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The Key to Praying

A woman locked out of a train station issues a forceful prayer and gets an unexpected result.

Early one July morning I arrived by train in Salt Lake City eagerly anticipating a week’s camping trip with my son, Dan. We planned to explore the Oregon Trail. My great-great-grandfather had trudged West along that trail beside a covered wagon. Dan wouldn’t arrive for a while, so I stowed my gear in a station locker and walked into town. When I returned, the station doors were locked. A sign announced it wouldn’t reopen until ten o’clock that night. I peered in the window, but no one was inside.

We’d lose a whole day if I couldn’t get my gear! Lord, you’ve got to do something! I demanded. I’d surprised myself. Never before had I issued an order to the Almighty. 

Just then a car pulled up. A man in a suit and tie got out, jingling his keys. “Sir!” I called. I explained my problem, but he couldn’t imagine how he could help. “I myself am sorry the station is closed,” he said. I noticed his full key ring. “Maybe one of those would work,” I suggested.

He tried one key after the other. The last one worked! I retrieved my things, and the man locked up. “Don’t understand it,” he said, getting back into his car. But I understood perfectly. The Lord hadn’t been put off by my presumptuous prayer. He’d sent a helpful stranger with a key that did the trick.

This article first appeared in Angels on Earth magazine.

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