Sharing stories about how God has touched his life, famed entertainer Pat Boone called on attendees of the 50th annual Glendale Mayor's Prayer Breakfast to let prayer into their lives, now more than ever due to recent acts of mass violence.
"Our nation needs prayer, we always do, but we know it now more than ever," Boone said as he spoke before more than 250 people at the Civic Auditorium.
Wearing a white suit with brown-and-blue stripes and a pin featuring both American and Israeli flags, Boone went on to describe prayer as a supernatural conversation between people and God, and gave examples of how it has helped him and others in his life.
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He recalled a harrowing 40-foot fall his grandson, Ryan Corbin, took about 12 years ago through the roof of a Los Angeles apartment building, landing on a concrete floor. Boone and his family prayed that Corbin would survive, although doctors told them it was unlikely.
But Corbin did survive. He spent seven months in a coma and when he awoke, it was hard for him to focus.
"It was like he was looking for fish in a tank," Boone said, adding that now at 36, his grandson is still recuperating.
"That he will live and not die, that's what we clung to," said Boone, who after a long singing, acting and producing career, wrote several religious books.
Boone, who's also national spokesman for the 60 Plus Assn., hasn't just prayed for his family, he's also prayed for those who don't believe in God.
He told a story about meeting a pornographer who said he wasn't religious, but asked Boone to pray for him. The two met in the steam room at the Sands Casino in Las Vegas about 25 years ago.
Boone said he and other entertainers such as Sammy Davis Jr. and Robert Goulet would often use the casino's steam room.
When Boone mentioned Goulet during his breakfast speech, the crooner sang a bit of Goulet's well-known song "If Ever I Would Leave You" in a deep baritone voice.
One day, the pornographer came into the steam room and started asking Boone about why he prayed. Boone said the man, who was set to have gallstone surgery, asked him to pray for him so he would be healthier. Boone said he would pray, so long as the man prayed, too.
The man called Boone after seeing his doctor and told him that he no longer needed surgery. His gallstones had disappeared.
"I had goose bumps, " Boone said. "His life was changed very dramatically when he discovered he could communicate with God."
-- Brittany Levine, Times Community News