How Prayer Can Bring Peace to Your Chaos and Confusion

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A couple of years ago, I stepped out of my busy life to jet across the country. I was on my way to see my mom as she recovered in a nursing home from a fall. When I walked up to the nursing home's double doors, a security guard buzzed me into a time zone not quite identifiable as "standard" time.

When I arrived in Mom's room, her eyes lit up. "Linda!" I leaned in for a hug, noticing the simplicity surrounding us, a necessity because of the home's problem with theft.

Just outside our room a resident shouted at the top of her lungs, "Yi, yi, yi, yi, yi, yi, yi!" Another resident, a former entertainer, wailed unidentifiable show tunes as she beat time on the wall to music only she could hear.

"How do you like it here?" I asked Mom.

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"It's OK."

Every morning when I returned, I felt the jar of the time warp. One morning, as I sat with my mom at breakfast, an elderly man rolled up to a nearby table where he beat his fists in time to his chant, "I want scrambled eggs!" He only stopped when this requested plate appeared before him. Then he mumbled a flurry of four-letter words as he shoveled the eggs into his mouth.

The little ladies at my table all shook their heads. One of the women leaned in to explain, "I don't live here. I'm waiting for the bus to Memphis."

"I see," I said.

She pushed her wheelchair closer to the table. "Don't get in my way when it comes, I'll run you down." Oh my goodness. I had entered a heartbreaking wrinkle in time.

That night, as I walked toward the double doors, I listened to the cry that seemed to drift from every room, "Help me! Please! Help me!" I peeked into the rooms as I passed. All the criers were safe, though desperate to find deliverance from their nightly confusions.

Could God's peace be in a place like this?

I found it the next morning when my mother and I were seated at our breakfast table. That's when I announced, "Time to say grace." I bowed my head and prayed, "Dear Lord, please bless our food and bless all the dear residents here. Please also help their caregivers. Thank you, Lord, for all your blessings."

When I lifted my eyes, I was startled to see all conversations had ceased. All heads had bowed. Even harried workers had stopped in their tracks to honor God. "Amen!" the little lady from Memphis said. Aides and nurses smiled. Gray heads nodded as peace walked into the room.

And then I knew. I may have entered a time warp, but God was with us. It only took the power of a simple prayer to usher in His presence.

If a simple prayer can bring peace to a wrinkle in time, think what prayer could do to bring peace to your complications.

God promises us: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7).

Linda Evans Shepherd is a nationally known Christian speaker and a best-selling author of over 30 books. She's the president of Right to the Heart Ministries, founder of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA) and the founder of Her latest book is Winning Your Daily Spiritual Battles.

This article originally appeared at

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