Yesterday. It was 4 P.M. Carol turned off cable news and picked up her phone. She announced there would be an emergency club meeting.
It was “URGENT!” she texted her friends.
It was urgent because within Carol’s 73 years, she has never seen anything more disheartening than the events she saw unfolding in Washington D.C. that afternoon.
“This country needs healing,” says Carol. “Just like any sick person would.”
Carol is no stranger to healing. She leads the quintessential small-town church prayer group. These are elderly women who get things done.
The older ladies have been getting together for 18 years to do things like raise money, volunteer, eat congealed foods prepared with liberal amounts of mayonnaise, and of course, pray.
These women have prayed so hard their knees have gone bad. They’ve prayed for rowdy husbands who are bad to drink. For children who are ill. For couples who fall upon the rocks. They have even prayed Carol through her cancer. Twice.
“I could tell you stories ‘bout healings we’ve prayed for,” says Carol. “It’d shock you, the kinda miracles we’ve seen happen over 18 years.”
When the pandemic hit, Carol started holding their weekly meetings online instead of in-person. It was the smart thing to do since most ladies are older, and three members have compromised immune systems. Carol herself is on oxygen.
But social distancing never sapped their enthusiasm. There are nine group members in total. And on this particular day, after the horror in the U.S. Capitol, the world needed all nine of their healing prayers.
Carol sent out her first text to Kelly, and their conversation went something like this:
“HAVE YOU SEEN THE NEWS?”
Kelly texted back: “Yes! Watching now! Scary!”
“TEXT EVERYONE! LET’S MEET!”
“IDK, MAYBE IN OUR CARS.”
“Why are you writing in all caps?”
“BECAUSE I LOST MY GLASSES AND I SEE BETTER THIS WAY!”
“[Thumbs up emoji]”
So Kelly texted Donna, Daphne, Pam, Linda, Michelle, Catherine, and Janice. Pretty soon, group texts were flying back and forth all day about the night’s meeting. Big things were going to happen. Mountains would be repositioned.
There were also other text discussions happening, which had nothing to do with the meeting whatsoever. Like the conversation about Janice’s husband, Gerald, who is on a new medication that makes his sweat smell weird.
Also, there was a text thread about Miss Donna’s new dining room set. She sent lots of pictures.
Miss Daphne adopted a new rescue kitten. She has yet to name it. So for the time being it’s called “Gray Cat.”
Which finally inspired the curt text from Linda that read: “Take me off this group message! My phone won’t quit dinging and it’s driving me nuts!”
“Linda suffers from low blood sugar,” Carol explains.
And so it was, in the early evening, Carol sat on her front steps with her granddaughter, waiting for eight friends to arrive. It was cold, Carol and her granddaughter wrapped themselves in a quilt and watched the sun go down.
They heard the first car coming. Then the next. Then more cars came. And more still. And even more. A lot more.
“What in the world…?” said Carol.
She rose to her feet to take in the scene. There were headlights stretching to the horizon, vehicles filling the neighborhood.
A text came through on Carol’s phone from the group: “Hope you don’t mind, we asked a few others to join us.”
The residential street was full of cars. People remained in their vehicles, parked on the curb, windows cracked, awaiting instruction. There were old women, young women, young men, husbands, granddaughters, daughters, nephews, nieces, and cousins.
The last car finally arrived. A silver, Oldsmobile. The passenger door opened. From the car emerged an elderly woman, clutching the arm of her daughter. She walked with a forward hunch. Time has made her bent. Age has made her weak. But this woman believes that a nine-person prayer group once helped heal her. And she wanted to be here too.
Carol overlooked the caravan of vehicles and smatterings of people. She could not find any words, except to ask her granddaughter, “What do we do now?”
“Maybe fold hands?” said her granddaughter.
Carol nodded. “Good idea. Yes. Let’s all fold hands.”
Carol’s granddaughter visited each vehicle and asked people to fold their hands. On cue, people assumed their finest Sunday school poses. Men and women in cars bowed their heads. Children interlaced their fingers.
But Carol still could not speak. Not after seeing these people. It was too much to take in. So, everyone waited. They remained still. Engines off. Mouths quiet. Heads low. Silence overtook them.
“I still don’t know what to do,” Carol whispered to her granddaughter.
As it happened, her granddaughter knew just the thing. After a few minutes of silence, the young woman with blond locks stood in the front yard and cleared her throat. The girl used a strong voice so that all could hear.
But the truth is, it didn’t matter whether they could hear. All anyone ever needs are the first six words.
