Many times we have a loved one that just seems to be drifting farther and farther away into self-destruction. We have tried everything to bring them into our Lord’s salvation, but nothing seems to work. People will tell us that only thing left to do is to release them and pray for them, but admittedly that is easier said than done. This is especially true when we are talking about a parent or a sibling or even our own children. However, we must remind ourselves that no sermon, nor discussion, nor argument is as powerful as prayer and the greatest chance that a loved one has is for you to dedicate yourself to pray for them .
The story of the pastors here at New Vision Community Church is a great reminder of just that. Before truly giving their life to Jesus Christ, known back then as just Luis and Lucy, they had spiraled into an abyss. Lucy was a Christian. She had accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, but after getting into an argument with her pastor, she stopped going to church. She was disillusioned with the Christian leadership, but instead of seeking another church, she just reverted back to secular ways and she went along with her husband’s destructive behavior.
Luis was an alcoholic. If he asked Lucy for a drink, she would comply. Together, they began dabbling in the occult and making friends with people engaged in witchcraft. Their marriage was broken. They fought all the time and sometimes it got violent but that wasn’t even the worst of it. Luis was a womanizer and his infidelity devastated Lucy. Her health started to deteriorate. She had to undergo a hysterectomy and shortly after, she began to suffer from panic attacks. Within that same year, Luis was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Their two youngest elementary-school aged children, Lisa and Miguel, were suffering from watching their parents fall apart. Lisa stopped eating because she kept “feeling like as if she was choking.” She got dangerously thin and was considered anorexic. The same week that she had throat surgery, her dad had a prostatectamy. To make matters worse, Luis’ family decided to drop by for a surprise visit and while his mother was having dinner, she suffered a stroke. Could things really get worse?
Two of their older children, away at college at the time, were brokenhearted because of the turmoil back home. They were Christian and they had tried sharing the Bible with their parents, they had argued with them, they had tried to reason with them, but to no avail. The situation almost seemed hopeless. For these older children it was devastating. To know their parents were in such a mess and then to see their little brother and sister suffer because of it was almost too much to bear. They had even talked about how after graduation and after securing a job they would try to take custody of Lisa and Miguel. But at that moment, with hardly any money in the bank, there was not much they could do, so they did the only thing they could do, pray.
After Luis’ family had finally left and his mother had recuperated, Lucy hit rock bottom. One day while driving, she felt as if she had been hit on the side of the head with a baseball bat. She lost consciousness. Luis with his quick reflexes took control of the steering wheel and was able to pull them over to safety. Lucy refused to go to the hospital and went home instead. When she woke up the next morning, she was experiencing paralysis on her left side. She was hospitalized and after running every test available at the time, the doctors believed it was a possible stroke but had not been able to confirm it. The day she was released from the hospital, she made her way to her office and found her Bible. There it was, full of dust. It had been untouched for more than a year. Upon inspecting it, she was overtaken with emotion and started shouting at God that she did want to live anymore. The only thing she had left was her children, and if it was not for them, she just wanted life to end. And then the phone rang. It was Dinora.
Luis and Lucy had known Dinora for many many years. Early on in their marriage, Dinora had tried to evangelize to them and would call them periodically to share the “good news” and give them some prophetic words. The whole idea of prophecy bewildered Lucy and so she came to think of her as just plain old crazy. But despite Lucy’s and Luis’ dismissal of her, Dinora had not stopped thinking about them nor praying for them. Every time Dinora would call the house, Lucy would just let it go to voicemail so she would not have to talk to the crazy lady. But not that day. That day Lucy was desperate. That day she just picked up the phone without looking at the caller ID. She was in desperate need of a little bit of hope. Sweet Dinora told her that the Lord had given her instruction to call her, to intercede on their behalf, and had been praying fervently for Luis and Lucy for three months. That day Lucy committed herself to Jesus Christ. That day she made him Lord over her life and committed herself to leaving the old man nature. That was the beginning to life changing events that would eventually land them in Laredo, TX and where they would become Pastors of this dynamic little church.
How many times had their older children tried to talk some sense into Luis and Lucy? How many times had Dinora? Other friends and pastors had also tried. Nothing seemed to work. But during the time that Luis and Lucy were spiraling out of control, there were people praying for them. Their children were praying. Dinora was praying. And others were also praying. Prayer opens spiritual doors for God to be able to do His work. Prayer is an enabler and in the spiritual realm it tears down strongholds. And when Luis and Lucy hit rock bottom, the prayer and obedience of one woman would pave the way for a new beginning for Lucy and eventually for Luis as well. So give yourself to prayer, especially when all else seems lost. You will be surprised at the results.
We leave you with two verses to ponder.
I Thessalonias 5:17 Pray without Ceasing.
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.