Once there was a man who didn't believe in praying. He never prayed about anything. Whenever someone would talk about prayer, he would say, "Ah, prayer. It doesn't do anything. I'll tell you what prayer is; It's just a big waste of time."
One day this man was eating a delicious dinner his wife and kids had cooked. "Mmmm, this is yummy. I like this food!"
All of a sudden the ground started to shake under their feet. The whole house rumbled! Even the walls of the house began to shake. Pictures fell off the walls and dishes fell off the table and smashed to pieces on the floor!
He realized that it was an earthquake, "Oh no! We must get out of the house immediately!" He gathered his kids, the whole family tried to make their way through the chaos. The floors began to crack, everything fell out of the cupboards, the windows started to break. Even the walls started to fall down. "Ohhhh nooooooooo!!!!" They cried out.
They tried to escape from the house, but it didn't look like they were going to make it, "I don't know if we can survive this!!" he cried out. Just then something erupted from the man's heart. He said a prayer on the spot, "Oh God, save me! My Dear Lord, show me your Grace!"
The earthquake settled down. Somehow they had all survived. The father had cuts and bruises on his body. His wife was very scared. She was also hurt. " Oh my wife, you are hurt. I am hurt too." She interrupted him, "Our children, my poor babies, they are in the hospital with broken legs. Our house is half destroyed, how could it get worse than this!?" They both felt really bad, "We barely made it out alive. Everything is ruined, just ruined. Ahhhh, this is awful, just awful!" She was crying and he felt desperate and sad. He went outside and looked upwards. He said, "Oh, You who live in the sky! What happened? I never pray to you, but the one time I do pray, the ONE time I ask you to save me... look at this disaster! The priest says that it's always good to pray, but why should I bother? You don't listen anyway, do you!?"
Just then big white clouds started to gather in the skies. A heavenly voice spoke out, "My dear child." The man was filled with awe of the power of what was happening. The voice said, "It was pre-written that all your lives were supposed to be lost in this earthquake. All of your souls knew this before you were born into this lifetime. Your souls were all meant to leave your bodies together at this time."
The man was filled with wonder. A deep understanding of how life works dawned on him. He now understood that there are no accidents.
He smiled and said to himself, "Everything in the universe is perfect!"
But, there was one thing he still didn't understand. He asked, "If there is such a perfect plan going on, why didn't we die. If that was meant to happen, why are we still alive?"
Full of joy, the heavenly voice answered immediately, "Prayer! It is because of your one prayer that the plan has been rearranged." The man felt so humble. He thought, "Wow! I'm just so grateful. Thank you!"
The joyful voice continued, "Your affairs have been arranged, a new plan has been formed, a new agreement has been made. You prayed with so much heart, you prayed with such great sincerity, that your destiny and the destinies of everyone in your family were re-written."
That is the power of prayer.