A recent news broadcast said that a Texan community of 4300 has seen an outbreak of HIV/AIDS due to drug addicts sharing needles. It seems approximately 130 people have contracted the disease in the past half year. The broadcast also said that local believers, recognizing the spiritual element to this epidemic, have decided to act. Dozens meet regularly for prayer walks throughout their town, especially in the neighborhood where drug addiction is prevalent.
The journalist interviewed a woman impacted by these prayer walks. She spoke about the horrors of being a drug addict and how she felt like a hopeless captive. Then she said that someone on a prayer walk told her about Jesus Christ and His desire and power to set her free from drug addiction.
The woman responded. She placed her faith in Christ for salvation, and then He did something no rehabilitation program alone could do—He gave her the strength to overcome her addiction. “Christ set me free,” she said. “I tried everything else, but nothing worked. It’s only through Christ that I am clean.”
Scripture tells the story of a man lame from birth (Acts 3:1-16). Every day someone carried him to the Temple gate where he begged from passersby. One day Peter and John showed up, and everything changed. “I don’t have money for you,” said Peter, “but I’ll give you what I do have. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!”
Peter took the man’s right hand and helped him stand. “And as he did, the man’s feet and anklebones were healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them” (vv.7-8).
Onlookers watched in amazement. Lest they think he—a mere human being—possessed superhuman healing powers, Peter seized the moment to explain. “The name of Jesus has healed this man—and you know how lame he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has caused this healing before your very eyes.”
Faith in the name of Jesus Christ healed the man born lame more than 2,000 years ago, and its power still sets people free today. The Texan woman openly gives Christ the credit for her success. Others do the same: A couple on the brink of divorce call on Jesus’ name and He restores their love for each other. A woman traumatized by domestic abuse cries out to Jesus, and He leads her to help where she finds hope and courage restored. A teenager struggling with an eating disorder calls on Jesus’ name, and He heals her. Granted, He often works through people—professional counselors and support providers—in the healing process, but ultimately, lasting victory comes from Jesus.
I find power in the name of Jesus to help me everyday—when I’m facing a writing deadline but writer’s block hits me, when I’m tempted to disregard my body’s need for exercise, when I’m tempted to snack on unhealthy foods, when negative thoughts fill my mind, when I don’t know how to pray for a loved one desperately in need, and so on.
I call out to Him—“Jesus, I need You. Jesus, help me, please,” and He answers. He gives me the strength to push through the writer’s block, to get up and go outside for a walk, to make healthy food choices, to reject the negative thoughts and exchange them for the Truth, and to intercede knowing that His Spirit is praying with groanings too deep for words on my loved one’s behalf.
Are you struggling today with an issue for which there seems no way out? There’s hope, my friend. Admit your helplessness and call on the name of Jesus. He will give you the strength and wisdom needed.