Like The Shirt Says

It’s alright if you don’t remember my name. What’s important is you remember what’s on the cool T-shirt I wear every once in a while. With three simple words—Prayer Changes Things.

Jesus was passionate about prayer and demonstrated it often. He knew the Divine power behind the words that could change death to life, water to wine, and take a bunch of misfits like you and me and turn the world upside down.

His story about a widow and an unjust judge had a simple moral. Don’t ever, ever, and even longer than that, give up praying. Pray during the easy-peasy stuff, the average work and play stuff, and the hard kick-you-in-the-stomach stuff. Why? Because there’s a Divine power behind your words. And that power brings His Kingdom and His will to that piece of earth under you and around you (Luke 18:1-8, Matthew 6:9-13).

Recently, I had the opportunity to put my faith where my shirt is. So, here’s my story with the same moral . . . don’t ever, ever, and even longer than that, give up praying.

Three weeks ago, something hinky happened to the vision in my left eye. Like looking through a fogged-over windshield. This God-made machine of ours starts getting recalls at the speed of sound the older we get, and a cataract seemed the obvious choice this time.

Sitting in the optometrist’s chair a week later on Monday, I wondered how long it would take to get in for surgery. He turned me toward a large computer screen on the wall after photos and exams. Beautiful, stark red and yellow images of the back sides of my retinas.

“The good news is no need for cataract surgery.” He took out a pointer, rolling his chair closer to the screen. “But the problem in your left eye is right here.”

My relief was short-lived. The colors were crisp and art-print-worthy.

His pointer hovered over a fireworks image. “Sometime in the last month, you’ve had a retinal occlusion. A stroke behind your retina.”

I tried paying attention to his explanation after hearing, “Stroke,” but it was a challenge.

He went on to explain the fireworks image was a blood clot and the damage left behind. “I’m sending you to a retinal specialist. They can determine if the loss of vision is permanent or can be treated—and a path forward.”

After sharing the news with my wife, my anxiety started ramping up. And by the time I’d finished doing the foolish googling thing she told me not to do, I was full-on rattled.

My doc said to hold off on serious running until after the specialist . . . but a light, casual run was okay. That’s like going into the Pancake House and ordering the best bacon ever, and the waiter brings you a bowl of milk toast. So not the same.

I’ve confessed in articles before that I am a professional worrier and a card-carrying needle-phobic. And if there were a city called, Freakmeoutville, you would be looking at its mayor.

Don’t misunderstand. My confidence in God’s purpose, plan, and love for me never wavered. Nor His ability to touch any need. Not once. But the prospect of future retinal strokes, or worse, was cause to call out the prayer cavalry (my family and friends).

During Draw Near Tuesday prayer in the House of Prayer the next day, the group interceded on my behalf—for God’s healing touch, peace through my physical storm, and upcoming retinal specialist appointment.

It wasn’t until a few hours later my anxiety dialed back from an eight or nine to a calming two. Imagine that. Prayer Changes Things.

I sent an email of gratitude that evening to my faithful, praying friends. God had answered.

At Friday’s men’s group, I shared my prayer need. Ray and the guys committed me and my eye to the Lord. And more of His peace that passes comprehension came my way. Prayer Changes Things.

At the end of Sunday service, during the call for prayer needs, wild horses couldn’t have kept me from getting over to the prayer corner. Roy laid his hands on me and once again, grace upon grace followed me through. Hope you’re getting the point. Prayer Changes Things.

Fast forward to Thursday. My eyes would be dilated so a driver was necessary. My daughter, Brea, took time off from work and became my Uber driver and extra ears during the exam.

After moving from room to room for eye tests, drops, and pictures, we waited for the verdict.

“You’ve had a venous occlusion in your left eye and not an arterial occlusion,” he pointed to the colored monitor.

Because he spoke doctorese, I wasn’t sure of the difference. “So, I didn’t have a retinal stroke?”

“No, the veins behind your retina caused the clot, not an artery.” In other words, venous occlusion good, arterial occlusion bad.

Brea and I shared an unspoken, Thank you, Jesus, moment.

“I’m scheduling you for a Fluorescein angiogram.” More doctorese. “We’ll inject your arm with dye and take photos of your retinal veins.”

I would deal with the dye-in-the-arm and possible eye injections later. But for now, sweet relief.


I’m no praying savant, believe me. Sometimes in group prayer, I can’t find the right words, and something goofy comes out. Maybe you too.

But to see first hand how God uses our prayers and the prayers of others, only compels me to do what Jesus said. Pray!

Please don’t miss out on weekly opportunities to grow in prayer and make an earthly difference: Draw Near Tuesday every Tuesday from 1:30-2:30 in The House of Prayer. Saturday evening prayer from 5:30-6:15. Green (Boiler) Room prayer during worship for both services—8:40 and 10:25 (twenty minutes).

For more information, email

Remember, Prayer Changes Things. Like the shirt says.