Forwarded Prayer

Forwarded Prayer

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories of Faith

Forwarded Prayer

Our prayers should be for blessings in general,
for God knows best what is good for us.


Like every other Tuesday morning, after driving my middle son to the high school, I returned home at 8:00 to read my e-mails before waking the younger children for school. A woman from our church had sent me a prayer, with the request to pass it on to all those I thought might need it. I sent it to my best friend, a new Christian; to an ill woman in my writer’s group; and to my sister, who had just recently acknowledged her belief in the power of prayer. The last person I sent it to was my oldest son, Scott. Just twenty years old, he lived in his own apartment a couple of miles away and was a part-time inexperienced mate on a lobster boat. Scott balked at my fears of him fishing or lobstering. I knew he was at work but would find my e-mail with the prayer when he returned home.

As my day progressed, so did my workload, and I ran errands for most of the morning. When I returned home around noon, I found Scott sitting on our couch with one foot wrapped in plastic and duct tape. He stood up and gave me the biggest hug I’d ever received. I felt him trembling. “What’s happened?”

He plopped back on the couch with his arm still around me. “My captain and I went out at three o’clock this morning to pull traps. Around eight, I was in charge of throwing the lines of traps over the side of the boat while he was at the helm. I had no idea my foot was tangled in the line when I threw it.” His voice quaked as he recounted the weight of the traps pulling him over the side of the boat, fighting with all his strength to hold on, feeling the icy cold of the black water below, knowing that without immediate help, death was looming.

The captain, oblivious to the situation, had continued steering the boat along its course. After a few minutes, he peeked around the corner to shout to Scott.

“Oh, dear God!” he exclaimed as he hurried toward my son, dangling over the side of the boat. He frantically cut the line holding the traps and pulled Scott to safety.

As I praised God and hugged my son closer, I understood what so many fishermen had told me about respecting the sea, that it was unmerciful to those who failed to learn its power.

After Scott returned to his apartment, I received an e-mail from him. “Mom, the prayer you forwarded came at eight o’clock! That was the same moment I was holding onto life with all my might!”

The moment when God’s strength had provided his.

~Kimberly Ripley

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