One day a distraught man named John Salas nervously opened the door to my office, "I've tried everything," he blurted out. "I've been addicted to alcohol and drugs, and I've even tried a couple of religions. Now my wife wants to leave me. What can you do for me?"
Rarely had I witnessed such desperation in all my years of counseling. As one of the pastors at the El Batán Church in Quito, Ecuador, I had counseled many needy people, but John was different. He was clearly at the end of his rope. "I know that you've been sincerely seeking answers," I said, "but only Jesus Christ can fill the void in your heart." As I led him in prayer to receive Jesus Christ, the urgency in John's voice finally ended in relief.
God took control of John that day, and he became a new creation. A radiance and joy flooded his life. Before he departed, I counseled John to spend time with God daily.
At the new believers' class the next evening, John related to me how he had awoken early in the morning and spent time with his new friend, Jesus. John began a pattern of spending daily time alone with God that revolutionized his life and transformed him into a dynamic Christian. Over the years, as I watched John grow, I noticed the power of God in his ministry, in the renewal of his marriage and in the prosperity of his work.
John still had his share of difficulties. Past marriage problems plagued him, and moving his restaurant to a new location required a heavy financial commitment. Yet God's blessing followed him wherever he went. God was enlarging John's territory, and others noticed it.
I realized that the heavenly Father was rewarding John for spending time alone with Him. The words of Christ were coming true before my eyes: "But when you pray, go ...