Power of prayer is an important thing, no matter when or where.

Many prayers were offered this past week for the safe return of a little boy who got lost in the woods.

By now, 3-year-old Casey Hathaway’s story is known by folks from coast to coast about the search effort that, let’s face it, was made scary because of Tuesday’s frigid temperatures and some of the monsoon rains that poured across Eastern North Carolina on Thursday. This nightmarish scenario for the family was something everyone understood when hoping for a miracle.

For two and a half days, people refused to give up hope or stop praying for the boy’s safe return.

Perhaps God heard those prayers loud and clear.

“I think the power of the prayer is incredibly important,” said Reverend Paul Canady of Christ Episcopal Church of New Bern. “My belief is that in God, hearing our prayers is a reminder to ourselves that God is at work in what is going on in both the joyous and the tragic.”

Canady recalled Wednesday’s weekly prayer service.

“Last week in midst of the search for Casey, we prayed for his safety, the safety of all those who were searching for him and for peace of mind for his family,” he said. “I think they made a difference. I think God hears those prayers. The danger is when things don’t turn out the way we want them to turn out that we think we should have prayed harder or that God wasn’t listening to us for some reason. And that can be difficult to reconcile.”

Canady continued, “I think that what’s important now that Casey has been found is that we give God thanks and praise and we remember to pray for other children in our country and around the world who are still missing, who have gone missing and have not been found.”

As Canady recalled how the boy surived the elements and all alone, except for maybe a bear, divine will may have played a part.

“And it had been so bitterly cold on Tuesday night,” Canady said. “That rain we had on Thursday – that was worse than it was during Hurricane Florence. Yes, I fully believe there was divine intervention in his being found safely.”

Here are just a few comments posted to the Sun Journal’s Facebook page offering prayers or praising God for Casey’s safe return:

 

“What a beautiful ending to a very heartbreaking situation. We do serve an awesome God. He protected and watched over this little fellow!! I have cried all morning!!!” -- Arlene Chrysostomides-Caroon

 

“God hears and answers prayers.” -- Ethelene Ipock

 

“What a miracle ... thank you Lord.” – Julia Murray Thomas

 

In all caps – “GLORY TO GOD!!! IT WAS A MIRACLE!!!” -- Bettie Reeves Creech

 

“God still performs miracles.” – Kristina Bridges

 

“Great job Officers & all involved. Truly a blessing!” – Casey Lin

 

“Thank God for keeping first responders, searchers & everyone that helped safe also.” – Evelyn Waters Blount

 

“Thanks to all who searched and praise God.” – Janice Cranford

 

“God is good! Also thank you to all that helped search!” – Jordan Bryant

 

Along with four prayer emojis, Liz Naron posted, “Praise God!!!. Prayers answered!!!! Great job to all involved in this rescue!!!”

 

“What a mighty God we serve!!! Praise God.” – Crystall Cantrell

 

“God, bless all that helped relentlessly in the search for Casey ty you're are warriors but, most of all I thank you Lord!!!” -- Kathy Toler

 

"I am so happy for the family! Such an awesome outcome and miracle! God is good," -- Julianne Crouch