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The Power of Prayer: An Invitation

Reflecting recently on the power of prayer in her life, volunteer Valeria Garcia shares a story from her experience with a neighbor:

AT only 8 days old, Lia Amelia found herself in the hospital fighting for her life. She spent a whole month in pain and in fear. Juana (her mother) was devastated. And how could she not be? The doctors were pre-paring her for the worst. She saw her sweet baby daughter fall into a coma. She heard her in pain. And she herself was hurting.

One day, Juana came home from the hospital to check up on her four daughters who were at home alone. As I listened to her pain and despair, I felt my heart breaking little by little. What she said next blew me apart. She said she had been praying so much, she didn’t know what to tell God anymore. So she asked me to write a prayer for her. While this may not seem like a big deal to some, my heart was in disbelief. What a raw invitation that was to enter into her pain… and what an invitation to discover more profoundly the beauty of prayer.

Every time I called Juana to check up on them, she’d say, “Le estoy leyendo tu oración a Lia todos los días” / “I’m reading your prayer to Lia every single day.” How can I for-get such moments? To think that my most sincere words of faith and hope were being read aloud through the voice of such a strong and courageous woman to a precious, little warrior of God as palabras de fuerza y aliento (words of strength and breath), blew me away.

Weeks later, Lia Amelia was released from the hospital and came home. Some may think otherwise, but I truly and fully believe that God listens to our prayers when we offer him all our pain and fears. I remember Juana’s voice when she called to say she was being released — full of excite-ment, gratitude and love. “Tu oración funcionó, tu oración funcionó!” / “Your prayer worked,” she said, “your prayer worked!” as tears flooded her voice.

Invitation: This Holy Week, as we recall the suffering and death of Jesus Christ, we invite you to of-fer a prayer for someone you know who is suffering — physically, spiritually or emotionally — and give it to them as an expression of your solidarity with them. May it be a source of hope, love and strength for this person and for all who suffer.