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How a Prayer Tree Inspired a Community to Believe in Miracles

Sheri Furman shares how a fire in her small business led to a silver lining she could never have imagined.

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Hi Guidepost, my name is Sheri Furman. I’ve had my sweet little shop named Take Heart for about 20 years.

I think I realized who and what my community meant to me the day that I experienced a fire at my store. And when I was running down the street and saw the shop, after making sure that night friends who worked for me were safe, I stopped outside the door and looked up and the first thing I saw was that the prayer tree was completely untouched. That even though there was flames shooting through the window, that those prayers from the people who had written them, they refused to burn.

A lot of people have asked me how the prayer tree started, and in a corner, I had a whole bunch of wooden hearts that was hanging from twine, and then there was this voice in my heart that clearly said “Put them in a bowl, put some pins next to them, and put them out near the garden, and put the tiniest, tiniest tag that says ‘Prayers?, Wishes?’ and just leave it out there and lets just see what happens.”

So I was gone for a couple days, came back on a Sunday evening, and I pulled up in front of the store, and immediately I was completely overwhelmed. I looked up into this garden and on this vine to see hundreds of hearts dripping from the vine. They all had words scripted across the heart, and it took me a minute to realize that people had left their actual heart in this place and on this tree.

When the prayers on the tree began, somebody very wise came by and told me something very important. They were, like, “Sheri, some people will get their miracle and some people will get an answered prayer.” And at first I didn’t know what he meant by that. And then soon after, I realized what he was saying.

Because we have seen so many miracles. We have seen prodigals find their way home. We have seen people cured of cancer. We have seen people receive living organs that they thought there was not hope for, at the last minute. The prayers went from being a couple hundred hearts to now over 30,000.

Prayers are timeless. Prayers before God will always be timeless. And the comfort of knowing that He hears them and that He’s working on our behalf when it doesn’t seem like anything is changing, when we are actually still standing in the ruins, that’s where faith comes in, and that’s where hope is found.









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