Jan 16, 2024 328 Susan Skinner

Prayer is Powerful

I was going through my old prayer journal, wherein I had written prayer requests. To my amazement, every single one of them was answered!

Anyone taking a cursory look at the news these days may find themselves despairing, wondering where God is, and needing hope. I know I have found myself in this position on certain days. We feel out of control, and we wonder what we can do about all of the horrible things we see. I want to share with you a story.

A few years ago, I started keeping a journal of prayer requests of the people and things I was praying for. I often prayed a Rosary for these things, as I still do today for prayer petitions. One day, I came across an old journal of my written prayer requests. I began to peruse the pages of what I had written long ago. I was astounded. Each prayer had been answered—maybe not always in ways I thought they would be answered, but they were answered. These were no small prayers. “Dear Lord, please help my aunt stop drinking alcohol. Dear Lord, please help my infertile friend have children. Dear Lord, please heal my friend from cancer.”

As I scrolled down the page, I realized that every single prayer had been answered. Many in a bigger and better way than I imagined. There were a couple that, at first glance, I thought had not been answered. One friend who needed healing from cancer had passed away, but then I remembered that she had confession and anointing of the sick before she died. She died peacefully in the mercy of God, surrounded by His healing grace. But other than that, the majority of the prayers were answered here in this world. Many prayer requests had seemed like impossible mountains, but they had been moved. God’s grace takes our prayers and our perseverance in prayer, and He moves all things toward good. In the quiet of my prayer, I heard a whisper: “I have been working all these things throughout time. I have been writing these stories. Trust me.”

I believe we are in perilous times. But I also believe that we are made for these times. You may say to me: “Your personal prayer requests being answered seems great, but nations are at war.” And my response to that is, again, nothing is impossible with God, not even stopping war by using our prayers. I remember it happening in the past. We should believe that God can act that big right now.

For those not old enough to remember, there was a scary time when it looked like a blood bath was coming. But through the power of the Rosary, things changed. I was in 8th grade, and I remember hearing about all the turmoil in the Philippines. Ferdinand Marcos was the dictator of that country at the time. It was shaping up to become a bloody battle with a few people already dead. A staunch critic of Marcos, Benigno Aquino, was assassinated. But it didn’t become a bloody battle. Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila had asked people to pray. They went out in front of the military, praying the Rosary aloud. They stood in front of tanks praying. And then, a miraculous thing happened. The military laid down their weapons. Even the secular media, the Chicago Tribune, reported how “Guns fell to Rosaries.” The revolution was over, and the glory of God was seen.

Don’t stop believing in miracles. Expect them. And pray the Rosary every chance you get. Lord knows our world needs it.


Susan Skinner

Susan Skinner is a wife, mom, caregiver, and writer. Currently, she is the director of Adult Faith Formation and RCIA at Saint Philip Catholic Church in Franklin, TN.

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