Carol’s granddaughter began: “Our Father, who art in heaven…”
Immediately, the young woman’s voice was drowned out by a choir of voices, rising earnestly to join hers, like a song.
The people recited words. Old words. Words that, historically, have carried us through hell, have forgiven us our tresspasses, taught us to forgive, and will continue to deliver us from evil.
After the last “Amen,” Carol added in a soft voice only heard by her granddaughter: “Please. Heal our country.”
And the meeting adjourned.
James e inman - January 8, 2021 6:24 am
Bill Heaton - January 8, 2021 6:29 am
Deborah L Blount - January 8, 2021 6:40 am
Dru Brown - January 8, 2021 7:38 am
Lord, hear our prayer.
Christina - January 8, 2021 7:52 am
Exactly what we need now and everyday! Come Lord Jesus!
treygregory - January 8, 2021 7:56 am
Please, Lord, heal our country. Thank you for Carol and her friends who talk, and text, and work, and pray. And thank you for Sean who brings their stories to life. In the name of Jesus, amen!!
Debbie g - January 8, 2021 8:01 am
Steve Winfield (Lifer) - January 8, 2021 8:26 am
Was this in the parking lot at Richards Market? Pretty sure I saw it.
Meloney Ashworth - January 8, 2021 8:57 am
Heal our Country Lord.
Annie Franklin - January 8, 2021 9:59 am
Thanks for this. We need more praying and less talking. I pray along with this group. No matter what color of our skin we are in scary times and the world needs more love and prayers.
Te Burt - January 8, 2021 10:07 am
I was right there with them, could even see Miz Daphne’s hat, you know the one with a blue veil.
Lucretia - January 8, 2021 10:17 am
Sean, your post has been an encouragement to my spirit and has strengthened my faith in Heavenly Father to heal our country, to heal our world. It has given me greater resolve to keep my focus on His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ and greater courage to be willing to “let God prevail” in my life. To be willing to let God be the most important influence in my life and what I do each day. To allow His voice to take priority over any other. To be willing to let whatever He needs me to do take precedence over every other ambition. To strive diligently, through His grace, to be willing to have my will swallowed up in His. Your post about the people of your town has been the catalyst to awaken the knowledge that through God, all things are possible.
Mart Martin - January 8, 2021 10:18 am
Amen & Alleluia!
Leigh Amiot - January 8, 2021 10:44 am
Praise God for a new generation of believers to pick up this mantle of prayer.
Joe Dorough - January 8, 2021 11:05 am
POWERFUL, PRECIOUS AND HOLY. GOD PLEASE HEAL OUR COUNTRY!
Sandy Fopiano - January 8, 2021 11:17 am
Good Morning, Sean !! Best post – EVER !! Thank You !! Lord, please heal our country …..
biglar48 - January 8, 2021 11:50 am
As it is in heaven.
Andrea Satterfield - January 8, 2021 11:52 am
Marilyn Ward Vance - January 8, 2021 11:53 am
“If my people who are called by name will humble themselves and pray..”
Karen - January 8, 2021 11:57 am
Jean - January 8, 2021 12:00 pm
Yes Amen! Lord heal our land!
joan moore - January 8, 2021 12:03 pm
James 5:16 means Carol!
Leigh Amiot - January 8, 2021 12:08 pm
Pardon a second comment, but I had to come back and say that the mercy Carol showed after Linda’s curt reply touched me. What a lovely example of forbearance. I’m not the best at that, so this was very inspiring to me. I also am so impressed at how you accurately capture humble Christian women who roll up their sleeves and serve others simply, who aren’t looking for recognition.
Jerry catherine Deloney - January 8, 2021 12:08 pm
Ann - January 8, 2021 12:21 pm
MaryJane Breaux - January 8, 2021 12:32 pm
Oh to have been part of that powerful circle of loving faith. Patient loving Lord hear our prayers.
Susan Parker - January 8, 2021 12:37 pm
Oh, my gosh. Yes. Amen.
Kaye Pearaon - January 8, 2021 12:43 pm
Thank for this story. My heart so needed this. May God Bless you and May God Bless America❤️
Susan Forte - January 8, 2021 12:44 pm
Marcia Lynn MacLean - January 8, 2021 12:50 pm
Lavenda - January 8, 2021 12:53 pm
What a story…all I could get through tears and a constricting throat repeats several I have seen..Amen..Amen
Sue Kass - January 8, 2021 12:55 pm
Yes, Lord, heal our land. In the name of Jesus our one and only Savior, Amen.
