Praying despair


Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3


Russian Christian prisoner, Aleksandr Ogorodnikov, shares, “One night I was thrown into a cell with a broken window. The KGB was determined to do an experiment and freeze me. Later they would say, ‘He broke the window in his cell and died of cold.’ I felt despair. I thought to myself, ‘Has God really left me? Am I really forgotten and neglected? Have my years of suffering been in vain?’

“And in my despair, I began to pray. I usually pray silently, but this time I started to appeal to God out loud. ‘God, have You left me?’ My cries were bursting from a heart literally in utter despair.

“And right then, I suddenly felt palpable, physical warmth. Not the kind that comes from a heater, but like when a mother draws her freezing child to her breast and warms him with her tearful breath of compassion. It was a very living, human warmth. It penetrates you as if piercing you to the heart. And inside your heart, a spring opens up, out of which flows peace—a wonderful, magnificent, soothing peace.

“I felt a very loving, brotherly touch—someone’s caring hand touching my shoulder. I actually felt it. In the morning, it was a shock to my executioners. They couldn’t understand. I wasn’t simply alive, but my temperature was the same as that of a normal person. I heard a doctor explaining to my executioners in the corridor, ‘This is impossible! We can’t explain it.’

“It so happened that many people began praying for me. And that was exactly when they released me.”

About the author

Bennie Mostert
By Bennie Mostert