Answered prayers (or the story of a missing watch)

Every day during Lent we pull a slip of paper out of our prayer basket and read the name of the person or people listed there.
We’ve prayed for cousins and grandparents, deceased family members and living friends. We share stories about the people we’re praying for, and—when I think of it—I let people know they were in our prayers that day.
This morning when Daniel pulled the strip of paper out, we read the name on it: Father Brown.
“Father Brown!” I said. “I’m having lunch with him today, so I can tell him we are praying for him when I see him.”

 

We talked about Fr. Brown and prayed and went on about our busy morning, packing lunches, finding belts for school uniform pants, grabbing backpacks, and heading out the door.
At our lunch table, Fr. Brown blessed our food and prayed. As we sat down to eat, I told him about our prayer basket and mentioned that he was our intention that day.
He asked me what time we had prayed for him, and I said it was a little after 7 a.m.
As it turned out, he had lost a watch—and he thought it was his father’s watch he had lost. But at almost the same time we were praying at our house that morning, he found his father’s watch. The other watch was still missing, but he wasn’t concerned about that. It was the watch that had belonged to his late father that he had been sorry to have misplaced.
I couldn’t wait to tell my boys about the discovery of a watch we hadn’t even known was missing. And I loved that when I did, they also accepted it with the simple belief that, of course, their prayers had been heard. They were happy, and they loved the picture I had taken of the watch, but they were not surprised.

 

But I love thinking about the power of prayer, and how often we will never know the impact of our prayers.
Who is in your prayers today?
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Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.