The Power of Fervent Prayer


Over the years since I became Catholic, twenty-three years ago now, I have become convinced that fervent, ceaseless prayer is by far our most powerful way to effect change. I have many personal experiences that support my contention, but I will share only one. In college, I became friends with another student who was a devout Christian, while I could have been best described as agnostic: I was open to the idea of God, but had not yet received the grace of faith. My friend was Pentecostal, and while this could have been a source of strife between us, such were his manners (he was born and raised in the Deep South) that he never allowed our conversations to become acrimonious. After graduation we each returned to our home states and began our careers. We gradually lost touch with one another until several years later, when he called me out of the blue. By this time I was already Catholic, and when I revealed this to him he was aghast. His perfect manners vanished. All of a sudden the Pope was the Whore of Babylon, the BVM was neither V nor B, the Church was a cult, and so forth. I did not rise to his taunts, but we soon ended the phone call in mutual dismay. I began to pray for my friend, daily and at every Mass I attended, that Christ would bring him to the light of faith in the true Church. The next time we spoke, several years later, I was surprised and gratified to learn he had become Catholic as well, and remains devoutly so to this day. I am curious if any CAF members have stories about the power of prayer they would like to share.


Thank you , @kill051 . for this encouraging testimony .

All glory and praise to God !

This is about my father and his younger brother .

My father was always a devoted Catholic .

His brother had given up on the Church , I think from his youth .

My dad’s Jesuit parish had each year the Novena of Grace in Honour of Saint Francis Xavier .

This particular year my dad had made the novena intention that his younger brother would return to receiving the sacraments of the Church after his many years of absence from the Church .

Half way through the nine days of the novena my dad was stood on the steps outside of the church , probably smoking a fag before he went inside . Who did he see coming in the gate of the church ? Yes , his younger brother .

All glory and praise to God !

Thank you , Saint Francis Xavier .


Beautiful testimony, @Rob2! Many of my prayers for my friend were directed to St Monica, in recognition of her years-long prayers for the conversion of her son.


Wonderful stories, everyone. I hope to read more testimonies. I also hope that I will be able to share a story too, as i have been praying for some big and important intentions, that I hope God will answer with a yes.


@fin, I too hope your prayers will soon be answered! God willing!


15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up;
and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

16 Confess your faults one to another,
and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.
The fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are,
and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain:
and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.


This is an OK grace. Not a significant one but OK nonetheless. I will give you that much. The problem is that these prayers never do enough, small people can sometimes affect like small people within their small circles, but lack the powers to elicit a true change. All of these stories get somewhat invalidated by how personal in nature they are. When I see some random guy’s prayers directly (not proxically) lead to Billy Graham-levels of mass conversion, then I’ll believe in the power of one man’s prayers having weight. Until then, these are all but a cluster of minute circumstances with self-contained significance.


Sometimes change is only effected one person at a time. I’m so sorry you haven’t experienced this for yourself. Maybe one day!


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