Do We Learn and Grow from Prayer?

By Brenna H.

I was sitting in the living room of our apartment when Sarah, my roommate, ended the phone conversation with her brother. I remember hearing her crying in our room in the back. She had told me about her older brother who was going through some hard times. He had married in high school, against their parents’ wishes, and had divorced within a year of that marriage; he was uncertain of what to do with his life after this divorce. While we were freshmen in college, he had remarried again, now he was getting another divorce. He was feeling lost, depressed, and even questioning his purpose in living. I wanted to offer comfort to Sarah during this hard time, but I didn’t know what to do. I recalled how prayer had always been something that had helped give me comfort in my life. I remembered God’s love for me and the love I had always felt when I prayed to Him. Having this thought, I finally went inside and asked quietly if she would like me to offer a prayer. She thanked me and said, “Yes.”

In that moment when I started my prayer, I suddenly realized that I was young and completely inexperienced with problems such as the ones her brother was facing. I started to panic because I didn’t know what to say. I started questioning whether or not I could say this prayer. What was I going to do? I realized I needed to pray for myself and ask for some help. I couldn’t just give up. So I said a prayer in my heart to God to help me say this prayer. I had hope and faith that God would answer my prayer and with that faith in my heart I started to pray out loud and speak.

My words flowed smoothly and effortlessly. They were words of comfort and peace for my roommate’s situation. I said words that I never thought of prior to my silent prayer for help. When the prayer was over, my roommate explained that she had a powerful experience through this prayer and that she felt God’s love and comfort for her and her brother during this trial.

She was not the only one, however, who had benefited from this prayer. For me, when I reflect on this special time, it is a completely unforgettable experience that has strongly shaped my life and my knowledge of God. When I started to pray, I felt with such a strong power that God really exists. I also felt an indescribable feeling of love that He has for me. It was the strongest feeling of love I have ever felt.

From this experience with prayer, I have come to know beyond a doubt that God is real I know that God loves me immensely and knows who I am. I know now that when I pray, He is there, He exists, and He does not abandon me in my times of need. Knowing that He listens to and answers my prayers gives me added measure and motivation to continue to pray to Him frequently.
Though it has been many years since this powerful experience happened, occasionally when I call my former roommate, Sarah, we will reflect on this experience. She still remembers those feelings of love, joy, and knowledge that God lives. So do I.

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