voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only
two of the men on it were able to swim to a small,
desert-like island. The two survivors, not knowing what
else to do, agreed that they had no other recourse but to
pray to God. However, to find out whose prayer was more
powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them
and stay on opposite sides of the island.
The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning,
the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the
land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man's
parcel of land remained barren.
After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to
pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the
survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On
the other side of the island, there was nothing.
Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, more food.
The next day, it was God's will, all of these were given to him.
However, the second man still had nothing.
Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his
wife could leave the island. In the morning, he found a
ship docked at his side of the island.
The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to
leave the second man on the island. He considered the other
man unworthy to receive God's blessings, since none of his
prayers had been answered.
As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice
from heaven booming, "Why are you leaving your companion on
"My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed
for them," the first man answered. "His prayers were all
and so he does not deserve anything."
"You are mistaken!" the voice rebuked him. "He had
prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not
have received any of my blessings."
"Tell me," the first man asked the voice, "What did
for that I should owe him anything?"
"He prayed that all your prayers be answered."
For all we know, our blessings are not the fruits of our
prayers alone, but those of another praying for us.