My name is David Liu. I moved to Shanghai from my home city in 2012 and I started attending church service at Abundant Grace. I grew up in a family that did not know Jesus Christ. When I was little, I had a feeling that there was a divine being out there protecting us and guiding us. I started seeking information about Christianity on my own. I also started praying on my own so as to directly communicate with God. It was more of a heartfelt conversation with God. In my heart, I felt He answered my prayers despite the fact that I didn’t know the proper way to pray. Somehow I felt that God was leading me to a place where I could find the truth I was seeking. By God’s grace I was able to overcome all sorts of difficulties and went for my studies in the United States which was an extremely difficult thing to accomplish then. When l succeeded to make it through the process, I felt I was loved by a true God and I was a blessed boy with a life guarded by God. This special feeling motivated me to seek God in different places and his blessing for me was proven over and over again. At every critical moment of my life, be it school or work or important life choices, I turned to God and pray, and God has always provided answers to me one way or the other. I truly felt special and blessed.
Although I am hardly a regular at Abundant Grace, I really started to pay attention to the message on Sundays. When the pastor introduced the “Restore” prayer group, I wasn’t sure what it was and what it does. But I felt it might be nice to have one more person pray for my personal affairs.
But years gone by, I was getting buried deeper and deeper into my daily work, the routines and everything else that was going on in my life and I grew distant from God. Sometimes, I prayed for an answer but didn’t feel I was getting it. I grew more confused and more distant from God. Later on, I became an unhappy person. I became cynical and lacked empathy for others. I had this lonely feeling of being abandoned and no longer felt that I had the capacity to be nice to people. My faith shrank even more and I became even more sad. It formed a vicious circle in my life. I longed for the days I was still a blessed child of God and now I felt I had fallen out of His grace and He was disappointed in the person I had become. The very thought of that made me even more depressed.
I had this lonely feeling of being abandoned and no longer felt that I had the capacity to be nice to people. My faith shrank even more and I became even more sad.
I got married last year and my son was also born the same year. These were real blessings, but I still felt unhappy like there was still a void that was not being filled. I wanted to go back to God’s grace and feel peace and content with life. Only God could help me because even a wife and a child couldn’t fill the void in my heart. Although I was hardly a regular member at Abundant Grace, I really started to pay attention to the message on Sundays. When the Pastor introduced the Restore Prayer Team, I wasn’t sure what it was and what it did, but I felt it might be nice to have one more person pray for my personal affairs.
He told me that God will work through our prayer and show awesome power. I felt my heart almost opened up immediately.
Brother O’Niel is an amazing man. He is very inviting and un-reserved. When he prayed with me in front of the alter he sensed my hesitation and struggle. He reached out to me to nail down a specific time on the following Sunday to have a special prayer session for me. That prayer session was amazing. He told me that God will work through our prayer and show awesome power. I felt my heart almost opened up immediately. He said there will be a sign from God at the gathering service that follows. I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. But at the service when we were singing the hymn for the thousandth time, it all the sudden hit me: How much does a father love his son? We sang words like “God gave the life of his only son”, these words were mind numbing because we sang it so many times. That day, it really hurt my heart because I was imagining how much pain it is to give up my new born baby son. I am a father now and I would not be able to do it for whatever the cause. God must love us so much in order to do something like that. The pain I felt, woke up something in my heart. I stared crying and I believe at that moment, faith was growing again in my heart. I believe this was the sign brother O’Neil was talking about.
I started to believe that prayer with the other brothers was as amazing as they had claimed.
Ever since my son was born last year, I wanted to move back to my home city so that l could be closer to my parents. We were all ready in many ways and all that was missing was a job offer from my home city. I had tried for a year without any concrete outcome but the week following the special prayer session with Brother O’Neil, I received a call from a headhunter with an opportunity that was very appealing. I started to believe that prayer with the other brothers is as amazing as they had claimed. Brother O’Neil organized prayer session for me with other brothers and sisters every Sunday. I also started praying and reading up the bible on my own again. The process was incredible. In two weeks, I received a job offer and was ready to move back to my home city.
I believe the contrary would be self-conceited as we think we can accomplish things without the help of God. It makes me very happy to be closer to God.
The restore prayer as it says in the name is supposed to help restore our faith in God, and it did exactly that for me. My faith has been renewed as I know that God was watching out for me and did not abandon me. I realize that I can talk to God about anything again. It is not a selfish thing to ask God for help on personal affairs. I believe the contrary would be self-conceited as we think we can accomplish things without the help of God. It makes me very happy to be closer to God. I also received messages from the brothers and sisters that it is not about praying for things or events, but it is about knowing more about God that will make us happy and fill the void in our hearts. I am very grateful for the time and care I received from the Restore Prayer Team at Abundant Grace. Thank you for showing me the awesome power of prayer and helping me renew my faith. I believe I will continue to go to church in my home city and get to know more about God.