Mobilising, training and equipping Christians for prayer

Sheri Boone was born in 1965 and raised in a loving, Jewish household in Los Angeles. She attended Hebrew School, and her family participated in regular religious activities. Sheri recalls the first time she believed in God, “When my mother disciplined us, she’d look up at the sky and say, ‘God give me strength.’” From the outside, Sheri was part of a typical Jewish family. It was only on high holy days, during the time for silent prayer, she felt God was far away. Sheri’s father died just before she turned seven years old, and her mother remarried a Jewish man who brought with him two more brothers for Sheri.

While sleeping over at a friend’s house, Sheri was invited to a get-together for junior high students at her friend’s church. She decided to go. During the service, Sheri watched as kids her age raised their hands and praised God. She also heard the pastor talk about Jesus. After the meeting, Sheri approached the pastor and asked how she could know Jesus was real. The pastor told her to go home and ask Him. So, that’s just what she did, but nothing extraordinary happened.

 

Her search continued

One day while washing dishes, her mind strayed again to spiritual matters. She began thinking about her life. She was quite popular at school. She had a boyfriend and nice clothes. “I had everything television and the movies said would make me happy, but I wasn’t happy,” said Sheri. She wondered if it was all life had to offer.

Sheri was 16 when she found her answer. Before heading to bed after a Friday night party, she noticed a New Testament lying in the laundry room. She later found out one of her step-brothers found it on the railroad tracks near their home lying next to an old jacket and some other items. He had put it in the laundry room to dry since it was wet from the rain. “I wondered what it was, so I brought it to my room and started reading portions from it each night,” she said. “The words brought me a feeling which I now can explain as peace.”

What Sheri could not understand was why the book kept repeating the same story over and over again. In the New Testament, she read God is light. “I wanted to find that light,” she said. “I knew I couldn’t believe that Jesus was God as a Jewish girl. But light—now that was very Jewish.”

 

Answers become clear

For her sixteenth birthday, instead of a party, Sheri asked her parents to go to Israel. “Surely, I can find God in Israel,” she thought. Her parents were elated at her request, and they did not hesitate to send her on a month-long trip to learn the Hebrew language in Netanya, the Northern Central District in Israel. Sheri hid the New Testament in her backpack and headed to Israel with 50 other Jewish high schoolers. “I learned the Hebrew language, the ancient history, and the unique culture of my people. I met very interesting people, travelled to amazing sights, and even climbed Mount Masada. But at the end of the programme I returned to Los Angeles the same me,” she said.

One day shortly after that trip, my brother took me aside in the family room, closed the door, and said, “Sheri, I believe Jesus is the Messiah. Come to a Bible study with me.” Sheri normally did everything her popular brother did, but she wasn’t sure she could follow him to a Bible study. “Jesus was not for Jews. I actually thought he was meshugana,” said Sheri, using the Yiddish word for “crazy.” Somehow, he convinced Sheri to attend the study with him. At the end of the meeting, the group shared a prayer. Sheri’s heart had already been softened by reading the Word, and the Holy Spirit began to move for her in a real way. She started to cry.

One of the women at the meeting took Sheri aside and went through the plan of salvation with her. “I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and He became my atonement,” she said. “The Bible says when we believe, God gives us the Holy Spirit to live inside of us. I felt my spirit alive for the first time in my life.” To this day, she remembers waking up the next morning and hearing the birds singing as if she had never heard a bird sing before.

“My dad was already upset with my brother, but now I was a Christian as well. He did not talk to me for a very long time,” Sheri said. “He did, however, make me go see the rabbi, who thought I was a lost cause. But I knew the truth—I had finally been found.”

Source: The Gideon’s International

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