Testing the Power of Prayer

I’m remembering part of a story, the important part, which I’d like to pass on. A major attack had just occurred on a people. An eminent peace leader had been giving a talk when they were interrupted with the news about the attack. The leader asked everyone in the room to pray for the people—the attackers!

I thought of this story recently when a friend wrote to me about a tragedy that had just taken place in her small town. An eighth-grade boy was showing the dad’s gun to his older brother, a high school senior, who was accidentally shot and killed. A few days earlier, another friend shared with me the recent suicide of her friend’s fiancé. These events taking place before the holidays were heavy in my heart.

My intention is not to re-traumatize. My only purpose in writing about these events is to remind myself of the power of prayer this holiday season. It doesn’t take much effort to send a prayer to victims and family members of those whom we feel compassion. However, it can take serious conscious effort to send a prayer to the perpetrator of any event.

These stories take me back to when my now teenage son and I participated in a mom-and-toddler class. There was one particular boy who would regularly act out. I would find myself feeling annoyed and disturbed by this boy’s disruptions. Unlike any teaching method I had ever seen, this wise teacher modeled the importance of showing the child more love.

It doesn’t take much effort to share love with those whom we care about. Imagine the outcome of integrating more loving thoughts to those people in our lives who annoy us! Now imagine the impact on a global level.


1. Who do you know or have you heard about who has experienced tragedy or other difficult times this holiday season?

2. Whether a prayer or warm thought, ‘tis the season to take a moment, close your eyes, and send one or more—they’re postage free.

3. The next time you catch yourself putting yourself down in even the slightest way, such as when looking in the mirror, see what happens when you try out one of those loving thoughts and turn it inward.