The Praying Mantis

The Praying Mantis

The Praying Mantis

I was barely out of college. My journalism degree helped me land a part-time office job with the publisher of a Texas restaurant guide. The hours were flexible and so I could continue my prayer time schedule of 8 a.m. mass, then prayer until 9. The publication folded in less than a year.

Then came the God-incidence. I worked as a volunteer one weekend in the pressroom of a large Catholic conference. The manager of the pressroom was the editor of the diocesan newspaper. He was looking for a copyeditor. The job would bring some opportunities to write stories, interview people and get published with a byline!

After a short interview in his office the next week, he hired me. Then he smiled and asked, “Can you type?” He became my mentor.

So here I was on my first morning of this exciting dream job. I was so stimulated that morning that I got up early to iron an outfit I determined would make a good first impression on the staff. But the iron was too hot and scorched the blouse. Later I was thankful because that definitely was not the right outfit.

I scurried around getting dressed in a more casual suit and took off for the chancery office across town.  The stoplight a mile into my new journey was red — for a long time. As I waited for my turn, a praying mantis landed on my windshield wiper. It stayed there and looking at me through the windshield as I stared back.

Then I checked my watch. It was 8:00. Prayer time. I thought to myself, “This praying mantis is really out of his element. Okay, Lord, you sent me a silent messenger to remind me that I need to get my prayer time with you back on my schedule.”

He sent the praying mantis, Mantis religiosa, as a humorous reminder of our prayer time together, which I neglected that morning. Prompted by the praying mantis, I soon found the chapel at the Chancery, making it my quiet place for prayer.

“If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13)

What kind of humorous or unusual reminders has the Lord sent you?

Copyright 2013 Nancy H C Ward


About Author

Nancy Ward writes and speaks about Catholicism, her conversion and Christian community at, plus 7 websites and magazines. She loves to tell her faith story to Catholic groups and help others tell theirs. Her "Sharing YOUR Faith Story, a three-part seminar for evangelization," is available live or DVD. She contributed to The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion.


  1. Last week “My Spiritual Idiolect and the Dead Battery” was posted on and simultaneously on It tells the background and method of my prayer life. So I refer yout to and then we’ll talk, okay?

  2. Michelle Easley on

    Miracles happen every day, but we are often too involved to notice, distracted by the brutal routines we impose upon ourselves. Taking a serious praying mantis in earnest might get by me in this day and age of fantastic special effects!

    Rededicating ourselves to a calming routine of prayer, inviting God into our day, will allow us to recognize His hand in so many subtle moments in our lives. Thanks for the reminder of how each snowflake, each breath of life, and each twinkle in someone’s eye is a reflection of our Creator’s love for us.

  3. I have one of these in my front yard. I have a statue of Mary and I like to believe it comes there to pray. For some reason, I woke up feeling amazing and happy today. Maybe my God-incidence too.

Leave A Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.