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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Exercising her faith

Mary Ward's prayer put her in prison

Mary Ward knows about answered prayer — the kind that changes your life.

 "I was crying out — really, kind of whining — to God, saying, 'Why don't you ever use me?' " says Ward, a member of Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, Centreville, Va. "After a question like that, you have to say [to yourself], 'Are you ready for what's coming?' "

The answer came within 24 hours.

Ward was taking an aerobics class with Body & Soul, a Christian fitness ministry. The day after her plaintive prayer, a substitute instructor introduced herself as the leader of an aerobics class at the Fairfax [Va.] County Adult Detention Center.


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