Having grown up in the Bible belt, imbued with the evangelical teaching of my parents, aunts and uncles, the act of prayer comes as naturally to me as swimming does to a fish.
In other words, it's almost impossible for me to get through the day without either thinking or saying a prayer in one form or another.
And, while it may seem self-serving for me to ask the Almighty for something as trivial as a motorcycle in the midst of so much world hunger and suffering, the bible teaches us otherwise.
In the New Testament, in the book of Mark it says, "...whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
So, lately I've started praying for a new Indian Roadmaster Classic.
Now what reaffirmed my belief in the power of prayer was a story I read recently of a little girl who wanted a kitten really, really bad, and how God answered her prayer in a most unusual way.
A country preacher walked out into his backyard one spring morning to pray and reflect on the glory of the dawning of a new season. Praying out loud, the preacher said his amen and Instead of a deep-voiced answer thanking him, he heard a high-pitched meow. Looking up in a tree, he saw a kitten, paralyzed in fear, far out on a spindly limb. As an order and overweight man of the cloth, the preacher decided against climbing the small tree, so he used a rope to hook the bumper of his truck to the tree, with intentions of bending it earthward just enough to rescue the terrified creature.
Estimating that the cat was almost within reach, he eased forward a bit more, when suddenly he heard a loud snap. The rope broke, and the cat was catapulted into the wild blue yonder.
Distraught, the preacher prayed, “O Lord, forgive me for harming this poor innocent animal. I commit him to Your kind and loving care.”
At the grocery store a few days later, he met a member of his congregation and, while exchanging pleasantries, noticed several cans of cat food in her shopping cart.
Surprised, he said, “You once told me you dislike cats. Have you had a change of heart and now accept these lovable creatures that God made for us to enjoy?”
“Preacher, you won’t believe what I’m about to tell you,” she answered. “For quite a while, my daughter has asked me to let her have a cat, and wearying of her repeated requests, I finally said, ‘If the Lord chooses to give you a cat, I’ll let you keep it.’
“Here is the unbelievable part. After I said that, I watched my daughter walk out into the backyard, kneel, clasp her hands together, look skyward, and ask God for a cat.
Instantly, He answered her prayer. A kitten floated down from heaven and landed right in front of her. I had to keep my word, so that’s why I’m buying cat food.”
So, as someone who believes God works in mysterious ways, I'm still praying for that new Indian Roadmaster. I'll let you know how it turns out.