The power of prayer works. I can say this doubtlessly because there have been just too many events in my life and in the lives of others to negate it.  While there have been many instances where God or the universe have stepped in to change the path of my life, one holds a cherished place in my memory that always reminds me that the power of prayer and a little bit of faith can move mountains.

When I was a young college student and had just given birth to my first child, I was faced with a difficult situation. My husband and I were living apart from family and we had no one to help take care of the baby while I attended school. My professors were kind enough to allow me to bring him to my classes as I completed the fall semester, but by January, I had still not found childcare. The optimist in me kept looking, but before I knew it, the drop deadline had passed. The school kept my financial aid and I found myself owing $2,600 before I could return to complete my last year of college.

I was devastated. I didn’t have a clue how I would come up with that kind of money. My husband and I were young and were living paycheck to paycheck. No one in my family had ever completed college and I wanted to finish what I had started. That is when I did what others often do in times of crisis; I prayed. The prayer was simple, “Please God, help me find a way to finish school. Help me find the money I need to complete my degree.” I prayed every day for a year and a half and it was then my prayers were answered.

My husband was from California and we had decided to make the drive from Colorado to visit his family. I mentioned to my mother-in-law that I would love to go see the Price is Right. I had been watching Bob Barker and his beauties since I was three years old and she gladly procured two tickets to attend the taping of the show. My husband’s family, who was used to the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, was not interested in going with me, but I was finally able to talk my sister-in-law, Julie, into it.

We had to be at the studio by 7 a.m. the day of the taping. As we stopped for coffee on the way to the studio, I asked if we could visit the wholesale district after the show so I could find a cheap suitcase since luggage was so expensive. She said we could and we preceded to the CBS studios.

After hours of waiting in line, we were taken in small groups before the executive producers and director. They gave us each 10 seconds to tell them who we were, where we were from, and what we did. I was incredibly excited to be there and gleefully answered all of their questions. I explained how long I had been a fan and that I would love to meet Bob Barker in person.

We were then herded into a small studio. I was surprised at how little it was because it looked so much bigger on television. Long orange and brown curtains hung from the walls of the studio and the seats were clearly the same as the ones I was used to seeing on the television. Once the taping began, we cheered as directed and there was a palpable energy in the room. I found myself suddenly in shock when I heard my name called down to contestant’s row. I jumped quickly out of my seat and ran down the aisles, high fiving the other contestants who had made their way up to foot of the stage.

I missed my first two opportunities to get on stage with Bob Barker. When the third round came, I was going to be able to give the final bid. Barker’s beauties revealed the product we had to bid on. It was luggage! I laughed to myself at the irony.

As the bids were spoken, my heart thudded in my chest. Before I knew it, Bob Barker was looking at me and asked, “Angela, what’s your bid?” I knew the highest bid was $500, so I went one dollar over and said $501. That is when Bob gave the actual retail price and I was the winning bidder!

I was so excited; I ran onto the stage and kissed Bob on the cheek. I was finally meeting the man I had grown up watching give away cars, trips, and other prizes. It was so surreal, like being in a dream. It was happening so fast, my head was spinning.

Before I knew it, I was set up to play Plinko! I had to correctly price several items to earn chips to play on the Plinko board. With help from the audience, I correctly guessed the prices of a toy guitar, an electric teakettle, facial cream, and an onion slicer.

With four chips in my hands, I climbed the stairs to the top of the Plinko board. With a deep breath and my heart pounding wildly in my chest, I laid the first chip flat against the board and let it go. The chip pinged and bounced off several pegs before sliding into the $100 slot at the bottom of the board. I smiled and shrugged it off, thinking, “Well, I am $100 richer than when I walked in here this morning.”

As I let the next chip go, it pinged around the board and landed in the $1,000 slot! I was ecstatic and had a huge smile on my face. I moved on with the next chip and it landed in the $500 slot. With my final chip in my hand, I looked at the best possible placement and let it slip from my fingertips. I watched it bounce around the board and thought it was going to end up in the zero slot, but it moved at the last seconded and glided right into the $1,000 slot. I had won exactly $2,600, just what I needed to pay off the school so I could finish college. I just couldn’t believe my eyes!

The day I received the check in the mail, I went straight to the bank to deposit it and headed for the university. It never felt so good to be back on campus and one year later, I crossed the stage to accept my degree.

After all of these years, the power of prayer and faith still resonate with me. While I am not a religious person, I do believe prayer works and that one need not be religious to benefit from it. I also think having a little faith can take you much farther than if you are operating on empty. Anyone, even those who don’t believe in a higher power, can put his or her wishes and dreams out into the universe for help by manifesting positive thoughts and believing that you can have the things you most desire in life. The next time you find yourself in need, a little prayer and faith can help if you just believe.