- - Sunday, November 29, 2015

I grew up in a home that offered daily proof of the power of prayer. I look back at the remarkable experiences of my life, and I know without question that my mother’s daily prayers interceding on behalf of my brother and me changed the trajectory of our lives. Raised in dire poverty in inner city Detroit and Boston, the options available to me were limited. But my mother fully understood that through prayer and petition, we could present our requests to God whose power is limitless.

During her prayer time, God impressed upon her the importance of education. She herself had little education. But she knew that it was the key to a better life. She prayed for wisdom on how to help us escape the bonds of poverty and crime that surrounded us. God’s counsel during my mother’s prayer time changed the course of my life. Mother required my brother and me to read books and to write written reports on each book. A deep love of learning and discovering new ideas was born.

I can recall time after time, when the power of prayer changed my life for good. There was a time in my youth when I had an erratic and violent temper. It is to God’s glory that prayers were answered so completely that today, there is no trace of that angry youngster. He is so far from who I have been in the last half century that the mainstream media finds it hard to believe that he ever existed. But those who have experienced the power of prayer know that when God fixes a problem, he doesn’t just do a paint job. He fixes the problem.

I am only one of many whose lives are marked by the power of prevailing prayer. The great ministers John and Charles Wesley attribute the positive direction of their lives to the determination of their mother to spend time with God in prayer. In spite of the daily demands of raising over 10 children at any given time, Susanna Wesley’s prayers served as the guiding force in the lives of John and Charles Wesley.

Just as God transforms the hearts of young men through prayer, prayer can be the tool to transform communities and the leadership and direction of nations.

The need for prayer and the divine guidance, protection and benefit that prayer provides is as needed today as it has ever been. I believe that prayer changes the hearts and minds of people who are prayed for, that prayer changes the circumstances for the impoverished and downtrodden, and that prayer changes the strength of those who intercede in prayer for others. Just as much I believe we grow closer to God as we pray. I also believe we grow closer to those for whom we pray, and we grow closer to those with whom we pray.

Our leaders once walked in the full understanding of what it meant for this nation to be founded based on Judeo-Christian values. There was a time when our leaders joined everyday citizens by humbling themselves and praying for the nation.

I am encouraged because on the campaign trail, I have met thousands of fellow Americans who understand in real and tangible ways the true power of prayer and the importance of praying for our nation and our leaders. I believe that the success of my campaign is because of Americans praying for me, my family and my campaign staff every day. I am humbled and grateful to receive those prayers.

During times of crisis our nation turns to prayer in moments of silence and in ceremonies. I long for a day when we as a nation grasp prayer by leaders and the citizenry as more than just symbolic reverence but as genuine appreciation for the favor which God has lavished on our land.

I take God at His word. I know that America will hear from heaven and God will heal our land when we seek his face and humble ourselves in prayer.

Dr. Benjamin Carson, Sr. was director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for 29 years. He is currently running for the Republican presidential nomination.

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