Carolyn - January 8, 2021 1:06 pm
Amen and Amen! Father God help us!
Kelley - January 8, 2021 1:22 pm
Cyn - January 8, 2021 1:24 pm
We needed this reflection today. Thank you.
Anne - January 8, 2021 1:25 pm
What a beautiful story – wish everyone in the world could read it. Lord, hear our prayers.Amen.
Anne - January 8, 2021 1:30 pm
It would be wonderful if everyone felt that way – what a great circle if friends – May we all pray – Lord hear our prayers
Anne - January 8, 2021 1:33 pm
it would be wonderful to belong to a prayer group like that one – Lord hear our prayers.
joseybell - January 8, 2021 1:42 pm
Something so simple as a prayer is what can heal our country. God doesn’t look for the grandiose. Sending His Son to be born in a manger instead of a castle shows us that. We all need to pray every day for our country and our leaders. We also need to pray for our neighbors, friends, and family to rid themselves of hate and anger toward each other. Pray for peach people….PEACE
Rich Owen - January 8, 2021 1:48 pm
I applaud these Panhandle folks for doing what they did. But I am watching the political elite in Congress, liberal and conservative alike, “circle the wagons” to make sure Trump can never run for office again. I believe the House will impeach Trump, the Senate will confirm the impeachment, and the Senate will bar him from running for office again which they have the power to do. At 73, I doubt I will get to vote for President again but I plan on writing in my son for president and my wife for VP. The election system has been made corrupt and I doubt a “fair and honest election” will ever happen again.
mark fendley - January 8, 2021 1:52 pm
Amen. He is the ultimate potter. I hope He continues to break us, humble us, mold us as individuals and as a country. God make us individually, and as a nation usable by you and fully reflecting Your glory alone. Not our will, but Your will.
greatgrams6 - January 8, 2021 2:01 pm
The Lord’s Prayer, the only prayer needed!
Tom - January 8, 2021 2:13 pm
Amen. Enough said.
Anne Arthur - January 8, 2021 2:14 pm
Let the healing begin. AMEN
Jo Ann - January 8, 2021 2:15 pm
This made my eyes leak, but thank you for reminding us that prayer is the most powerful thing we can offer this wonderful country. Most people are good, & we do have the power to overcome the evil ones. Amen.
Jan - January 8, 2021 2:17 pm
Prayer and lots of it is the only remedy for our country. Our prayer group meets each Monday morning. We are now meeting on zoom. When we need to communicate various needs in between we use a standing group text message. We were texting and praying as we watched the horrors unfold in our nation’s capital. We will continue to pray along with Carol and many others until our country is healed. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23.
Sandy Davis - January 8, 2021 2:18 pm
Pamela Williams - January 8, 2021 2:21 pm
Thank you, Sean. This made me a bit teary eyed. God heal our country.
nebraskannie - January 8, 2021 2:22 pm
I’ll only add one thing. Email your congressman or senator.
Julie - January 8, 2021 2:25 pm
Matthew 18:20 – “where two or more are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” The Power of Prayer at its finest hour…all of those cars Storming the Heavens…how wonderful✝️
Roger - January 8, 2021 2:29 pm
I needed that.
Dianne - January 8, 2021 2:30 pm
AMEN!! Precious Lord Jesus, we humbly ask you to heal our country and help us focus more closely on you.
Farris Jones - January 8, 2021 2:31 pm
And all God’s people say “AMEN” !
Denise - January 8, 2021 2:36 pm
Please let us be still and listen. Amen
Mary Burns - January 8, 2021 2:52 pm
Wow. Just WOW! Amen.
Linda W. Berry - January 8, 2021 3:01 pm
Sometimes WE just have to do what is right at the time. No time to analyze the situation. My husband asked did I see you pray with that lady in the store? Yes you did, I answered. How did you know she was in need? It was ALL OVER her face and told her I am willing to pray right now, i put my hand on her shoulder and DiD what was Absolutely the RIGHT thing at that moment.
THE DESPERATE FACE OF all AMERICA IS AT STAKE….PRAYER IS PRAYER IN EVERY LANGUAGE RACE AND CREED. IT IS UP TO EACH OF US TO DO JUST THAT….it is up to us to set the standards for all ages
L .W .B
Trina - January 8, 2021 3:03 pm
I loved this. Deep into my soul. Amen and God bless these beautiful hearts.
