Does God Answer Prayers?

By Erik M

Over a year ago, my family, a friend and I went boating at a lake. It was a beautiful afternoon and the water was nice and warm. We skied, wake-boarded, and knee-boarded. We had a good time. After a couple of hours, the weather suddenly changed and the winds picked up. We decided it was best to return to the marina and go home. On our way back the winds become more violent and the waves grew enormously in size. They came over the bow and flooded towards the back. The engine died and we were stranded in the middle of the lake taking on wave after wave. We put on life preservers and threw out anything that could float. Soon after, the boat was a replica of the sinking Titanic.

We were all safe, treading water and wondering what to do next. The only option was to start to swim for shore. The winds were completely against us and made progress extremely slow. After a while, my parents and eleven-year-old brother fell behind. My younger sister, my friend and I decided we needed to swim ahead and get help. My friend said a generic prayer, and we were off at full speed trying to get to the shore.

Hour after hour passed, and fatigue and hypothermia started to set in. The sun went down and the moon came up. The moon was bright and full, allowing us to see a fixed object on shore we could aim for. Each individual had moments when he didn’t think he could keep swimming, but the other two encouraged and pushed the exhausted one to keep fighting.

After swimming for hours we had made little progress, because the winds were against us. By this time everyone was at his breaking point, and thoughts of death started to creep in. At this point we said another prayer. This prayer, however, was far more heartfelt and sincere. About five minutes after the prayer another storm came upon us. The winds picked up again, but this time they were pushing us in a direction towards the shore.

We finally made it to shore and climbed up to a highway. We flagged down cars at the fringe of the road and the highway patrol soon came to the rescue. An ambulance was called and information about my parents and brother was given to the Search and Rescue team. We all had severe cases of hypothermia with body temperatures ranging from 82 to 90, and were taken to the nearest hospital.

About two hours later, my parents and brother were found. Miraculously, they were all okay as well. They too had made it to shore and found help. Later we found out it was the same second storm that saved their lives. It had pushed them in the direction that ended up being a place where they could easily flag down the Search and Rescue team.

Before this experience I wasn’t sure there was a God. Nothing made any sense to me and I tried to use science and human philosophies to answer my questions. I couldn’t understand or believe God loved me individually and knew me personally. Everything changed for me after that night on the lake. All my doubts about whether there is a God were dismissed. I know there is a God. He knew what my family and I were going through that night. He knew we needed His help, and He miraculously saved us. The incident really opened my eyes to all the seemingly small things we are blessed with. God truly is in the details of our lives; we just have to look for it.

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