting – a very humbling experience. There was nothing more I could do on my own. My life was in the hands of God as the team of surgeons worked on me for over six hours.
I remember praying for God’s will to be done, whatever that may be. I made promises to God; to be a better husband, father and son, to give back. And to speak in front of this congregation, in front of you all, to share my story, my blessing, and the positive power of prayer. In recent months I’ve grown to know many of you better and what I receive in your giving is always more than I can give in return.
Each morning I wake up and give thanks for my strong, healthy heart. I’m convinced that my quick recovery had everything to do with the prayers from all of you. Don’t underestimate the power of prayer. I truly believe it works. It works for all of us. There are those in our midst who need our prayers now. I encourage you to take home the prayer list in your Sunday bulletin and set aside some time each week to pray for others in need. When you think about it, we could all use a little payer.
Thankfully there is no limit to the prayer we can receive and can give in return.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer … present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
“…Now it’s time for me to make this commitment to myself and the church to start a new beginning in the church. This is important to my life because I feel that after being confirmed I can contribute to the church such as joining the choir, helping by donating my time and money. I would also like to continue helping the people who need it most, like serving food at Evangel Hall. I hope the congregation would pray and help me to succeed in accomplishing this and guide me in the future. Julia
“… through my childhood going to church, I never really felt as if I knew God. I would pray, but only when I wanted something like a new toy. As I got older, I began to ask a lot of questions… the more answers I found, the stronger my relationship with God became. I realized that God isn’t some powerful Santa figure, handing out gifts whenever I wanted them, but he’s so much more… he’s always there. And, of course, I cannot possibly imagine a more loving or helpful community than UPC. I am so excited to finally make the official decision to join the church and become a part of the Christ community. I would like to thank each and every person in this congregation for helping me along the way. William
“…Being confirmed today means everything to me because I know now that I have a family here … and that they will help me through obstacles throughout my life. So thank you & Amen Emma