When prayer comes around

By Russ Carter, leader of Stephen Ministry at St. George’s Episcopal Church, Fredericksburg, Va.

lightstock_131372_medium_helen_Recently, our family received some grave health news; we rushed home from vacation for a doctor’s appointment to discover that the dreaded C word had entered our lives.

Being an active Stephen Minister and a Healing Prayer minister at St. George’s, I fully understand the power of prayer. After informing our biological family, we turned to our spiritual family; we also turned to God. When we brought our fears and concerns to St. George’s, we were greeted with prayers and embraces, with members of our community surrounding us with love. When we told the members of the Table, Linda’s crew, along with Carey, circled her praying for God’s comfort. Reverend Bob Miller brought God’s Love to Linda with a ceremony of the laying on of hands.

Many different pastoral care groups brought their love and God’s Love to us. Linda recently received a blessed prayer shawl from the members of the Prayer Shawl commission. Each time she wraps herself in the shawl, she feels the love and comfort of the women who bring the comforting gift of God’s Love through their talents.

Over the course of two weeks, we were prayed over and comforted by the blessings of God. We were not allowed to dwell in doubt or uncertainty. The blessings and comfort came from the never-ending love and care of our spiritual family; our friends at St. George’s brought us God’s Love. The night before the surgery, the Table crew came to our home with more of God’s Love. We were both surrounded by God’s comfort, as Carey led us all in prayer.

Between the love of Joe, Carey, and our daughter, Megan, we received great comfort (and company) the day of the surgery. Prayers for comfort transformed into prayers of thanksgiving. Prayer is the centerfold of our existence. The Love of God and the love of our family at St. George’s are things of beauty.

Through this entire ordeal, with doubts and fears creeping into our lives, Linda always had the strong faith that all would be well. She was correct; all turned out well.

As a prayer minister, I always feel the power of God, when praying for and with others; it is a very profound feeling of God’s Love between two of his children. As a recipient of this prayer, and a very strong faith in God, we are blessed by powerful nurturing forces that I pray that others will find through the love of our prayerful family of St. George’s.

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