, blogger for 100 Days of Prayer devotionals
I have always believed in prayer, and I always prayed. However, it’s not been until the last few years that I’ve really discovered the power that there is when we, in earnest faith, cling to the promises of God’s Word in prayer.
Because of how prayer has changed my own life, it’s been a great privilege to write for this 100 Days of Prayer initiative on behalf of the Seventh-day Adventist world church. It’s also been thrilling as testimonies have started coming in from around the world on how the 100 Days of Prayer is helping change lives. If there is going to be a greater corporate revival and outpouring of the Holy Spirit, there needs to be a greater personal revival as well.
Let me share a few recent testimonies from the 100 Days of Prayer:
The president of the South West Ethiopia Field, Gemechis Jafe, wrote via e-mail: “My words cannot explain how much I am blessed so far by 100 Days of Prayer. It is really uplifting the soul. I have announced to all churches in my local field. And most of them are praying. Some of you are expecting the outpouring of the Holy Spirit after 90 days of prayer, but I am getting filled starting from the first day of prayer. Praise the Lord!”
A young man named Eden from the Philippines wrote: “God allowed me to subscribe to this 100 Days of Prayer initiative because He knows that I'm searching for Him. Honestly, I have changed a lot. He changed me by His Word. I have grown spiritually and He has changed my life completely. I know that He is preparing me for His second coming.”
Angela from Ghana shared enthusiastically, “This 100 Days of Prayer has been so much of a blessing that I wish we could do it everyday for ever.”
Many have tweeted pictures of prayer groups of all ages and sizes (#100days2015), while one girl from Sydney, Australia, shared how God has been bringing her church’s choir into greater unity since they’ve been praying together during the 100 Days of Prayer.
However, one of my favorite testimonies of how God is changing lives during this 100 Days comes from South Africa. The testimony started a little over a month ago when I received a personal e-mail from a stranger. I will call her Laura to protect her privacy.
Her e-mail was essentially a desperate plea for help.
“I need someone to pray for me and advise me on how to fast and pray.Please pray for me. Our marriage has serious problems, which is leaving me emotionally broken. And because of that, I am struggling spiritually. I feel I am going deeper and deeper into things which are not good. I can't pray, I can't read the Bible no matter how much I want to (I know its sound crazy!). I don't know who I am anymore, and my life is falling apart.”
I wrote Laura back, promising that I would be praying for her. I also sent her some of my resources on fasting and prayer. After that, I didn’t hear more from her, so I wasn’t sure what happened.
Then a few days ago, she e-mailed again. I had no idea what to expect as I opened the message. Would she be asking for more prayer? Did she have more issues she needed to tell me about?
Her e-mail flooded my heart with joy as I once again saw that we serve an amazing God who hears and answers prayer.
The following are excerpts from her e-mail, which she has given permission to publish anonymously:
For six years my husband and I have been struggling with many issues in our marriage. We tried getting counseling from our pastor. It didn't work. We went for marital counseling. It didn't work. Marriage seminars didn't work. Nothing was working.
From outside our marriage looked perfect. People would tell us how wonderful we are. But inside we both knew that we were not connected. Our love had faded away, and this problem affected me seriously. Knowing that I was not loved by my husband made me feel empty, sad, very confused and very lost, to the point were I could not pray.
The more I was not praying, the more horrible I felt! I was becoming more and more depressed!
To give you some background, my husband is more spiritual than me. He has been my spiritual mentor since we met. Many things I know about God are from him. When I told him about your blog on 100 Days of Prayer regarding prayer and fasting for 21 days he was very skeptical. He gave me all the reasons why I should not do it. But I was not convinced. I knew for sure I needed to do it right away, even if it meant I would do it alone.
It was a Sunday early in the morning when I told my husband to pray for me because I was going to start the 21 days of prayer and fasting. Guess what? Without any hesitation he told me, "I am doing it with you!"
That was my first miracle! You see, before we got married we used to pray together, but after our wedding everything faded away. One would hardly see us praying together. Now my husband and I were going to do 21 days of prayer and fasting together! It was like a dream come true for me!
And so we began. During the 21 days of prayer my greatest request was "Lord change my life, I want to fall in love with Jesus again." I knew very well if I don't have the love of Jesus in my heart, the love of my husband that I was looking for could never fill my heart.
The Bible says in Psalm 38: 4, "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him."
Dear Raluca, God is so good and so merciful, His love endures forever. I can testify to it. God has healed my marriage and brought peace and happiness into our marriage again. My husband is crazy in love with me more than you can imagine.
But the greatest miracle God did is the work He did in my spiritual life. I fell in love with the Word of God again, and I love being in His presence.
If I wrote everything that has happened, it would take forever. Just know that I am not the same woman who wrote you that first message a little over a month ago! Jesus came to my heart and this time He has come to stay.
Much love, Laura
Of course, we can’t take any credit for what God has done for Laura and her husband. All we can do is share what God has done in our own lives. But as we share our testimonies, God can use this to help others. And that’s one reason why I’m sharing Laura’s testimony. Her story is evidence of what the Holy Spirit can do in the heart of a couple that is truly seeking the help that only God can give. Yes, prayer works, and fasting and prayer could save your marriage.
Adventist Church cofounder Ellen G. White tells us, “Every promise in the Word of God is for us. In your prayers, present the pledged word of Jehovah and by faith claim His promises. His word is the assurance that if you ask in faith, you will receive all spiritual blessings. Continue to ask, and you will receive exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think. Educate yourself to have unlimited confidence in God. Cast all your care upon Him. Wait patiently for Him, and He will bring it to pass” (In Heavenly Places, p. 71).
We are in the final stretch of the 100 Days of Prayer now. We invite you to join us at 100daysofprayer.org as we continue praying for our church and praying that God will change our own hearts and lives, and even our marriages. Truly we serve a great God who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.
Read Raluca Ril’s article on fasting and prayer on the 100 Days of Prayer website.