Either my mother or father would call out, "time for devotions," around eight p.m. most nights. I would immediately roll my eyes so far back in my head that I was surprised I could still see. Then I'd head toward the room at less-than-a-snail’s pace. My shoulders were slumped, and my lip was out. I wanted my parents to know I was not happy with this prayer time thing. They were interrupting my entertainment or a phone call with my girlfriend. I mean, really? Did we really have to pray every night?
I'm thankful for God's grace and that my parents put up with my foolishness as I mumbled out the shortest prayers I could think of back then. Over the years, they continued to pray for me with unfailing hope as they witnessed my continued resistance to totally committing my life to God. I mean, I had asked Jesus into my heart at five years old. What else was there?
Fast forward thirty years. I had become a successful sales and marketing consultant who was managing my own marketing team. I was earning a six-figure salary and had won numerous awards as a top producer for the company I worked for. I drove my dream car with a vanity license plate, and I lived down the street from the Dallas Cowboys facility. I would even say a quick prayer on the way to work each morning. Life was good. No; better than good. Life was great! Then on July 1, 2010, everything changed.
I was wheeled out of my office on a gurney. I had no idea what was happening. I had trouble speaking, and my words were slurred. I knew something was wrong as I was raced to the hospital in the ambulance. In the emergency room, there was chaos mixed with expert precision. I tried to scream that I was claustrophobic as they attempted to do a CT scan of my head. I woke up in a hospital room a few days later.
I could not sit up, and my right leg was fastened to the bed to prevent any more blood clotting. I wondered where I was, and my injured brain played tricks on me. I cried out for help. A nurse came to the door and said, "You're awake, I'll get the doctor." The doctor stepped into the room and informed me I had suffered a massive stroke, which had paralyzed my entire left side. I could not believe it. I was stunned, devastated. I lay there crying, wondering how this happened to me?
It was a lonely feeling as I lay in ICU. I was haunted by the constant beeping of machines that were monitoring me. When family members visited, they would ask me questions. I couldn’t remember anything. They tried to encourage me but the sadness and concern in their faces was evident. At night, my mind was all over the place; I had dreams ranging from horrific nightmares of the ICU nurse trying to kill me to dreams of relaxing on the beach with the ER nurse. (She looked at me like I was crazy when I told her I remembered her from the beach.)
During all the confusion, I knew one thing for sure. I knew I could pray. I'm thankful God heard my words through all my whimpering as I lay completely still every night. At first, I asked Him if this was really happening and why. When I opened my eyes, the tiles on the ceiling reminded me of my reality.
For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the Lord, and discover the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:3-5).
I asked Him that He heal my body and allow me to walk again if it was His will. I still had every intention of returning to my successful sales and marketing career, but God had better plans for my life…hallelujah!
The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps (Proverbs 16:9).
God spared my brain from permanent damage, allowing me to read and study His word. He continues to lead me to share my story of transformation as evidence of His AWESOME power. There is power in prayer.
I share my story with you today in hopes of driving this point home: prayer is personal. "Purposeful Prayer is having intimate conversations with almighty God." (Click to Tweet) God desires to hear from you. You are His child. He loves you, and He wants to know that you love Him.
You may not be lying in a hospital bed as you read this, but God desperately wants to commune with you. Seek Him with purpose. Thank Him for all He has done. Share what is on your heart right now. Nothing is too small or unimportant to talk about with God. He will grant you the wisdom you desire, the strength you need, and the courage to accomplish His will for your life.
You can read more of Horace William's work at Pleasing to the Potter. While you are there you can connect with him on his social media sites.
Horace Williams Jr. is a stroke survivor and born-again Christian who loves Jesus Christ. He has seen the power of prayer and God's healing in his own life as he continues to recover from a massive stroke that paralyzed his left side more than six years ago. He wants to inspire, encourage, and remind Christians of the power available to them through prayer. You can get a copy of his new book, Unleash the Power of Prayer in Your Life, by clicking here.