JACK DARNELL - January 8, 2021 3:09 pm
EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED. We MUST remember we are neighbors, not enemies. WE have different opinions, ideas, needs and wishes BUT we are still AMERICANS. Citizens of the USA and YES the nation needs healing. I am personally heart broken, and disappointed in our nations leadership.
Dianne Deavours Shafer - January 8, 2021 3:20 pm
Thank God for the Ms Carols of the world. And thank you, Sean, for sharing this.
Debbie M. Sheek - January 8, 2021 3:29 pm
KAT 10:39 am - January 8, 2021 3:40 pm
🙏🏻SO SIMPLE. SO EARNEST. SURRENDERING. CALMING. OPENING OUR HEARTS TO GOD’S HEALING, WHOLENESS .🙏🏻
Sheila Gustafson - January 8, 2021 3:41 pm
Amen and amen.
Edie Youts - January 8, 2021 3:47 pm
Yes, that’s the only remedy
Edie Youts - January 8, 2021 3:48 pm
Cheryl Duncan - January 8, 2021 3:50 pm
Nikki Frett - January 8, 2021 3:51 pm
Please heavenly father hear or prayers and stop all the hate and discontent…. Lord hear our prayers to heal our nation…. Everyone is suffering and its so heartbreaking lord please please hear out plea and make it all go away…..
Marsha - January 8, 2021 4:16 pm
Brought me to tears. I pray for our country every day. God is our only hope.
John - January 8, 2021 4:28 pm
If only Donald Trump had spent 60 seconds of his life in prayer!
Belva Eversgerd - January 8, 2021 4:32 pm
We need to do what this group did everyday! Amen
Mindy - January 8, 2021 4:51 pm
Lord please hear our prayer to heal our country. In Jesus’ name , Amen.
Willie37 - January 8, 2021 4:52 pm
Sharon Brock - January 8, 2021 4:52 pm
Amen. The Lord’s Prayer has kept me grounded and sane. Whenever a bad memory resurfaces, in times of great fear, in anxiety or panic, I recite those beautiful words. I pray for knowledge and strength, and comfort. HE can’t heal us. We must heal ourselves.
Douglas Russell - January 8, 2021 4:58 pm
Thank you so much! Exactly what I needed today!
goodroe - January 8, 2021 5:27 pm
Such a beautiful response & I add my voice as well, & ask our Dear Lord above to heal us & bring us together again, a nation that works together & accepts differences we have with respect 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼
Christopher Spencer - January 8, 2021 5:28 pm
When our country is in folded hands, all will be well because God hears all their prayers. Thanks Sean for sharing this. It brought tears to an old man’s eyes.
Ken P - January 8, 2021 5:40 pm
“And a child shall lead them” as the Bible says. Even when we don’t have the words to pray, He still hears us.
Lisa - January 8, 2021 5:47 pm
Brenda Kuhn - January 8, 2021 5:50 pm
Ann Mills - January 8, 2021 6:01 pm
Thanks be to God for all the Carols, friends, neighbors and granddaughters, for ages old words that come from the heart, and for red headed writers in Florida who tell their stories.
Linda Moon - January 8, 2021 6:10 pm
I once had a cat we called “Stray Gray”. We really didn’t “have” her…she just showed up occasionally, and we liked her a lot. I like Praying Carol, too. Once upon a time long ago we would hold hands with other praying people, but now, folding them is good. My misty-eyed prayerful reading of this Sean of the South post has adjourned. Amen.
conniekp - January 8, 2021 6:18 pm
Thank you for reminding us God is in control.
Frances D Lester - January 8, 2021 6:31 pm
Oh, Sean you had me when the neighborhood filled up with cars!
I was sitting here, stirring the soup, thinking how depressed I am, and then you reminded me what really matters. God IS in his kingdom and all will be right with our world– in His time! Bless you and every prayer group everywhere!
Bill - January 8, 2021 6:34 pm
Dear Lord, Please heal our country. We ask in the name of our risen Saviour Jesus Christ.
billllly - January 8, 2021 6:42 pm
A great piece. We need lots of gatherings like this.
Helen De Prima - January 8, 2021 6:47 pm
Anne B. Trawick - January 8, 2021 6:48 pm
Amy Adams - January 8, 2021 6:49 pm
Thank you for what you do. God bless you….. God heal our country… Amen.
Ann Gramlich - January 8, 2021 7:05 pm
What a wonderful wonderful post. Thank you so much.
MAM - January 8, 2021 7:09 pm
My eyes overfloweth with thankful tears! Thank you so much, Sean. The prayer has been my standard throughout this and last troubled years!
