House of Prayer

By Wanda Priddy, Pearcy, Arkansas

All I learned about prayer I learned at 218 Maylott Street. That was where I grew up, raised by my grandma, Mama.

I would lie in bed at night listening to Mama pray for me. “Lord, let Wanda know you are always with her.” Those comforting words stayed with me after I moved out.

It was the comfort I desperately sought at my youngest son Ronnie’s hospital bedside. He was very ill and not expected to make it through the night.

If only someone would pray for Ronnie the way Mama used to pray for me, I thought, holding his hand.

That evening a nurse walked in, one I’d never seen before. I looked up into her gentle hazel eyes, her calm presence filling the room. “I felt I needed to come here,” she said. “Would it be all right if I pray for you?”

“Of course,” I said, surprised. No other nurse had offered to do that for us. It was exactly what I’d wanted!

“Lord, be with this family tonight. Let them know you are always with them,” she said. Her words soothed me just the way Mama’s prayers had all those years ago. Then she slipped out of the room. A little while later Ronnie passed away peacefully.

After Ronnie’s funeral, I wanted to find the nurse to thank her for the comfort she brought to me. But no one seemed to know who she was. I kept searching for months, to no avail.

One morning I ran into a friend at the little dollar store in my neighborhood. I told her about the nurse who had prayed for my son. A clerk standing nearby spoke up. “I couldn’t help but overhear,” she said. “The person you described sounds just like a lady who worked here before she became a nurse. I’ll get her number for you.”

Could it really be the same woman? The minute I got into my car, I dialed the number. A woman answered. I told her who I was, and asked if she was the one who had prayed with me.

“That was me,” she confirmed.

“Thank you for the comfort you gave me,” I said. “Where do you live? I’d love to send you a little something.”

“Two-eighteen Maylott Street,” she said.

I almost dropped the phone. Mama’s house—a house still full of prayer.


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