As I heard about the tragic plane crash a few miles from my home, my thoughts went back to another crash in which my uncle a fighter pilot was involved. He retired as a very senior officer in the Indian Air Force, but this happened when he was much younger, “His plane caught fire!” said my grandmother to six- year old me, “But angels lifted him out of the aircraft and brought him safely down!”

“Why?” I’d asked, “Many pilots die, why was only he rescued?”

“Because I prayed for him all the time!” said my grandmother, very matter of fact.

It was this same grandmother who taught me, that whatever I needed, to pray about it, and God would give it to me. “But always have a picture in your mind of God answering that prayer Bob!” she said.

Many years later when in my twenties, the Maruti 800 was making a big impact on Indian roads, I remembered my grandmother’s words,and with trembling hands cut a picture from a magazine of a gleaming red 800, placed it under a glass on my desk, looked at it, prayed for it everyday, and six months laterit happened, the only difference, I settled for white!

It was not just material things, I used this power of picturization and prayerisation everywhere. There were times one or other of my daughters would call me from school, “Dad my legs are hurting so badly, please come and pick me up!” I would get on my knees and pray and see my child with no ache, then get into my car, now a Tata Estate and drive breakneck to her school, and find her grinning at the gate, “Daddy, the pain just disappeared!”

Over two thousand years ago, a young Jesus who was healing the sick and bringing to life those who were dead told everybody, “Even if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May God uproot you and throw you into the sea, and it would obey you!’

Around two decades ago, another young man who wanted to start an orphanage would visit my home for donations, and while leaving would say, “Please pray for me!”

One day, I got impatient and asked him, “Pray for what?”

“For my orphanage to come up!” he said.

“How big do you want it to be?” I asked.

“I don’t know!” he whispered.

“Picture how big you want it to be, then pray that picture to God, and let’s watch it becoming possible!” I told him. “The three Ps, “Picturize, Prayerize and Possibilize!”

He listened, and it’s now a huge complex with buildings and guest houses, called Anand Ashram, houses over a hundred boys and an old folks home.

Yesterday’s tragic crash brought memories of another crash and reassuring thoughts of a faithful God..! 

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