Janie F. - January 8, 2021 7:14 pm
DiAn - January 8, 2021 8:11 pm
AMEN and AMEN. Help us all to Listen for YOUR Voice LORD.
Becky - January 8, 2021 8:14 pm
In Jesus powerful name, Amen and Amen
Barbara - January 8, 2021 8:31 pm
So sad that you didn’t get the message.
Denise - January 8, 2021 8:42 pm
The greatest peace I’ve ever had was for 10 years when I was in/hosted a prayer group. It started when our kids were in High School, and kept going until the final graduation (a PhD, phew!). Meeting as the early Christians did, in a home, just a bunch of aging ladies, praying some through illness, and some ‘kids’ through drug issues, in general, just lifting us all in prayer. I think I’ll start a new group.
Candace A Ginn - January 8, 2021 8:44 pm
Please Lord, help our country heal. Amen
Stephen Disney - January 8, 2021 10:33 pm
As a retired Pastor I have grown rather despondent, lately no churches open, Coronavirus, the election mess and then the awful event at the United States Capitol Bldg. But then I read your words. Made tears come to my eyes. Thank you Sean. You inspired feelings of hope.
nashrrg - January 8, 2021 11:00 pm
David Brown - January 8, 2021 11:42 pm
So Mote It Be
Susan - January 9, 2021 12:26 am
suzlcahill - January 9, 2021 12:52 am
Thank you for this, Sean.
Dawn B. - January 9, 2021 1:02 am
Amen. Let it be, Lord. For peace, we must place our complete trust in Him.
Susan Kennedy - January 9, 2021 1:05 am
Amen. I wish I had been there. Maybe it’s being repeated all over this great land. And God hears. I know He does. Thanks Sean.
Linda Patterson - January 9, 2021 1:34 am
Amen. 🙏 Beautiful story. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. Not violence and hate, but peace, love, and faith in the Lord’s name. Praying that our country will be one of tolerance and prayer. May all the wounds be healed.
Suzanne Moore - January 9, 2021 2:10 am
We need this all over our country.
Carol - January 9, 2021 4:35 am
This could be my own prayer group – ever ready to bear each others’ burdens, to bless a new baby or new believer, to come against sickness and evil wherever it rears its ugly head. I thank God for this group and groups like it around this country – it is the only way out of this impending darkness. Thank you for your writings, Sean, I so look forward to them each day.
Ellen Turvey - January 9, 2021 9:40 am
Thanks. Prayer does work miracles.
Suzie - January 9, 2021 1:45 pm
Such a heartwarming story of strength, resilience, and the power of prayer ……..I pray for our great country to be healed of all the dissent and division ….
Tammy S. - January 9, 2021 2:16 pm
“…For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
Matthew 6:13 NKJV
Loved this one, Sean!! Powerful!!!
Bob Emery - January 9, 2021 2:29 pm
Let’s add to our prayers that all those in power find the proper guidance to benefit this wonderful country and heal it.
Regardless of party affiliation.
Healing at this crucial time in history is paramount.
Our country desperately needs to heal – now.l
Bob Emery - January 9, 2021 2:37 pm
John how do you know Donald Trump’s prayer or non-prayer habits.
Please don’t judge,
Patricia Alfrey - January 9, 2021 6:16 pm
Powerful! This one made me cry!
Gene - January 9, 2021 8:58 pm
A powerful reminder of what faith & trust in our Lord can do!
Please don’t give up on our election system. Volunteer with your local elections, if you can. Push for common sense voting laws & limits on amounts that can be spent by campaigns.
Tracy - January 9, 2021 9:12 pm
Brought tears to my eyes… thanks for sharing!
elizabethroosje - January 10, 2021 3:11 am
Amen! Amen! Amen! (and thank you for this Sean!!! God bless you and Jamie!!!)
LeAnne - January 11, 2021 12:42 am
Brenda - January 12, 2021 3:19 pm
Tea With Jennifer - January 12, 2021 9:21 pm
What a beautiful story that has been repeated across the world! I’m Australian living on the east coast of Australia & as we watched the trouble unfolding in your capital, tears stung my eyes & my heart bled for your country.
We prayed, as I too am a part of a little ol’ ladies prayer group that get things done! God has a theme going as I just posted ‘Who has the Power?’
You’re most welcome to join me in a cuppa at Tea With Jennifer,
Hilda Myers - January 14, 2021 1:33 am
Sounds like a bunch of old ladies I know, best friends this old lady has!
BJean - January 22, 2021 8:34 pm