Many people believe falsely that their prayers land on deaf ears. However, I am living proof that they do not. I remember when I was at my lowest, and made a simple prayer to God and He answered me back. I was driving from one military base to another in Okinawa, Japan. My world was falling apart around me and I felt like I could barely tread water to survive. I was drowning by every sense of the word. My wife and I were talking about getting a divorce, my children did not want anything to do with me and the military messed up my family’s paperwork to get us all back to the United States together. They were going to have to stay in Okinawa for another three to four months, while I had to leave the island. So, I started to drink. Drinking did not help solve any issues, however, it allowed me to temperately forget about my current problems.
During this time of my life, I did not have a good prayer life. However, while driving between bases, I had nothing left to lose and I cried out to my Heavenly Father. I remember telling God that I was lost and that I felt like a failure. I told God that I would do anything He wanted me to do to fix the problems in my life, but I did not know how to do it. Then clear as day, I heard, “stop drinking.” As I slammed on the brakes, I turned around and noticed that no one was in the van with me. I humbly told God that day that I would never drink a sip of alcohol again (a covenant that I have kept since 2012).
After this promise that I made God occurred, things started to move in my life. My family’s paperwork was resolved in just two weeks. Things started to calm down in my home, and this was just the start. We then moved to Austin, Texas and shortly after, I had to have my third shoulder surgery and then I had kidney failure thirty days later. I literally almost died, it was a 50/50 chance of survival from the severity of the surgery that I needed. When my urologist told me that I was lucky to be alive because I did not drink anymore, I remembered my covenant with the Lord. Just two simple words that He gave me transformed my life forever.
I am not writing this today to share a part of my testimony with everyone, but to give a brief insight on how powerful and effective prayer is to a believer’s life. I was at rock bottom with no where left to go, and God saw otherwise. Since many years have passed now, whenever I feel weak or at a low place again, I remember those two words, “stop drinking.” Those two words saved and transformed my life forever. As a young Christian at the time, I did not understand exactly how prayer worked or even if God was listening to them. However, I now know different. It is written, “therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much,” (James 5:16, NASB).
Now what exactly is does that mean? This Scripture embodies what I went through and allows me to highlight two things to help others do the same. Firstly, we all come to a point and time in our lives where we must confess our sins. I did so unexpectedly when I cried out to God about everything in my life, to included, all of my short comings as a father and a husband. Now, I was not expecting to hear God’s voice, but I just had no where left to turn, but towards God. Secondly, only when you have no where left to turn to but God, allows us to humble ourselves before His majesty. The only option I had left in my life was to turn to God, repent and seek His forgiveness and comfort. When we can honestly turn to God, and honestly know that He is our only solution for everything, will allow Him to work fully into our lives. You see, God does not want part of you. Would anyone reading this today want only part of God’s grace? The answer is no. The same stands for our Heavenly Father. It is not until a person can fully give his or her life to God, that allows Him to move mountains for us, or provide comfort in our hearts for things that we must endure to help others in the future.
It is only when the two points I addressed happen that our prayers can be seen to God as righteous. A righteous prayer can move the hand of God, the one who moves this very world. Just as a simple prayer transformed my life, it can do the same for you.
I would also like to write a little about God’s grace. By definition, grace is the merciful behavior of a more powerful person toward another. God does not need to give mercy and love towards mankind, but He does so anyway because He is an amazing Father. When I fully gave in to the Lord, I started to see things move. It was not due to my own skills, but the grace of God. Through prayer and God’s grace, I have been transformed. I literally should not be alive today, however, God saw that my life still had purpose. Since then, I have devoted my time into being a better husband and father. I try my hardest to set a good example for my family, even though sometimes I fall short. However, this is only possible through God’s grace.
There is no doubt in my mind that if anyone reading this post today is struggling with their faith, doesn’t have any faith, is going through hard trails, or has hit rock bottom; that God can and will lift you back up if you allow Him to. All it takes is a humble heart and the acceptance of His son Jesus Christ into your life. We are taught in Psalm 55:22 to cast our burdens upon the Lord and He will sustain you. These are not empty words, but a promise from the creator of heaven and earth.
I would like to pray today for anyone feeling hurt, ashamed, unloved, angry, or lost. I pray that they can turn to the only one that can move mountains, our God. Only by allowing yourself to be vulnerable, can you find strength and refuge in His love. It is only then that we can be transformed through the power of prayer and see God’s grace in our lives. God bless you all today!