The Power of Prayer

I attended a clergy seminar this morning and hopefully I can find some time to write about it as there were some interesting things brought up. For the time being, however, I’d like to make a post about a man’s story of how he quit smoking that I heard at the lunch after the talk.

The story is rather brief and the man himself, whom I had just met but I was given the impression that he is quite pious and serious about his faith, admitted on his own and quite matter of factly that he didn’t really have to put any effort in quitting. He said this with a hint of guilt as the discussion was about people who struggle with giving up this dirty habit and oftentimes fail.  He hasn’t been smoking now for some time and went through no struggle at giving it up.

He was visiting monasteries and went to see Fr. Joel (otac Joil), I’m not exactly sure what monastery he’s at but he’s well known as there are a number of You Tube clip of him giving advice – I think he might be somewhere in Montenegro, even Monastery Ostrog. Fr. Joel asked him and his wife before they left whether they had some sin, some shortcoming which they did not mention. They couldn’t think of anything in particular and so he asked them whether they smoke or not. They told him that they do and so Fr. Joel asked them whether they would like it for him to read a prayer for them that they may quit this habit. They agreed and Fr. Joel prayed that God send His blessing on these two that they rid themselves of this filth. The man thought to himself that the prayer was nice and although he is quite pious he didn’t think much more about it. In fact, he planned on lighting up as soon as they left. And so when they finally left he and his wife had every intention of doing just this. But he told himself he could go another ten, twenty minutes but when he gets the urge he’ll go ahead and light up. The ten, twenty minutes passed, then an hour passed, then he got home and then four years passed and still to this day the urge never came back to him.

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One thought on “The Power of Prayer

  1. I have never smoked, but I love the smell of good pipe tobacco and the even of a good cigar (I smelled enough of the ‘hands off!’ stuff as a kid, my dad and uncles were smokers), and so I’ve never had to struggle with this thing. My wife was a smoker when she met me, but she claims to have quit overnight when she realised she was in love with me and didn’t want to do anything that displeased me. As I remember she just suddenly stopped smoking. This anecdote about Fr Joel reading the prayer over the man and his wife and what resulted is entirely believable to me. I have experienced similar miracles of grace in other areas, so I know this is one of the ways that God works on us, through the prayers of the saints. Yet, it is a mystery how people who seem to have great faith often are not delivered from trials and afflictions, while those of small faith, like myself, have such stories to tell.

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