Tags: Religion | roma downey | mark burnett | new | series | tv

New Downey-Burnett 'Answered Prayers' Series Debuts Sunday

By    |   Friday, 24 July 2015 08:26 PM

"A life-changing journey of faith, hope, and answered prayers" – that's how actress/producer Roma Downey describes her new six-part series hosted and narrated by Downey on TLC, which debuts Sunday.

Fresh off their powerful cinematic NBC series "A.D.: The Bible Continues," the Hollywood power couple of Downey and husband Mark Burnett continue their fearless artist exploration of the intersection of faith and entertainment. Their latest endeavor, "Answered Prayers," will lift up your spirits and won't let you down.

The inspirational series, which debuts Sunday at 10 p.m. ET, presents real-life encounters with pulse-pounding miracles that seem to have one explanation: The power of prayer is real.

The series begins with the story of Trisha Gillis, a mother of three in Henryville, Ind., who experiences a supernatural warning that she must save her family from a terrible storm.

She leaves work early to drive home and wait for the school bus to drop off her children, but something tells her she's running out of time and must go get her children right away.

"I just got this emotion you can't describe until you feel it," she says in "Answered Prayers." "This was something telling me that my babies needed to be with me."

She races to the school and arrives just in time to pull her kids off the bus to drive them directly home. Once she arrives, she feels directed to pile every pillow and cushion she can into a small closet. "I don't know why it had to be padded so much. But I had every blanket in the house, I had every pillow in the house, and I had them around my babies."

The Henryville tornado was a killer F-4 storm with gusts over 250 mph. At those speeds, cars become missiles and houses are flattened. She later found out the bus their kids were supposed to be on was swept off the road and hurled into a diner. Trisha and husband Darrell hold onto their kids for dear life, but the storm has other plans. The house is ripped into the air.

In the documentary, Trisha recalls: "On that second spin, I just couldn't hold on any tighter. We were being pulled apart. I remember just praying, 'Oh God, protect the babies.' I just had to put them in God's hands."

When the couple regained consciousness, Trisha was pinned under debris with a fractured pelvis. Darrell had a punctured lung.

Their home had been thrown an estimated distance of 300 yards, and decimated. Their three children were lying face down about 8-feet away – none of them were moving. But gradually they regained consciousness, and were uninjured. Without a Good Samaritan driving by in a pick-up truck who was able to get the family to the hospital, their story might not have had the happy ending it did.

Says Trisha: "We always ask God to lead us: 'Tell me what You want me to do.' That day, I had to follow him. I know we were protected. Five people don't walk out of something like that, survive something like that, without God."

Each episode of "Answered Prayers" follows actual examples of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Their rock-solid faith during a crisis makes for powerfully inspirational stories, and the episodes reflect the Downey-Burnett gift for telling compelling stories. As each narratives progresses the suspense builds, and anyone with high blood pressure might want to take their medicine before they watch this show.

"This is not just a television series," said Victoria Osteen of Lakewood Church. "It's a message of hope to a world in need."

Kay Warren of Saddleback Church adds, "Roma Downey understand the power of prayer because she is a woman of prayer – her reliance on God for her daily needs has prepared her to showcase the stories of others who have found answers to their prayers."

A 3-year-old boy who survives a terrible lawn-mower accident, a pastor stabbed 37 times, a child buried for hours under 11 feet of sand, a family that survives when their car plunges upside-down into an icy river – these real stories presented in "Answered Prayers" will pluck at the heart strings. They'll also will leave even the strongest skeptics with the sense that, as Einstein observed, "God doesn't play dice with the universe."

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"A life-changing journey of faith, hope, and answered prayers" – that's how actress/producer Roma Downey describes her new six-part series hosted and narrated by Downey on TLC, which debuts Sunday July 26th.
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Friday, 24 July 2015 08:26 PM
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