A Hockey Player's Prayer

A young hockey player uses the power of prayer to get him on an ice rink.

By Anne Riess

WEB EXCLUSIVE

A January evening on our farm in rural Saskatchewan. Snow banks piled high against the house, faintly glowing in the moonlight.

Time to tuck in my nine-year-old son, Ryan. He was just finishing his prayers as I stepped into his room. “God, please help me have my own ice rink,” he whispered. That same prayer again—the same prayer every night for almost two months.

Like most boys in Canada, Ryan loved to play hockey, but the closest rink was 24 miles away. There was no way he could play. I didn’t blame him for wanting a rink of his own, but I worried his young faith would be shaken as his prayers continued to go unanswered. Ice rinks don’t just appear out of thin air.

What could we do? “Our well doesn’t have enough water to make a rink,” my husband, Ken, told me, shaking his head sadly. “Besides, we don’t have the equipment to build one.” Like Ryan, I could only close my eyes and pray. Please don’t let his faith be hurt by this.

The weeks went by and Ryan’s prayer continued. So did mine. Meanwhile, the weather warmed up, unusual for that time of year. We enjoyed spending time outside, making snowmen. But gradually the snow banks melted and flooded our yard. I looked outside one day to find our garden had turned into a muddy pool.

That night a cold front moved in. The wind howled. We tucked ourselves beneath our quilts. The next morning I was still groggy when Ryan came running to me. “Mom, come look!” he shouted. He grabbed my arm and pulled me outside.

There, in the garden, the pool of water had frozen solid overnight—the perfect size of an ice rink. The only time in the 28 years that we’ve lived here it ever happened. The answer to Ryan’s prayers—and mine.

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