Prayers can change

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 13, 2012

My prayers are changing. They still begin almost immediately after I silence the alarm.

Time Out. Let’s stop right here. Who ever named it an alarm clock? The word “alarm” is defined as “sudden fear caused by the realization of danger.” I don’t want to be jolted from sleep by fear because of danger. I’d rather receive a phone call greeting or a gentle nudge or have the scent from a fresh cup of coffee lure me from my dreams to reality.

Once in reality, despite my method of entrance, I arrive on the scene grateful for another night spent resting comfortably and another day filled with opportunities yet to be discovered. My eyes and thoughts race to see which will focus the fastest as I begin to talk to God.

Because I am easily distracted (see paragraph 2), I have chosen to write down the names and issues I sent to Heaven in prayer. I don’t pray out of sudden fear or even the realization of danger but because God has granted me the privilege of downloading my heart to Him in prayer.

The top of my list is Kassidy Terrio. I was teaching first grade in 2006 when Kassidy was diagnosed with cancer. In our morning prayers, the students and I would pray for the little girl whose story touched our hearts. Although I no longer share prayer time with first graders, Kassidy remains in my heart and prayers. Since her diagnosis, this brave young soldier has battled the disease and its two recurrences and has been in remission for 11 months! Whether or not you are privileged to know Kassidy, I hope you join me in praying for her continued health.

After I pray for the people in need of healing, I pray for people I know who are looking for jobs, comfort for families still grieving loved ones, and then those expecting babies. And this is where my prayers have recently changed.

My daughter Monique and her husband Frank are expecting a baby in early February and have elected to find out the gender before the due date. The day after an ultrasound gave them a peek at their baby, the couple gathered a few friends and family members together to reveal the news. On an afternoon that couldn’t have been any sunnier, Monique and Frank lifted a lid from a large white box and smiled as pink heart-shaped balloons gently floated to the sky.

It’s a girl! More specifically, Olivia Renee Roth. Olivia, because they like the name, and Renee, in honor of Frank’s deceased mother.

And while you would be correct in suspecting the change in my prayers is the inclusion of the name of my grandchild, that is only half of the story. Twice in the past week, we have received news of women who were given incorrect information during their ultrasounds. One friend, ready to greet her daughter, was surprised with a son. Another went into delivery with visions of blue, which had to be quickly replaced with pink. So, when I pray for Olivia Renee, I also pray for the doctor who informed Monique of her gender. If he’s wrong, he will need much prayer when he speaks to Monique. I may be the one to sound an alarm for him.

Ronny may be reached at