Prayer can seem mundane or ritualistic at times, but followers of Christ are challenged to pray with intense purpose. Edgar Zepeda has experienced the power of prayer first hand while attending Redemption church and how dutiful intercession by God’s people can be powerful. Edgar and his family have been attending Redemption for the last two years. He serves on as many teams as he can because he loves being able to use his hands to serve this community that he has grown to love. Edgar wanted to share his story of healing through prayer with the community so that others can see what prayer can do.
Q: So Edgar, let’s get some background on your journey here. How did you end up at Redemption?
A: I was invited by my friend Patrick Jackson two years ago, I use to be Catholic and I was curious as to why we did certain rituals and practices in the church. I just wanted to be able to release my joy and worship how I wanted to. I wanted to lift my hands or do some fist bumps during worship, but I wasn’t allowed too. Patrick told me that I had really good questions about my religion at the time and how things work and why things happen in life, so my girlfriend and I decided to go one Sunday. Going to Redemption has cleared up a lot of my questions about Christianity and God. We have been invited to have meals with a lot of people in their homes and the people at Redemption have always been super cool and inviting.
Q: How have you been able to get involved in the community?
A: I always felt a calling to serve in church. I did a lot of the food drives and other things, but I wanted to help more. We went down to build homes in Mexico and I just really enjoyed going to help because those people were so grateful. It was really encouraging to be a part of that. I always wanted to serve at my other church but it was much harder to get involved there, so it was cool that Redemption wanted me to be a part of serving with them so quickly. I am overjoyed with all of the opportunities I have to serve at Redemption.
Q: That is really cool to hear. So how did you get involved in community groups?
A: I have been friends with Christine for around 20 years. She was part of my upbringing. It was interesting to run back into her at Redemption. On one Sunday, Christine invited me to attend her community group later that week. Community group really surprised me. I was used to going to bible studies where you would just read the bible and talk about what you read, but at community groups it is more than that. People talk about how they are doing and what they need prayer for. It’s been really refreshing to be a part of.
Q: Speaking of community group, could you share the story about how your leg was healed after some prayer with your group?
A: Yeah, my leg was hurt for a while, it had a lot of sore tissue and it prevented me from working out. At some point during one of our community groups we were asked if we needed any prayer. When they asked me if I needed any prayer I said, “my family is good, my daughter is healthy. I am doing pretty good, but my leg hurts. Lets pray for my leg.” John and Christine started praying for me, then Moses had a song that he and someone else started playing. At some point during the prayer people started praying to the beat of the song and Paul started laughing because of the simultaneous praying to the beat of the song. I was really appreciative that they would pray for my leg, but when they finished it didn’t feel super different. Then, Monday or Tuesday the next week, I went back to the gym and I started lifting. I started off light but kept working my way up in weight and ended up hitting a personal record. It was super cool because I lifted more than I have ever before and I realized that the prayer from the week before healed my leg. I truly believe that my leg was healed by the prayer in my community group.
Q: Wow! That is super encouraging. What did you learn from that experience?
A: When people pray for you at Redemption it is so uplifting and encouraging. It has been cool seeing the power of prayer. I still don’t want to pray for anybody in groups. I don’t mind praying in my head or on my own time but not out loud in front of anyone. One time at community group, Paul volunteered to pray first and started praying for my daughter. It was just so uplifting and nice that someone would pray for her, it really encouraged me. Even though I don’t pray out loud it is encouraging to see what prayer can do.
Prayer can be an extremely vulnerable thing to participate in. Edgar’s story of healing is an awesome example of how God works through our faithful prayers. Whether we pray out loud or in our own time, God hears us and sees us exactly where we are.