Bill Lacovara, an insurance adjuster, was fishing at the ocean with his son when he spotted a flowered plastic shopping bag and waded out to retrieve it. The bag contained letters - about 300 in all, sent to a New Jersey minister as requests for prayer - most of them unopened.
The minister had died two years prior at the age of 79. How the letters, some dating to 1973, wound up bobbing in the surf is still a mystery.
"There are hundreds of lives here, a lot of struggle, washed up on the beach," said Lacovara.
Some requests were humorous : "I'm still praying to hit the lottery twice, first the $50,000," one man wrote. "Then after some changes have taken place let me hit the millionaire."
Some, however, were heart-wrenching. One unwed mother wrote that her baby was due in four weeks, and asked God to make the father fall in love with her and marry her so the child would have a father.
Lacovara said he that he is sad that most of the writers never had their letters read. He hopes to change that soon: He is putting the collection up for sale on e-Bay.
According to John, the saints need never worry that their prayers are reaching God : "... and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel." Rev. 8:4 (ESV)
Let us pray on saints.
Pastor Van Morris