After axing the beleaguered “19 Kids and Counting” in June — which was, all things considered, utterly unsurprising — TLC is keeping a toehold with the faith-based audience with the premiere of “Answered Prayers” on Sunday, July 26, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
“Touched by an Angel” star Roma Downey is executive producer (with husband Mark Burnett and others) and host of the one-hour series, which chronicles stories believed to feature miraculous experiences.
Over the last few years, Downey has been more producer than actress, with “The Bible” (in which she played Mary, Mother of Jesus), “Son of God,” “The Dovekeepers,” and “A.D.: The Bible Continues.”
Now she’s returning to her thematic roots from “Touched,” in which she played an angel dispatched to carry messages from God to people facing crossroads in their lives.
On “Answered Prayers” Downey offers two stories in each episode, in which people apparently experience divine intervention — whether it’s survival in a crisis, amazing healings or just the right thing arriving at the right time.
Downey’s goal is to make people believe in the power of prayer. In an essay for FoxNews.com, she wrote:
If you believe in the power of prayer, would you please pray more?
More and more, I’m convinced that the world would be a much better place if we took prayer more seriously. Prayer is not just a spiritual practice, it’s the means by which God changes our lives and changes the world.
Prayer isn’t just helpful, it’s important.
Prayer is a responsibility each of us has to bring more of Heaven into this often broken world.
See, I believe that God doesn’t just hear our prayers, but that He answers them. I believe God is not just aware of us but that he is deeply concerned for us.
I believe that he intervenes in miraculous ways more often than we think, and that coincidence is often God’s way of remaining anonymous.
God is not only real, and alive, he’s also at work in our lives. He is “a friend that sticks closer than a brother;” he is an “ever present help in our time of need,” and with him “all things are possible.”
Of course, just because God answers a prayer doesn’t mean that we’ll like the reply. I suspect the Almighty has more answers than just “yes” or “no” on hand, there’s also, “not yet” and “no, but I have something better in mind.”
And as my spiritual director says, “You never know what God has saved you from.” So, perhaps, the answer to a prayer isn’t always in what happens, but can also be in what doesn’t happen (even if it doesn’t look like a blessing at the time).
One could also see “Answered Prayers” as TLC’s attempt to climb a bit out of the pit it’s in. Aside from the Duggar child-sex-abuse controversy (which never played out on air), the network features such edifying fare as “Sex Sent Me to the ER” and “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” (not to mention the new “I Am Jazz,” which celebrates a “transgender” teen who’s taking drugs to delay normal puberty).
Here’s a sneak peek of “Answered Prayers”:
Image: Courtesy LightWorkers Media
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