No one is born with the capability to pray. You have to learn it. Especially when you're the one being prayed for. If you would have asked me 25 years ago if prayer really worked, I would have mocked and laughed at you, and rolled my eyes.
But my mom had been praying for years for me! I was married for eight years and was in the sin of adultery and addicted to drugs and alcohol. At the time, I had three small children ages 5, 3 and 1.
I thought I had pulled off my adulterous affair without anyone knowing, but my mom knew. she knew everything, and yet she was praying for me behind the scenes. I pretended to be the faithful wife and cheerful mommy. But in time, my husband found out and did the unthinkable. He put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
When you’re responsible for someone else’s death, the guilt consumes you. I tried to erase my shame by taking more drugs and alcohol…but that wore off because I couldn’t run from my sin. I needed forgiveness.
And my mom kept praying. She never stopped.
Soon after I was arrested for drug possession. Sitting in a cell, I yelled at God. In the middle of my tantrum, I ran out of things to blame God for and I sobbed relentless fits of pain until I could cry no more. Within moments of this isolated time in space…two words came forth from my mouth. “I’m sorry.” I repeated those two words…over and over and over again. “Oh God, I’m so sorry! God! I’m sorry.” As I slumped in my cell, I know that was the very moment I had received God’s forgiveness.
I couldn’t wait to tell my mom! I called her from jail, happy!!! “Mom,” I said, “I’m okay. I have Jesus. I’m going to prison, but I’ll be okay.
I got Jesus!”
And my mom prayed even more!
On the day that I received God’s forgiveness, I put a welcome mat in front of the door of my heart and I said to Jesus, “Please, come in.” You are welcome to reign and rule over my life. And I’ve never been the same—I’m radically different. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Miraculously by God’s grace, today I’m remarried to a godly man—a pastor!— who has adopted my three children as his own. As a family, we all serve and love God. As husband and wife, we serve in the drug and alcohol ministry, helping others discover the forgiveness of God too.
All because my mom prayed for me.
About three years ago, my mom finished her race, and she is in heaven, sitting at the feet of Jesus (heavy sigh!) She never got to see her grandchildren say, “I love Jesus!”
Because of her prayers for me, the story lives on.
So, today if you were to ask me, “Does prayer really work? Does it really change anything?”
I can confidently, say without a doubt, yes. It changes everything—even the next generation.