A Gang leader’s prayer for spiritual healing.
Mr. Jerry grew up as a rebellious child of a military officer in Makassar, Indonesia. He fought a lot during his teenage years and soon became a famous gang leader in the city. Even though he was raised a Muslim, as a gang member he became involved with cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs.
Two years ago, while in his 50s, Mr. Jerry started to have heart problems. He had several serious heart attacks and was hospitalized many times. He lived each day wondering if today would be his last. A friend told me that Mr. Jerry had heard the gospel a long time ago, but had not made a decision to follow Isa Al-Masih (Jesus Christ) because of an earlier bitter experience involving a Christian.
Knowing that I had been doing medical ministry work and praying for the sick, my friend, Mr. Toepik, invited me to go to Mr. Jerry’s house and pray for him. We parked our motorcycles about a half mile from Tagaytay village and walked to his house where he lives with his wife, his son Jobie, and his daughter-in-law.
Mr. Jerry gave us a warm welcome, and my friend introduced me. I asked him about his physical condition, his heart problem, and previous lifestyle. He replied, “I have been hospitalized and taken a lot of medicine, but my condition is not getting better.” He also confided in us that he was struggling with cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs.
As we talked, I asked him, “Besides your health problem, is there anything else that makes you worry?” He replied, “I worry about my only son, Jobie. He has been married for 10 years and has no children. His wife became pregnant once, but had a miscarriage and never got pregnant again.” Mr. Jerry worried that if he died soon and his son were to die, too, no one would continue the family line.
I told him, “A long time ago, an extremely wealthy old man had exactly the same problem. Ibrahim was very rich, but had no child to inherit everything he owned. Allah* had promised to give him a son in his old age. After waiting a long time without getting a son, Ibrahim followed the advice of Sarah, his wife, who encouraged him to take her slave as his wife, according to the custom of their culture. But then Allah repeated the promise of a son, and the next year his old wife, Sarah, gave birth to the promised son. Even though Ibrahim had waited a long time for his promised son, one day Allah told him to sacrifice the boy. It was not easy for Ibrahim to obey, but with a broken heart, he proceeded to follow Allah’s instruction. However, Allah didn’t allow him to kill his son, but instead provided a lamb for the sacrifice.”
Continuing, I told Mr. Jerry, “Ibrahim’s story symbolizes an even greater story of what Allah has done for you. Allah has already provided the Great Sacrifice, so that we don’t have to try to gain our salvation with our own works.” Suddenly, Mr. Jerry shouted, “Isa Al-Masih!”
My friend asked Mr. Jerry, “If you could ask Allah for one thing, what would it be?” After a few moments, Mr. Jerry replied, “I want my heart to be right, so that when I die, I can be close beside Allah.” It was amazing to hear that he was not asking for his physical heart to be healed, but rather a healing of his spiritual heart. I said, “Other prophets are dead, but Isa Al-Masih is alive and sits next to Allah. Soon He will come back to take His righteous followers so they too can be next to Allah.”
To close our conversation, I asked Mr. Jerry if he wanted to know more about Isa Al-Masih so that he could become His follower. He answered, “Yes!” Then I asked him if he would like me to pray to Allah in the name of Isa Al-Masih regarding his heart condition and for his son. He agreed. After the prayer, he seemed overjoyed.
I pray the relationship that we developed that afternoon will kindle Mr. Jerry’s flame of faith in Isa Al-Masih and prepare him to be with Allah on His judgment day!
* Allah is the Arabic word for God used both in the Koran and in the Arabic translation of the Bible.
By Tommy Pangang, Gospel Outreach Worker
Tommy Pangang (not his real name) is a Gospel Outreach worker in West Indonesia.