At the Healing Ministry, we often have concerned family members come in to talk about the troubled loved ones in their lives. You can see by their faces and words that they are deeply saddened by the direction the loved one’s life is heading. Many of the loved ones have had difficult struggles and their lives are a disappointment to themselves as well as family members. Their loved one keeps making the wrong choices and ends up suffering painful circumstances due to those choices. Nothing anybody does to help seems to work and the loved one keeps making the same mistakes again and again.
This is not the life the family would hope for their loved one. In fact at times it is difficult for them to be hopeful for the loved one’s future. The question in everybody’s mind is, “When will he/she change?”
As I’ve listened to these family members, I’ve been given a realistic picture, for the first time, of how my parents must have felt all those years when my life was spinning out of control. They kept trying to rescue me from all my awful choices, only to end up disappointed – yet again. I imagine that their hearts ached as they watched me suffer one tragedy after another. The more they tried to help me the worse my behavior became. I remember one time when I was hospitalized for alcoholism. I worked the program and appeared to have overcome the addiction. When I was released from the hospital I remained sober for a month or so and then my drinking escalated to an even higher level than before I was hospitalized. Watching my drinking behavior devastated my parents. They lost hope for my future.
Well, my mom is a praying woman and she is friends with women who believed in the power of prayer. So, a group of women started praying for me. I’d like to say that the instant they started praying that my healing was completed. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The healing began instantly, but it took quite a few years for me to reach out and receive that healing. I would get better for awhile and then I’d fall back into my old ways again and again. This rollercoaster pattern continued for many years.
I will always be thankful to that precious group of women who never stopped praying for me. At times they had almost given up all hope that I would ever change, but they persistently pounded the doors of heaven on my behalf! I know that as they watched me get worse and worse they were tempted to give up on me. I am blessed that they didn’t. They believed that God could change me and help me become who I was intended to be by rescuing me from a lifestyle that was killing me. When all circumstances of my life pointed to the fact that I was going to destroy myself they continued to have hope that God could/would save me.
I stand before you today as a product of persistent prayer. I’m where I am because of the hope of Jesus Christ buried in the hearts of those faithful women. They refused to give up on me. They persisted in praying even when it looked like God wasn’t answering. God heard their prayers and He answered them.
If you are in a circumstance where you feel like giving up I would like to say, “Don’t stop praying. Don’t lose hope. Don’t give up on God.” I am living proof of what Canon Holbeck says, “We pray. God hears. We have.” I am alive today because of those women who never lost hope that God would answer their prayers!