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Today Wednesday Writers welcomes Ada Brownell back to the blog. Ada will be talking about her book What Prayer Can Do and the miracles she’s heard about and written about in the book. Welcome, Ada!


Thanks, Catherine

Miracles. I heard about them often in the churches I attended.

You see, our churches used to have testimony services where people stood up voluntarily and told about answers to prayer.

I believed every one of them. My family prayed when anyone faced a problem. My parents and brothers and sisters became born-again Christians about the time I came into the world—the eighth child.

A family of Christian achievers–Ada at lower right

They had just come through The Great Depression, the Kansas Dust Bowl, and were “pockets-empty-poor.” The only time I saw a doctor from my birth until I got married was when I had the croup and the doctor came to the house.

During my infancy, my two-year-old brother emptied a salt shaker into my eyes. I was a little older when my 10-year-old sister gave me a bath, and, not knowing they’d put a fire in the wood-burning cookstove, she sat me down on the hot surface.

The only lasting effects of the burns is scars, but I remember nothing about it. I’ve never had trouble with my eyesight from the salt.

When I was older, I froze my feet going ice skating too far from home. I put them hot water when I got home because I didn’t want my daddy to know I went skating on the river. My feet turned black, swelled so much I couldn’t wear my shoes, and I was caught. But praise God, I didn’t even lose a toe. Prayer made a difference.

When I was in my early teens, a friend, Velda Jean Bailey, was healed of leukemia.

So when I became a writer I began interviewing people about their miracles, and wrote them for The Pentecostal Evangel. Some I wrote for the newspaper where I worked, The Pueblo Chieftain.

Because of my husband’s railroad job we moved often, so we attended many different churches and heard amazing testimonies.

Now I’ve taken 55 articles that appeared in The Pentecostal Evangel over the years, and published them in my book What Prayer Can Do. The Evangel no longer exists, but Jesus still does, and I didn’t want these amazing testimonies to be lost.

Here’s the book summary:

What Prayer Can Do

Pray. God answers. True testimonies of events where God intervened.

Irene Hoselton found her missing kidnapped children after 38 years. Ennis Surratt, known as the “meanest man in town,” changed in a moment. John Feliciano, blinded in an industrial accident, sees instantly. Marjorie Eager’s family escapes death when God stops a forest fire. A mother prays on her deathbed for her sons to meet her in heaven, and years later God grabs Gary Hilgers out of sin and turns him around. More amazing chapters by Ada Nicholson Brownell originally published in The Pentecostal Evangel, and reprinted in this book–enough for every week of the year, with three bonuses.



(Excerpt from What Prayer Can Do)

It was 4 a.m. Sunday. Gary Hilgers staggered into the house and got into bed. He knew a brief moment of loneliness when he remembered: Dona had taken the children and left last week.

“This is it. I’ve had all I can take,” she had said. “Don’t come crawling with a lot of promises this time, because I’m not coming back. You’ll never change.”

Gary turned over and tried to make himself comfortable in the bed that hadn’t been straightened since Dona left. “Oh, well,” he muttered stubbornly. “I don’t care. Dona wanted to run my life—always nagging.”

He put Dona out of his thoughts and began thinking of how he could win back the money he lost last night. Tomorrow would surely be his lucky day!

Late Sunday morning Gary dragged himself out of bed, still exhausted but anxious to get going. He had kept the same schedule for three years; going to work, getting off work; drinking and gambling until the morning hours; coming home to face Dona and his broken promises.

Dona had left him several other times, but he had always talked her into coming back. This time she seemed to mean it. “There’s no hope for you, Gary,” she had said. “You’re an alcoholic, even if you’re only 22.”

It was true. He couldn’t shake his thirst for liquor. At times he had delirium tremens. He was afraid of being alone. Yet he enjoyed the excitement of gambling and liquor helped him forget his family waited at home.

Later that Sunday morning he was playing poker when suddenly he turned his cards face down on the table and quickly laid his cigar on the ash tray. Sharp pains stabbed through his chest. A long drink from the bottle didn’t help. Something stirred inside him. What if you should die right now?

When his friends asked what was wrong, he tried to laugh, but the pain stayed. The thought kept pulsating through his brain: If you die right now, you will go to hell.

Gary had been reared in a Christian home but hadn’t thought of God or church for years. Now he had an irresistible urge to go to church!

From childhood he had an unusual desire for excitement. By the time he was 10 he had figured ways to avoid going to church, and he involved his eight-year-old brother John in his schemes.

When Gary was 11, his mother had a stroke and cerebral hemorrhage. The third day she seemed to rally. She talked to the children, then prayed aloud that each of them would meet her in heaven. Within an hour she went into a coma, and late that evening she died.

For the rest of the story, and other amazing testimonies, buy What Prayer Can Do, by Ada Niicholson Brownell.

Want to read more? You can find What Prayer Can Do at Amazon


About the Author:

Ada Brownell has been writing for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a daily newspaper reporter. She has a B.S. degree in Mass Communications and worked most of her career at The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado where she spent the last seven years as a medical writer. After moving to Springfield, MO in her retirement, she continues to freelance for Christian publications and write non-fiction and fiction books. She occasionally writes op-ed pieces for newspapers.

Connect with Ada on these social media outlets:  Facebook:

Twitter: @adabrownell  Blog:  Stick to Your Soul Encouragement

Book Fun Network:  Amazon Ada Brownell author page: