North Highland United Methodist Church
Friday, February 26, 2021
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

October 2009 Column

Carolyn Dodd, Indianapolis Indiana, has been a friend of mine since 1945. Imagine! We see each other a couple times a year and email often. I am reprinting, with her permission, how she experienced the power of prayer. Keep prayin’ . Pastor Sheila
Carolyn writes ......I was called for jury duty but I was not selected. I decided to sit and listen to the court proceeding. The case was for child abuse of a 5 year old who was finally demanding justice at the age of 25. It turned out, this case was one for the good guys!
The abuser was convicted on all counts by the jury who was unaware that he was on probation for child abuse when he abused this woman 20 years ago. It was unbelievable to watch the defense attorney. She felt she had the case in the bag. You could tell from her demeanor. I swear to goodness I have never literally prayed so intently for total strangers ever in my life.
I had struck up a conversation with the Victim Advocate Administrator during the breaks. She told me the dynamics of the family of the victim. She told me everything BUT NOT the fact the defendant had been on probation for the same crime when this occurred (jury did not know either.) The victim and the witnesses, kept in a room outside, were brought into the room to testify. When the young woman was sworn in, her hand was shaking. She had not seen this man since she was 5 yeas old and would not look at him until the defense attorney made her identify him. Each time she looked at him she broke down and cried.
I prayed for Peace for her and when the defense attorney questioned her, she literally was calm and you could see and hear the determination in her voice. I don’t recall seeing the power of prayer so visible in my lifetime. It was wonderful.
The girl’s step-father was called to testify. He was a pretty rough looking guy. He was visibly shaken and even volatile. They were concerned about him coming into the court room as he had never seen the defendant....he only knew the story. I just sat there and prayed for him. I prayed for peace and as I live and breathe, he became calm and was able to talk. God was “so there” in that room. I was over come.
During the closing statements, they weren’t going to let the step-father come back as everyone was concerned he might overreact----justifiably so but it was a rightful concern. There were 2 sheriffs in the room during the testimony with a third one brought in at the end. The step-father had to promise he would be “good.” He sat down right in front of me and I could see him shaking. Again I prayed for peace for this man. I reached out and put my hands on his shoulders and said “God bless you and you family.” You could see the calm come over him and he sat still while he listened to the defense attorney put on a Johnny Cochran show. I did not stay when the jury left to deliberate. I thought it would take a long time and it was already after 6. The jury returned in less than one hour and the abuser was taken away in hand cuffs. His attorney could not believe she had failed. The court room was jubilant. The Advocate called me the next day to tell me the results and fill me in on the details, adding it doesn’t always turn out this good.
I had prayed for peace and blessings. Over the years of my life, I have known and felt the power of payer many times but this was so vivid to me that day I was overwhelmed. It was one WOW for me. I saw the power of prayer.
Peace be with you,
Pastor Sheila