An Answered Prayer?

I stood at the bus stop, thinking about my music homework. I was almost done with a lengthy assignment that involved labeling and describing a long list of music items, and it was due in a day or two. I reviewed my work until a man interrupted me.

He had noticed me holding a book from my backpack, and wanted to talk about books. I set down the heavy pack, and we discussed books for a while. He was a little strange — at one point, he asked me if I would sell him my book — but ultimately, he seemed friendly enough.

The bus arrived, and I got on, still thinking about the book we had been discussing. As I stood there in the bus, I suddenly realized that I had left my backpack back at the bus stop. Panic hit when I remembered that my backpack was full of my music notes. I had days and days of work there, work that I couldn’t produce again quickly even if I had had an extra term list from the teacher — which I didn’t.

I asked the bus driver to stop and let me out, but he ignored me. I was panicking. Every second that I stayed on the bus was time that my backpack could be taken, and every block I passed on the moving bus was a block I would have to go back.

The driver was no help, so I climbed down into the bus stairs and wedged the door open. Then I jumped from the (slowly) moving bus out onto the sidewalk. By now I was seven blocks from the bus stop. I immediately started to run back towards the bus stop.

I wondered if the strange man would protect my backpack. It seemed like my best hope. But I didn’t know if I could trust him. Or if he was even still there — perhaps his own bus had come in the interim. I thought desperately, “I am not going to make it on time.” And as I ran, I said a little prayer in my mind.

It was a desperate prayer of bargaining. I picked out an area that I had been struggling with of late. And I articulated the words in my mind. “Heavenly Father, I know that recently I’ve been having trouble with [item]. Please, let my backpack be okay, and I’ll try to do better on that.”

The moment I closed the prayer, I woke up.

I lay there in bed, pulse racing, wondering whether my backpack was okay. I briefly thought that perhaps I should go back to sleep, quickly, to check on the backpack. After a moment, my mind woke more. And I started to wonder:

Was that an answered prayer?

Weighing against is the basic point that I was praying to help protect an item that didn’t really exist. On the other side, though, the prayer did result in immediate removal of that particular concern. The prayer resulted in my gaining an ability to see the problem in new perspective, and perhaps that’s the best kind of answer.

So . . . does this mean that I have to comply with my side of the bargain?

12 comments for “An Answered Prayer?

  1. skl
    March 2, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    You made the bargain, Kaimi. What do you think? Do you feel bound by the promise? Good post.

  2. March 2, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Excellent post. Of course you have to comply! I’m thinking that’s what the dream was actually about. Of course, only you can know what your dream means, but, well, you asked. =)

  3. Costanza
    March 3, 2007 at 12:08 am

    You should work on it because you obviously think that you need to, not in order to keep a bargain made in a dream.

  4. March 3, 2007 at 2:02 am

    Life is but a dream.

  5. Beijing
    March 3, 2007 at 9:55 am

    When you have a dream about your backpack being okay, that’ll be your signal that God wants you to start keeping your end of the bargain. ;)

    If it were my dream, I would examine why I said a prayer of bargaining instead of a prayer of pleading.

  6. March 3, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    I’ve had so many desperate prayers answered, though none like that. I don’t think praying is a deep enough part of me yet for me to do it in my dreams. But, yeah, I definitely think that was your prayer answered, that you woke up just then. And it reminds me of how many prayers of mine have been instantly and powerfully answered, too. It makes me wonder if I could just deeply and sincerely pray for everything about me to be transformed, so that I would become totally in every way the person God wants me to be, if it wouldn’t just happen, just like that, in the blink of an eye?

  7. Tona
    March 4, 2007 at 9:07 am

    Speaking Jung-ian here, remember that everything in a dream is you. That includes the backpack. I found myself thinking about your dream more in terms of preversing that backpack, worrying about it, being concerned for its welfare, trying to return to claim it. If you might explore what aspects of the self that pack could represent, then I’d be willing to conjecture you’d find some useful connections between the [item] in the prayer and the backpack of the dream.

    And, given the numerous accounts in the scriptures, I do think it’s safe to think that at least some of the time, dreams are an important mode of communication with our Father in Heaven… communication that yes, can go both ways.

  8. nmo
    March 4, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    Great post. I’ve had only 2 or 3 dreams that I felt had a spiritual meaning attached to them, and the first and most vibrant of them was along the same lines. I’ve kept my part of the bargain and I’m glad I have. I feel that they definitely come from God.

  9. March 5, 2007 at 12:16 am

    Fascinating question. I’ve occasionally found myself praying in dreams, and sometimes about things that seemed rather nonsensical when I woke up. It’s kind of an odd situation; if you dream that you have a bizarre conversation with another person, after all, it’s not as if that person is going to remember that conversation when you next see them. But dream conversations with God fall into a somewhat different category. I don’t really know what to think about them.

  10. Nehringk
    March 5, 2007 at 11:14 am

    The idea of a prayer within a dream is fascinating. Alas, the more common experience is not praying during a dream, but rather dreaming during a prayer…

  11. Dan
    March 6, 2007 at 1:28 am

    Personal betterment, whether in a dream or in reality, is most definitely a cause we should be engaged in. It appears that the sub-conscious mind is ready to make and keep the bargain. The conscious mind just needs to catch up.

  12. trish
    March 23, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    I stumbled upon this site when googling \’prayer in dreams\’ as I had the most astounding, soul-deep prayer in a dream a few nights ago. I awakened and felt so at peace and calm. I had been deeply praying for a dear friend who is fighting for her life. My prayer was truly eloquent and fluid, in a manner I am not used to praying. I don\’t recall the words, but the feeling of being truly connected to and heard by God. I am still so moved by the experience. There was no feeling from the dream that God would provide the miracle that is truly needed, but that I was heard. It was such a peaceful feeling.

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