Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
May 24, 2010
Layton discovers the power of prayer
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
OTTAWA - After Jack Layton announced his prostate cancer diagnosis last February, he could not understand why he experienced "this incredible sense of joy."
The New Democratic Party Leader told the recent Canadian National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast he felt "like something was under my wings."
Then Layton discovered people had been praying for him as he began to receive emails, cards and best wishes in conversations with colleagues and friends.
Layton told the 850 politicians, diplomats and religious leaders who packed a downtown hotel ballroom he no longer had any doubts about the power of prayer.
The only party leader present at the largest prayer breakfast in the event's 45-year history, Layton read Scripture passages, as did Treasury Board president Stockwell Day, Liberal MP John McKay and Bloc Quebecois MP Robert Bouchard.
Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin read a prayer for Canada and the nations. "God, you have called us to love one another," she said. "We admit we are incapable of loving one another without your help, without your Holy Spirit." Also contributing were House Speaker Peter Milliken and Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella.
Featured speakers were six-time Olympic medalist and four-time World Champion speed skater Cindy Klassen and her sister Lisa Klassen, an aviator and musician.
The sisters shared the podium as they described how prayer helped Lisa and the Klassen family cope with her nearly fatal 2008 car accident.
"The first week, we were given the word that Lisa could go at any time," Cindy said.
"God really did give us peace," she said, noting hundreds of people were praying for Lisa and their family.
Lisa made a miraculous recovery, though she struggled with vertigo that threatened to end her pilot/flight instructor career. The vertigo did go away with treatment and now she is flying, even doing aerobatics.
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