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Recently, I was in a conversation about faith and prayers with one of my friends. We both have been through some trying times where our prayers and the prayers of others have helped to see us through.
As young married women with young children, we learned early on how to pray and have faith in the Lord. Prayer took us both through abusive marriages and later on, widowhood at a young age.
Prayer and faith and the fellowship with believers taught us how to bring up our children in a godly manner; to have respect and compassion for others. And it taught us how to forgive.
I think about the value of prayer a lot these days, as I interact with some younger folk. To them, praying in this fast world of the internet seems to be a too-slow route to get to where they want to be, go or what they want to do. I marvel at the fact that they don’t know they are living beneath their privilege.
I think back over my own life and how I learned that prayer really is a solution to all my problems — be it physical or spiritual. I believe the earliest time in my life that I was aware that God is real and hears our prayers was when I was a young mother struggling financially to care for my babies. One morning as I was preparing baby formula and making breakfast for Rick, I realized the gas was about to go off.
I asked God to let my gas stay on until I finished taking care of my babies. I was a domestic worker at the time, doing day work. I would get a new tank of gas when I got paid that day.
I’d no sooner finished making the formula and getting Rick’s breakfast and getting them bathed, when, sure enough, the gas went off. I uttered a grateful “Thank you, God”, got my babies dressed and headed out the door for the babysitter and work.
Some people would say that was just a coincidence. To me, it was just one of the many miracles the Lord has performed in my life over the years because I prayed. I can recall many times when I was so ill, I thought I wold surely die, but a prayer from God’s faithful ministers for Him to “touch” my aching body was all it took to get me to feeling better.
I am not alone in my belief that prayer really does change situations. Some time ago, I got an email from Dr. Bradley Nelson, a holistic physician who said prayer is the foundation of the work done by he and his wife, Jean. He has written a book, “The Emotion Code,” which deals with the power of prayer.
According to Nelson, prayer and a life of faith leads to greater health and well being. He said prayer and church attendance has been found to benefit health in many arenas, even to prolong life expectancy by seven years. Those who are prayerful and also involved in a faith-based community are better at coping with stress, more hopeful, more optimistic, less anxious, and less depressed.”
In a telephone interview with Nelson, who lives in Utah, he said: “I have received many answers to prayer in my life. It all started when I was 7 and was really sick with the measles. I was lying on the couch feeling very ill, when I heard my parents say they were taking me to the hospital the next day. Then, my mother said to my father, “Kneel down with me and pray so our boy would get well. As my dad was praying, I had this change that started at the top of my head and went through my body. Instantly, I was healed. When Dad finished praying, I said, ‘I’m healed; I’m better.’ To go from being really sick one minute and totally well the next, taught me that there is a higher power that we can draw from,” Nelson said.
While he doesn’t denounce medical doctors, he does say that God has given him a mission to bring a new form of healing into the world. It was in 1983, when he was about to receive his MBA, that his father asked him if he was sure he didn’t want to go to chiropractic school. “That night I prayed for God to help me know what to do with my life. I love computers and business, but also had this other thing I wanted to do. I woke up several time that night. In the morning, I prayed about it again.
“On the second night, I was awakened three different times, This time the feelings of helping mankind was overwhelming. Right at that moment I knew this was a sacred calling and I knew that was the answer.”
Nelson said he practiced for 17 years and saw people with all kind of problems, from pain to eating disorders. “I even saw some people who had been told they were incurable,” he said. During those years when a person came in to see him and he didn’t know what was going on with him or her, he would say a silent prayer. “The patient didn’t know I was praying and information would just flood into me as to what to do about their problem,” Nelson said. “I never told anybody I could cure them. I always told them it was prayer.”
In 2003, Nelson said he got a message from the Lord telling him to give up his practice. He did and moved to Utah and started writing “The Emotion Code.” Since then, the book has been printed in several languages and has gone all over the world.
“But the most important aspect is that the book teaches people that they can ask for help and get help from the Father in Heaven,” Nelson said.
Six Day War anniversary
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War and reunification of Jerusalem, Temple Beth Sholom and the Israel Committee will present a special series of events to begin at 7 p.m.Tuesday, May 9, with the temple’s brotherhood presenting Rabbi Gary Glickstein in a discussion on “Israel’s Significant Changes since the Six Day War”.
Other upcoming events will include:
▪ The screening of the documentary film “Six Days in June” the war that forever defined the Middle East at 7 p.m. May 17; .
▪ Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Reunification Day) at 6 p.m. May 22. The event will feature spacial foods, music and programming.
▪ A review of Michael B. Oren’s novel, “Six Days of War: June 1967,” and the making of the Modern Middle East. Books will be for sale at the temple.
For more information contact Mark Baranek, director of congregational engagement, at Mark@tbsmb.org or Amit Perchuk at Amit@tbsmb.org or call 305-538- 7231. Temple Beth Sholom is at 4144 Chase Ave. in Miami Beach.
2017 Living Legends
Warm congratulations to the 2017 Living Legends honored at the Orange and Black Scholarship Gala April 29 at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel.
The event was presented by the Booker T. Washington Alumni Association, in partnership with the Booker T. Washington Alumni Foundation.
This years honorees: Barbara Gardiner, community/public service; . Jessie M. Robinson and Dr. Patricia W. Oyeshiku, education; Dr. Roland Burroughs, health; retired Miami-Dade County Judge A. Leo Adderly, law; James Campbell and the Rev. James McPhee, philanthropy, and Antonio Dixon, sports.
In addition to honoring the Living Legends, the BTW Alumni Association presented 25 Booker T. Washington High School seniors with scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $2,500 each.
The 2017 scholarship recipients are: Daymara Neyra, Yajaira Bonilla, Shamya Bennett, Gwendolyn Antenor, Ezekiel Hobbs, Victor Fleary, Carmila Berdial, Brianne Luccean, Maya Solomon, Amanda Stewart, Melisa Rueda, Latrone Evans, Tre Reid, Precious Graham, Harry Tattay, Gabriella Duroseau, Tamia Baker, Kierra Roma, Victoria Camacho, Samuel Elissaint, Cannadace Solomon, Brianna Clear, Christina Owens, Kamara Williams, and Atiya Banks.