This month we are highlighting Prayer and our story comes from Joee Johnson, the Director of Stronghold of God Ministries and a Leader with the Regional Alliance. The following story is her own personal account of the power of prayer.
"In 2008, in the midst of great turmoil and trial in my life, I sought the Lord. The pain and anguish of a mother’s heart drove me to my knees. Having experienced our son Jared* (above) struggling daily with things like impulse control, irrational responses to everyday stimulus and defiance, we went to the doctors to seek answers. Jared was about 7 or 8 years old when he was diagnosed with various special needs and disorders. The list was long: Tourette's, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Mood Disorder, Anxiety, OCD, borderline Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and a learning disability. I believed the promises of the Word of God and knew God’s plan for my son did not include him being a child labeled with “disorders” and “special needs;” however, I did not know how to claim those promises.
In desperation, I simply said, “Lord, I believe Your Word is truth, but you will have to teach me how to pray and heal my son.” And God was faithful to do so. It was during this time, the Lord taught me a biblical model for prayer in regards to inner healing, physical healing, and deliverance. Not only did I engage in all three types of prayer for my son, the Holy Spirit revealed to my husband and myself areas that needed to be submitted to God. We responded in obedience to Him and as we did, He increased the honoring of our prayers. We cleansed our home of things that we were unaware could contribute to an atmosphere that would be more welcoming to the world than the Holy Spirit. We embraced a lifestyle of family worship, bible study and prayer. We fasted together and engaged in warfare. It was also during this time that we did not cease any treatments of various counseling, social skills groups, occupational therapies, and the like. We did what we were capable of doing in the natural realm as we waited in faith for the full manifestation of my son’s healing. We prayed as the Lord instructed in order to affect the spiritual realm, submitting our lives more completely than ever before to the Lord and living a life of obedience to His Word. This was quite a process and definitely not always easy. Great sacrifices were made, yet we never lost sight of the value of a life of obedience and submission. From this place we enjoyed such great intimacy with the Lord and knowledge of His heart that when we prayed we were able to claim His promises of His Word with confidence.
By 2009, one year later, God had completely healed my son…all of the ‘diagnosis’ were gone which was clear in our daily life as well as in medical follow ups. Currently Jared has entered the teenage years, is a very social boy who is on the honor role, made the National Football team (pictured below), and always makes it his duty to look out for the underdog. In the process of seeing my son healed, God taught me how to pray powerful prayers that break chains, heal people physically and emotionally, and set free those who are oppressed and bound up. Today, I teach others to do the same with the firm belief I am to freely give what was freely given to me (Matt. 10:8). I equip those willing to draw a line in the sand and do whatever it takes to contend for those they love."
*name changed for the privacy of the child