There are many different reasons why we pray and there's no doubt, people who pray believe in the power behind it. You may remember the stories we brought to you in November (see stories below) about the power of prayer. Your response to those stories has been incredible, including the shared details of your own experiences.
Mary Kirkland's spoken to a lot of people about prayer and heard some amazing things. The stories are about everything from people defeating a doctor's diagnosis to the stories of miracle babies. And of course the common thread throughout has been the power of prayer.
Greg and Paige Golden have their own story to tell of a life saved not by medicine or science, but by a strong commitment to prayer.
The Golden's spend most of their time keeping up with their 2-year-old daughter, Hannah, who they've always called one of God's greatest gifts. "I tell people all the time we are so fortunate and blessed." Family is important and prayer has always been a part of their lives, but recently, they discovered prayer has more power than they ever imagined.
"You always question your faith and I think this really put my faith in line because I know Greg would not be here without all the prayers," says Paige Golden. That's because, Greg, during an outpatient procedure last September suffered a massive stroke leaving him with severe brain damage and little hope for survival.
"If we did nothing he would be dead within hours or we could do an experimental procedure called hypothermia treatment," remembers Paige. But doctors predicted only a 40% chance of life after the procedure. That's if Greg survived the treatment. They also could not guarantee a normal life.
"It was the most heath wrenching, terrifying time. All I could think about was my daughter growing up without a father," recalls Greg He adds, "Three of my friends bought suits for my funeral. Doctors told my family not to expect for me to live."
Greg did survive the treatment, but things got worse. He developed pneumonia in both lungs and got ARDS, only 10% of people who got into a ARDS survive.
It was a waiting game, but one Paige believed they could win with prayer. "Every night after visiting hours I would get to my room and that's when I would break down and cry and pray." She was not the only one praying. "I had a lap top computer with me so I could communicate with friends through e-mail and we were on prayer lists all over the world on the internet."
Eight weeks after entering the hospital in Birmingham, Paige saw the power of prayer. Greg woke up and walked out the hospital. "Prayer works, intones Paige, he wouldn't be here without it." Greg remembers, "My doctor looked me straight in the eyes and told me I should have died. I'm only alive because of the good Lord."
Greg is still under a doctor's care and probably will be for a while. But for now, he's treasuring life and he says he's learned prayer is more than just words. "Prayer works...it really works."
Before this happened, Greg and Paige say they didn't attend church on a regular basis, but now they're looking for a church home. That's because they believe God spared Greg's life for a reason.