An Answered Prayer

Baptism at Albuquerque Rio Grande Spanish Church
October 29, 2020

ALBUQUERQUE – As a pastor, one of the most rewarding things is to be able to witness a mother’s joy and see the tears in her eyes when her child enters the baptismal waters. For Maria Monserrat, it took many years of patience and constant prayer to finally see her daughter’s life transformed. 

When her daughter, Margarita, was 14 years old, she was baptized in a Seventh-day Adventist church in Mexico. But sadly, like so many young people at that age, she was enticed by what the world had to offer and she drifted from God’s path. 

The weekends were the worst for Maria. “The pain and desperation I felt in my heart were indescribable,” she said. “I would see Margarita get ready to go out and party and I didn’t know if, or when, she was coming back.”

The nights were long and the prayers were profound. Somehow the weeks turned to years, and Maria’s prayers for her daughter to come back to the Lord seemed as if they were not being answered. However, I recently visited Maria and Margarita in their home, and I learned that things had changed. 

Margarita shared that one particular time when she was at a nightclub, things began to feel a little different. She noticed that she wasn’t having fun and she felt so uncomfortable that she decided to go home. Her friends were surprised and tried to convince her to stay, but Margarita was not interested. When she got home, Maria was waiting up for her but was surprised to see her daughter back so early. Margarita told her mother what she was feeling in her heart and that she had decided to stop living the life she was living and turn her heart to God. 

As Margarita shared her story with me, I told her of my past addiction to drugs and alcohol. I shared how God had freed me from the desire of ever wanting to go back to that part of my life. 

We cannot fight against Satan’s attacks alone, but I reassured Margarita we can overcome them through the redemptive power of Christ’s blood. That day Margarita decided to take Bible studies, and it was not long before she desired to be baptized. 

On Aug. 22, the Albuquerque Rio Grande Spanish Seventh-day Church rejoiced as they witnessed Margarita renewing her commitment to the One who shed His blood for her salvation. 

Heaven also rejoiced, for Luke 15:7 tells us, “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” 

It was truly rewarding to see Maria’s heart rejoice. I am reminded of God’s faithful promises in Isaiah 49:25: “I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.” There is no doubt that God answers the prayers of the faithful. 

I encourage any parent who is praying for their child to consider the words of Ellen G. White, written in The Signs of the Times (July 1, 1886). 

She wrote: “With joy unutterable, parents [will] see the crown, the robe, the harp, given to their children. The days of hope and fear are ended. The seed sown with tears and prayers may have seemed to be sown in vain, but their harvest is reaped with joy at last. Their children have been redeemed.” 

By Manuel Rodriguez