I love it when God takes a life that the enemy was determined to destroy and not only redeems it but turns it completely around to use it for His glory.
Recently, I went to Bartlesville to hear the miraculous redemptive story of Laura Perry who struggled with issues of sexual identity and lived as a man for almost nine years. You can read about this in my article “Prodigal Prayer Ministry – The Fruit of a Mother and Daughter’s Transformed Lives” which will be featured in the Oct. 4 edition of the Baptist Messenger.
Laura spoke with a unique combination of vulnerability, gratitude and graciousness. Her testimony included humor along with tears of brokenness as she recalled the pain she experienced. She radiates a peace, joy and contentment that only comes from a God who can transform the heart. Laura’s testimony titled “Former Transgender Set Free by Jesus Christ” can be viewed at www.comegrowwithmeonline.com.
One of the unique parts of Laura’s story is that it is deeply interwoven with the relationship with her mother Francine. Often we pray for a prodigal’s return and overlook the work God wants to accomplish in the lives of their family members.
Francine has taught a growing Bible Study since 2013 and had always described herself as a “doer and fixer.” Out of desperation, she tried everything in her own strength to help her daughter.
She finally came to the point where she admitted this was something she could not fix. This was a pivotal moment of surrendering to the Lord and was a turning point for both mother and daughter.
As a matter of fact, Laura attributes the noticeable change in her mother’s life, along with the Word of God Francine was teaching in her Bible study lessons to change her. The change in her mother was an actual witness to Laura.
The ladies in Francine’s Bible study group prayed fervently for Laura in her darkest days. Upon Laura’s return home, they welcomed her home with complete acceptance and even provided funds for her to buy women’s clothing.
After hearing Laura’s testimony, I had the privilege of joining with a group of about 40 ladies who are committed to pray for prodigals. Inspired by the miraculous answer to their prayers for Laura, this prodigal prayer ministry began.
These women representing several local churches stay for one hour after Perry’s Bible study every few weeks to stand in the gap and intercede for prodigals. Nearly 500 people’s names from all over the world are listed on cards in a basket they call the prodigal prayer basket. To date, 16 names have been prayed out of the basket, and Laura herself is right there praying with them.
Afterward, I had lunch with Laura, Francine and the leader of the prodigal prayer ministry. They spoke with an intense burden for those trapped in sin and those who have abandoned their faith. But they also have confidence and hope that God is intervening in these young people’s lives.
Through prayer, repentance and surrender God will restore the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25-32).