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A Prayer for Rufus

A prayer volunteer desperately asks God for help finding her lost dog.

golden retriever in the woods

Rufus, my golden retriever, and I sat in the yard enjoying the sunset. The yard wasn’t fenced; dense woods ran right up to the lawn. I’d snapped a long leash onto Rufus' collar. If he strayed, I could easily grab it before he got into any trouble.

Suddenly Rufus' head jerked up. Before I could react, he took off. I ran after him, but he disappeared into the woods. I called, to no avail. Night was falling. I thought of Rufus dragging his lead. What if it gets snagged and he’s trapped? I shuddered to think what coyotes might do to a helpless dog. I dashed into the house to call my friend Susan.

Susan and I work together on a prayer request line and she’s also a dog lover. She pulled into the drive minutes later. For the next six hours we crisscrossed the woods, calling Rufus' name. “What if I never find him?” I said, fighting tears.

“Don’t worry,” Susan said. “Just pray, like we tell people on the prayer line.” Pray. Why didn’t that occur to me? I thought about the times I’d spoken with callers and told them God hears and answers prayers. There in the moonlit woods I knelt down. Lord, please keep Rufus safe. Help me find him.

At 2:00 a.m., I sent Susan home. Tired and discouraged, I lay on my bed and prayed again.

Then, faintly, I heard faraway barking. I got up, grabbed a flashlight and bolted out the door. Calling Rufus' name, I ran into the woods. Suddenly I saw two glowing eyes staring at me through the trees. “Rufus?” I whispered. There he was, sitting patiently, his leash wrapped tightly around a tree. I knelt down and hugged him. How long had he been there? I’d wonder later.

All I could think about now was the tremendous gift I’d been given: proof that God hears and answers prayer.


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