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Prayers heard from wherever you are

link Judy Brandon


Religion columnist

Over the years Mother has told me many stories of her childhood. Now even more, I cherish all those stories she told me.

First, those stories remind me of my sweet Mother. Second, Mother always had a spiritual truth to demonstrate when she told one of her stories.

At times I have told someone that “I will pray for you” and honestly, I sometimes use those words loosely. Mother once told me a true story that validates why we should be in prayer with the Father every day.

My Mother spent many younger days with her best friend Dorothy Starnes at her home in Crosstown, Tennessee. As child whose mother had died, my Mother welcomed the warm and loving hospitality that Mrs. Ruth Starnes, Dot's mother, showered upon her.

Mrs. Ruth treated my Mother just like another daughter. This made an impression on an awkward little 8-year-old whose mother had died two years earlier.

The family lived far from town in this rural part of Tennessee, so living in the country, the girls had to use their imagination to come up with their own entertainment. They found all kinds of things to do like swimming and swinging from sturdy grapevines that lined the creek bank.

One day, the two girls considered imitating Hollywood stars. Because they had seen some news article about the glamour in Hollywood, their intrigue with the entertainment world was stirred.

So the girls created a loosely constructed hay stage in the barn. When they got their hay stage just right, they dressed up in Mrs. Ruth's old clothes and imagined they were Hollywood celebrities.

They sang and danced before a make-believe audience. The two girls kicked their legs high and danced to tunes on an old crank phonograph. Their lure to the fantasy of a make believe Hollywood production satisfied and thrilled the two girls for most of the day. But when nighttime came, their temperament changed.

That night a calamitous thunderstorm descended upon the area. Warnings of a possible tornado were echoed all over the community. When the two girls heard the storm and crash of thunder, both Mother and Dorothy in their childish minds feared that the Lord was disciplining them for their worldliness in the barn that day. So they ran to Mrs. Ruth to pray for their safety and the safety of the house.

To these two little innocent girls, Mrs. Ruth was the wisest and most wonderful woman and she knew the Lord was not chastising them for their childish behavior. Yet, she thought it a good time to make a point about prayer. So Mrs. Ruth pulled the girls into her arms and said: “Sisters, I prayed today when the sun was shining; I am not afraid for our safety now. Go on to bed and don't worry…we are all safe.”

Mother told me that a distinct impression was made on her when Mrs. Ruth framed that spiritual truth in that way. Mother had seen her pray many times before. In the midst of taking care of children, doing farm chores, managing a household and doing all the things that a mother had to do during the day, Mrs. Ruth regularly and without fail went into bedroom each afternoon to pray. The habit of daily prayer at home was paramount in her busy schedule. When he bedroom door was closed each afternoon around 2 p.m., the children knew not to bother Mrs. Ruth because she was praying that hour.

But the reality is that God hears our prayers, whether in a magnificent temple, in a beautiful cathedral, in a closet or in a simple little bedroom. We should not take that lightly. He wants to hear from us and when He does, we are better off for it.

Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: [email protected]