Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon and recently announced Republican presidential candidate, gave a moving personal speech at the National Day of Prayer event in Washington, D.C., May 7.
One key story he shared was of a prophetic dream that changed the course of his life while he was a pre-med student at Yale.
Failing his chemistry course, a prerequisite for medical school, he had one last opportunity to pull off a passing grade. But the night before his final exam, still not comprehending the material, he cried out to God for a prophetic move.
"'Lord, medicine is the only thing I've ever wanted to do,'" Carson recounted his prayer at the breakfast. "'I thought that was what You wanted from me. And yet, it looks like I'm going to fail chemistry and I'm not going to go to medical school.
"And I said, 'So would You please tell me what it is You really want me to do. Or, alternatively and preferably, work a miracle,'" he continued, eliciting chuckles from the audience.
After praying, Carson had picked up his Chemistry textbook, determined to learn the whole course overnight. But his efforts were futile, and he fell asleep.
His slumber, however, bore more fruit than his attempts at all-night cramming ever could. While he slept, God answered Carson's prayers with a prophetic dream.
"I was in this large auditorium," Carson described the dream. "Just me, and a nebulous figure working out chemistry problems."
When he awoke early the next morning, the dream was fresh and vivid in his mind as he looked through his textbook.
"When I went to take the test the next morning, it was like The Twilight Zone," Carson said. "I opened that [test] book and I recognized the first problem; it was one of the ones I'd dreamed about. And the next, and the next, and the next."
"I aced the exam," he said to rousing applause.
"I really began to understand early in my life the incredible power of prayer and our connection to God, and what a difference it made throughout my entire medical career," Carson said at the end of the story.
Giving credit for his groundbreaking medical career to God, he also shared other key turning points in his life where prayer played a pivotal role, including his mother's prayers for her sons' education and character, as well as his prayers to gain control of his near-murderous temper as a teenager.
Carson, who retired as the head of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2013, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2008. A New York Times best-selling author, and the subject of the Cuba Gooding Jr.-led 2009 film Gifted Hands, Carson rose to political prominence after speaking at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast.
On May 3, he announced his decision to seek the Republican nomination for the 2016 Presidential Election.
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