The Power of Prayer

By Vic Kohring, July 1, 2019 

I’ve always relied on prayer to get me through life’s challenges.  

I’ve found that God answers prayers, but not always in the way we want. And I’ve learned that even if we question God’s initial response or lack thereof, in time we discover He was right and that things tend to work out for the best in the long run.

During the height of my legal debacle years ago, prayer played a huge role in my ability to survive, literally. It helped me endure the onslaught of the U.S. government with its group of criminal prosecutors bent on destroying a man’s life over small issues with little regard to truth and justice.

I was on my knees plenty of times asking – pleading – that God deliver me from the hands of evil men. At first, it didn’t appear my prayers were being answered, but as the months and years passed, I realized they were. 

As I look back over a decade later, I now see I went through excruciating times for a reason, as part of God’s plan to strengthen me as an individual and make me a more resilient Christian. Ironically, my life is much improved today – I’ve exited the political arena (albeit forcibly) and live a quiet, comfortable life that’s far more conducive to my happiness and well-being, both personally and spiritually. 

Today, I’m blessed with an inner strength that evolved from being a target of bad people doing bad things to me and now possess a certain toughness that didn’t exist previously. That strength helps me withstand most any life crisis cast before me.

The Apostle Paul was likewise persecuted and thrown into prison by the Roman government. But he too endured through faith and prayer and turned his experience into a positive one.  

I’ve looked to Paul for inspiration and have tried to follow his example. If he could survive and actually thrive under extreme conditions, so could I. People have often said I remind them of Paul, a comparison I’ve considered an honor given the apostle’s role in Biblical history.

My perseverance may have also saved a man’s life once. During the height of my legal fiasco when things appeared hopeless, a friend confided that his problems seemed so insurmountable that suicide was the only answer. But then he observed the persecution I experienced and decided that “If Vic can survive and move forward successfully with his life, so can I.” It dawned on me that God timed things perfectly so that I may serve as a witness and encouragement to a potential suicide victim when he needed me most. 

I remember being mocked by the anti-God crowd when my legal case first broke. Hateful political opponents crowed with delight that I only sought God after things got tough. Not true, as I’ve been a Christian since accepting Christ into my heart over a half-century ago, well before my years as a public servant, and consider myself a prayer “warrior.” The difference is I’ve chosen to not wear my faith on my sleeve like a lot of politicians and to live my life by deeds instead of words, my mantra. 

I pray daily as if I have a direct line to God as a close friend. It doesn’t require formality. In fact, I communicate with Him probably a dozen times a day even when going for a walk or driving down the road, whether the issues are big or small. The relationship with my Lord gives me great comfort

Despite the incredible malfeasance over what happened at the end of my legislative tenure, I asked God to soften my heart and help me forgive those who treated me so abysmally. I have indeed forgiven my transgressors and to this day am at peace while looking back on my experience as a distant, although unpleasant, memory.

Prayer does work, but you must have faith. Not blind faith, but faith steeped in the knowledge that God exists and indeed helps us. And don’t be discouraged if you fail to obtain the answer you seek.

God does listen and does act. He’s not complacent or observing from a distance without involvement. We simply need to be patient and confident that He has a plan for each of us and that ultimately things will work in our favor no matter how painful.

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22