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  • Writer's pictureSue Bowles

Living on More Than a Prayer (Sorry Bon Jovi)

So when the request was made to pick a blog theme….yesterday, because none of us had been so enlightened up to then….I had to wrack my brain. I’m usually good under pressure but for some reason this one had me grasping at straws. Or prayers as it turned out. “Living on a Prayer” seemed appropriate for all of us as we are all…well…living on prayers.

Right now I’m praying for my oven as I type. Literally. A couple weeks ago I was cooking dinner. Thankfully I was in the kitchen when I heard a fizzzzz in the oven, saw a small bundle of orange and smoke. I opened the oven to see a small fire flash fizzling out. I turned off the oven and pulled out dinner, which thankfully was done.

Then I bought the new element from Amazon saving about $40 (yeah me!) and checked out trusty old Youtube for instruction on replacing it. I was prepared. I had the house to myself and room to tear apart the oven. And tear apart I did!


So the element got changed after a little detour of having to take off the oven back since one of the prongs escaped through the insulation and out the back. It needed to be rescued from its lostness. But as with anything like this there’s a little nervousness on the first real use since the repair. Oh…we tested it…at 225 degrees and no meal on the line.

So tonight was the first real meal cooked in the oven….that is….if you can call fish sticks and tater crowns a real meal. But it was the first real use of the oven. So I was prepared with my trusty fire extinguisher nearby.


Because the oven will be needed for this weekend. This weekend is cookie baking for Kairos. Kairos ( is a weekend retreat inside prisons. God changed my brother’s life through Kairos. And one of the key things of Kairos is the cookies. The men who attend the retreat are free to eat all the treats they want during the weekend. And each inmate and staff member in the prison receives a dozen cookies. It’s the only home-baked item the inmates can receive while inside. I was in the visit room one time visiting my brother while Kairos was going on and even the security guards were excited to get their bag of a dozen cookies. It’s one way to show the love of Christ. And it requires an oven.

So my oven passed its test while I’ve been typing this. No fire extinguisher needed. Prayer answered.

I pray for my house all the time…or at least for the mechanical equipment that helps keep my house operating. Each morning when I leave as I pull out of the driveway I pray ‘protect the house and its occupants.’ I pray the sump pump keeps working. That’s been on my mind a lot. Probably more because I tend to worry about it going out than some super-spiritual advanced notice of something happening. That probably comes from the basement flood we had in January 2013.

I was going down the basement when I saw it. Something didn’t look right. The floor shouldn’t be shimmering and waving at the bottom of the steps. A few steps down the staircase revealed every homeowner fear: a flooded basement. Water had filled the basement so that it reached the bottom of the last step….so in essence about 8″ of water. Thankfully Scott called his AA sponsor who had a utility pump. Now it works through a garden hose so from 10p-2:30a we had the pump running and the hose going out the back door, across the snow-covered backyard, and draining into the side yard. Between that and our bucket brigade we were worn out by the end of the night.

The cool part is that the sump pump that failed had a lifetime guarantee on it so I was able to get a new one at no cost. Now I had already bought a new one…that was installed that night…because I kind of had a little water I had to get rid of. So the free one sits on my shelf downstairs now. Nice to have a backup at the ready.

I thought a number of months ago I was going to need it. When it rains on a steady basis I tend to go downstairs and peak at the sump pump to stay on top of any potential disaster. Usually there’s nothing concerning. But one morning I went down to look and saw water starting to brim over the sump pump reservoir. OH NO…WE ARE NOT DOING THIS AGAIN! The only challenge is I had to leave for work. So I went to the sump pump and was going to pull it up. When I started to pull on the cord I heard it start to cycle. Could it be that easy?! Sure enough…this time it was! The extra cord had slipped into the reservoir and was blocking the float which signaled it to cycle. I just heard the sump pump cycle again. Music to a home owner’s ears!

So by now you get the idea I live on a prayer around here. Some may call it crazy…or at least me crazy…but all I can say is God has protected. God likes to answer prayers ya know….and sometimes we actually get to see those answers!

When I was unemployed twice in 6 months between Dec. 2008 and July 2009 I prayed.

When my brother was gone for 18 months I prayed.

When the power is out and we’re running generators I pray.

When storms are coming through I pray.

While I have a lot of crazy plates spinning right now I pray.

So while Jon Bon Jovi may live on ‘a’ prayer….I can’t get by on just one. I’m glad he could. I’m not that strong. So I’ll keep praying many prayers.

And right now I’m praying I can find a way to end this blog and post it so I can get ready to go to sleep.

I know…..I guess it’s time for my bedtime prayers.

I’m praying my congestion and coughing lets up so I can sleep.


(More thoughts on Bon Jovi prayers can be found by Jenn at and Leisa at

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