Miracle Story: Baby Prayers are the Best

Bob Seidensticker, an occasional atheist commenter here at Public Catholic,  has called for miracle stories in a post on his blog, Cross Examined.

I’ll be posting a few miracle stories in the next week. All from real life as I know it. This one involves my youngest son.

My son went to mother’s day out at a Methodist church near our house when he was a toddler. It was just a few hours, a couple of days a week, but it gave me a breather, and he loved playing with the kids.

His best friend was a little boy named Shane. One morning I took John in, and Shane came running out of the playroom.

“John!” he said. “Do you know what’s happened? We’ve got to pray!” 

He put his arm around my son’s shoulder and they walked into the playroom, golden-haired baby heads close together as they talked.

I went on my way and didn’t think anything about it. When I picked John up that afternoon, Shane’s mother told me that her father had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. She said the docs had told her father that he only had a couple of months to live. I told her how sorry I was and she nodded, her eyes shining with unshed tears.

A couple of weeks went by and I happened to see her again as I was leaving John at mother’s day out for the day. I asked how her father was. She looked almost confused then told me that when they’d taken him in to begin radiation treatments, the doctors had taken new x-rays. Long story short: The cancer was gone. There wasn’t any sign it had ever been there. She and I didn’t say much at the time. There isn’t a lot to say about something like that. But later, I remembered Shane running out of the playroom and yelling “John! … We’ve got to pray!” 

I told Shane’s mom about it the next time I saw her. We both just sort of stared at one another. I think the magnitude of this made us feel shy about talking about it.

It might have been a coincidence of some sort. I have no problem with people who say they think that’s what it was. I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything. I’m telling you this is what happened. I can also say that I never thought this was anything but a gift from God to two little children who prayed to Him. I will never forget those innocent little boys, walking off together, talking, and probably getting ready to pray.

The end of the story is that the cancer did come back in a few years. This time it was in Shane’s Grandpa’s brain. It took him fast, with little suffering. I always thought that this confirmed the original diagnosis. There had been cancer there. The x-rays had shown it; the biopsy had diagnosed it, and the recurrence seemed to confirm it again. The cancer, which was there, went away. Then, in a few years, came back to stay.

Those few years meant a lot of a little boy who loved his grandpa. Shane and his grandfather spent important time together during Shane’s most impressionable years. Who knows the impact the positive influence this loving, deeply Christian man had on that sweet little boy.

There are miracles. They aren’t even rare. But they don’t come with instructions on the lid. God doesn’t send a telegram saying, “Miracle coming now;” not unless it suits His purpose to do so. Most miracles are private gifts. Because He loves us.

I’ll post another miracle story tomorrow. I’ve got lots of them.

  • Maggie L

    What a beautiful story! It makes me think of one from my childhood; when one of my brothers was about 3, my best friend’s mother was pregnant, but miscarried, which was hard for the whole family. About two months later, my 3 year old brother came downstairs and announced that he had been asking God to give Miss Margaret two babies next time since the first one had died. Later that afternoon, Miss Margaret called my mother to tell her she was pregnant again, this time with twins. God certainly answered that prayer and now both boys are healthy teenagers.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I’ve seen it so many times … and baby prayers do seem to be the best.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      My grandmother used to say that one reason why children and the very elderly or the dying see and know things such as this is because they are closer to God than the rest of us. Young children have just left Him; the very elderly and the dying are headed back to Him. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story!

  • http://stevenjeffries.wordpress.com steve jeffries

    It is difficult for many people to imagine the unlimited power of the Lord God Almighty. Prayer is our communication device, and Jesus is the “operator” who routes the call! Nice post, Rebecca!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Steve!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I agree. Thank you for your comment.

  • http://ackans.com Mr. V.


    thanks for posting this. It’s a powerful story.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you.

  • http://paulinesthoughts.com Pauline

    Ah, but we believe the Law of Nature is from the creator. So, it’s circular from our standpoint.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Douglas have you read the things you post here? Physician, heal thyself!

  • http://www.keeplifelegal.com Rev. Katherine Marple

    Timely. I have been seeking the LORD about “Greater Works” (John 14) – ‘baby’ prayers don’t surprise me because they don’t know how not to have Faith. Us grownups want to second guess everything. But Christ gave us power to heal the sick and other great things, we have to believe them to be so and cling to His Word for comfort and direction.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      “they don’t know how not to have Faith.”

      That is true.

  • http://www.philomenasmile.wordpress.com Anna Dawson

    I always love listening to what my sons pray for. Quite often my oldest prays for Thomas the Tank Engine, and my younger son prays for Spider Man. :) But we always make sure they’re praying with us when we have special intentions, because theirs are so pure.

  • Ted Seeber

    Something has not ceased to be miraculous just because you can explain it. Magnets are just as miraculous as they ever were, even if you know about electron spin.

    The problem with an atheist asking for stories of miracles isn’t the openness to evidence, it’s the definition of the word miracle.