The Power of Prayer

In the morning I’ll be participating in the Bashful Ostrich 5K for the second time in two consecutive years. The run benefits survivors of sexual abuse. I think sexual abuse is such a prevalent sin. Our society is very sex-centered— it seems that sex is used to advertise almost all merchandise and all we ever hear on TV is sex.

I don’t know what really causes people to sexually abuse others, but I know what the Bible says about humans: “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9).

I know there are many people who have suffered from this type of abuse. They are wounded souls who long to be free of the emotional pain that haunts them. I think it’s good that they talk to someone like a counselor, but I think the only way they can be truly free is to allow God to heal them.

I used to cry whenever I thought about the years of abuse I encountered as a child. I wanted so badly to be free of those memories. I prayed continually but it seemed like God didn’t hear me.

Then after about 30 years of emotional torment, I woke up one day and realized that God had released me from my miserable state. I no longer cried when I talked about the past—my memories were not daggers twisting in my heart anymore.

I remember when I encouraged a small group of women to build on their relationship with God. One woman tearfully asked how I could go on without feeling hurt from my past. All I could tell her was to keep praying and never lose hope that God will heal her.

James 5:13 says, “Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray” (NASB). Luke 11:9-10 tells us, “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened” (NASB).

God answers prayers. Your prayer may not be answered tomorrow or next week, but if you are persistent in your prayer then He will answer. It took almost 30 years for my prayer to be answered, but I am so thankful that I did not give up—that I kept praying to God for relief. God is so good.

I think God didn’t answer my prayer right away because praying brought me closer to Him. The process of praying strengthened my faith in Him, and it was a reassurance to me that I truly believed in Him.

The nearly 30 years of praying and waiting changed me. It was like I was in a washing machine for that whole time. I wasn’t placed in the “quick cycle,” but the “extra clean cycle.”

Satan can no longer use the pain of my past to keep me down. I now pray for the people who sexually abused me. I am hoping that God will change them and that they will repent and ask Him for forgiveness.  God can do anything because “with God all things are possible” (Matt 19:26). Thank you, God!

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

Be persistent

My husband had a meeting in Columbus today and I decided to go with him. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get into the room at the hotel at 9 am this morning so I was content in staying in the lobby as long as I could work on my computer. When I tried to log into their WiFi it kept asking me for my room number. I went to the counter and asked the woman if I could get access to use the internet but she said I needed a room and none were available yet.

So then I tried to access the internet on the guest computer and this time there were two ways to login—using my last name and room number or through a login code that was available through the front desk. I went up to her and asked if I could get a login code. She again said that I needed a room number and that she would see if a room was available. I decided to connect my computer to their wired network so I could show her the website that asked for a login code. This time when I went to the front desk she said that she would look for a room, and she found one!

The whole incident reminded me of the story in Luke 11:5-8—

“Then, teaching them more about prayer, he [Jesus] used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence” (NLT).

I really wanted to use the internet and I kept going up to the counter to see if she could help me. I felt like a “pest” but I really needed to work. In the end I was able to get into a room very early.

How persistent are you when you pray to God?

In verses 9 to 10 of Luke, it says, “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened” (NLT).

If your prayer is for God to intervene in your life or in someone else’s life, then don’t stop praying about it— be persistent— don’t stop praying until He has answered your prayer. First Thessalonians 5:17 reminds us to “pray continually” (NIV).  Sometimes it takes a few years for God to answer a prayer— don’t give up— just keep praying!

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti