Recently a dad wrote a testimony of how his son was helped through prayer and the intercession of Father Rick Thomas. He gave us permission to share this story with you:
I’m proud to admit that my four-year-old son has turned me into the kind of dad that other parents find annoying. On a daily basis I find myself amazed at his wit, athleticism, and intelligence, so much so that I can’t help but tell others about it through anecdotes. One such story that I rarely share about him has nothing to do with his innate or developing gifts and talents, but rather how prayer helped him overcome the night terrors that tormented him for the first few years of his life.
For years, my son experienced night terrors on an almost nightly basis. Every night around 3:00 he’d wake up screaming, and run into our bedroom. My wife and I were at a loss for how to deal with it – we hoped that it was a phase he’d eventually grow out of, but by his third birthday there was still no end in sight. I decided to do something about it.
One night I waited for his night terror, and once he’d awoken I intercepted him en route to our bedroom. I hugged him firmly, but gently enough so as not to wake him, and started to pray. “Jesus come…evil go. Jesus come…evil go.” On a recent retreat a Jesuit friend had taught me this method of prayer which he had learned from Fr. Rick Thomas…. As I continued to pray, I started making the sign of the cross on my son’s forehead and my words changed to “Jesus come…night terror go,” which I repeated for at least half an hour. My prayer shifted one final time to “Fr. Rick Thomas…pray for my son.” I continued on for a while until my son fell back asleep.
This scenario replayed itself in the subsequent two nights, and I could feel my spiritual resolve strengthen with each prayer. After the third night, my son’s night terrors stopped. He still occasionally wakes up in the middle of the night, but he’s no longer screaming.
Maybe the night terrors were in fact just a phase that my son finally outgrew, or perhaps he just needed a hug to calm down. Regardless, I view this story as proof of the power of intercessory prayer and the communion of saints. In this case, two Jesuit priests introduced me to the person and prayer of…Fr. Rick Thomas, S.J., whose intercession helped free my son from his night terrors.