Early mornings with school-age children are usually routine. But one special morning many years ago went down in the history book of my heart. My son Scotty awoke with a tummy ache. Nothing to worry about, except that his father had scheduled business meetings out of town for a few days.

As the other children went off to school, Scotty’s pain grew more intense. I drove to our doctor’s office, who I was sure would be able to help with some great medicine. Instead, he said, “We must get Scotty to the hospital immediately. This is appendicitis.”

I was so tense, I might have been the one who needed hospital care! We were soon in a hospital room, and Scotty was prepared for surgery.

I found a Bible on the bedside table and turned to the well-known Psalm 23. “Oh yes, Lord, You are my Shepherd,” I said. Then I closed the Bible and, with hugs, tears, and a gentle little prayer, whispered, “God bless you, dear son,” then watched as Scotty was rolled toward surgery.

The hospital waiting room was homey and seemed to whisper sweet rest to my weariness. I had never faced such an emergency alone. My husband, Woody, was the rock in our family; I leaned on him for security in all matters. But when this crisis came, there I was, alone.

Sitting on the couch was good, but looking over at the magazine rack was better. It was there I found a small publication that would soon change my life. The title, Adventures in Prayer, caught my attention—I had never thought of prayer in that way.

Could prayer really be an adventure?

The radiant smile of the beautiful woman on the cover seemed to say yes. Her name was Catherine Marshall. After reading only one story, I knew she had things to share with me that I had never experienced. I was fascinated that each story revealed a personal crisis she had experienced and then showed how prayer had brought the turning point in each one.