Praying Ceaselessly
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 09:47AM
Mary Note Law in God, mary-note-law, miracle, pray-ceaselessly, prayer

My mother taught me to "pray ceaselessly." She offered a simple prayer, one compatible with my upbringing. "Lord, Jesus Christ have mercy on me" was a short, sweet line which I practiced mentally repeating whenever I thought to do so. I repeated the prayer so often that eventually I did not have to focus upon the activity of prayer; in fact, much like a song that played endlessly in my head, the prayer came to repeat itself endlessly, often to a favorite melody. But on occasions when I found myself in danger, that prayer would spring from my lips before I had time even to think and without my consciously realizing that I was praying. I am sure that there have been several occasions in which my shouting out that prayer saved my sometimes careless, and often clueless, teenage life. 

On one such occasion, I was heading home from visiting friends. At seventeen years of age, I had been a licensed driver for a few glorious weeks.  I was proudly driving my 1972 Ford Maverick-- several years removed from the days of its mechanical prime. If The Mav was willing to go, so was I; the two of us travelled merrily about the county, blissfully unconcerned with the need for a car to be reliably working in order to make it safely through the journey. I was now driving alone along an unfamiliar, winding road. As I approached a railroad track, followed by a bend in the road, my engine began to sputter. The Mav slowed to a painful, jerking crawl. As we staggered forward, I pressed my foot fervently on the gas, willing the car to go just a little further. We had to make it past that railroad track! I had a long standing fear of being stuck on a railroad track, and here I was, brand new to driving and sputtering straight toward that very doom! (Law of Attraction, anyone?)

You may wonder how it did not occur to me to pull over before reaching the track; I suppose I just expected that the car would somehow find its equilibrium and suddenly kick back into gear. So I pushed on, The Mav spitting its way toward the track where, you guessed it, we chugged to a stop. A dead stop. And then, in the distance, I heard it--the rumble of a train. Panic grabbed me up in an instant. But even as I felt my stomach clench and my throat constrict, my foot still flooring the unresponsive gas pedal, the prayer of its own accord found its way out--more a gasp than a shout, "Lord, Jesus Christ have mercy on me!" As the prayer escaped my lips, The Mav sprang to life, shooting forward with such a burst of speed that I cut clean across the curve, into the opposing lane where, mercifully, no oncoming traffic lay in wait. Grateful for our protection, we continued on home smoothly and easily. By the time I reached home 30 minutes later, it did not occur to me to report to my father that I'd experienced any mechanical difficulty. God had answered my prayer; The Mav and I were still around, ready for our next adventure.

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