I woke up surrounded by intense heat. Bright orange and red blinded me as I rolled up off the floor and tried to understand what was happening. The smell of burning plastic pricked my nose, and I turned to see my wife run into the room screaming. Our kitchen was on fire, and we were quickly losing everything.
I tried to act quickly, but my mind felt fuzzy—stunted from all the drugs I had taken before I came home that night. Slowly I began to remember stumbling home, lighting a cigarette, and passing out. I had set my own house on fire.
In desperation, I cried out to God. “Either save me or take me away from this world,” I said. I didn’t want to live like this anymore, a slave to drugs like I had been for twenty years.
We were able to get the fire out. We lost everything in our kitchen but thankfully not the whole house. After we cleaned what we could, we laid down, exhausted, and tried to get some sleep.
That night I had the strangest dream. Someone came to me and took me by the hand. This person told me, “If you want to be saved, you should hold my hand always.” He was so warm, and I could feel the heat going from his hand to me. I woke up suddenly to find that I was in my bed and crying.
After this dream, I began searching for the source of that heat I felt. I went to the mosque. I visited holy places. I went to another city to pray to a holy man to rid me of my addiction. I could never find peace or joy in any of these places. Although I tried maybe twenty times, I was still a slave to drugs.
Then I met a few people, and my life changed forever. I was in the other city to visit the holy man, and I happened to meet a group of Christians. I told them my story and about my struggle with drugs. They asked if they could pray with me, telling me that Jesus could help me be free of addiction.
They began with the words, “Oh Heavenly Father,” and I immediately felt that same heat from my dream. As they prayed for me, I knew without a doubt that it was Jesus who had visited me and told me to hold on to him. From that day on, my faith was in Jesus only, and I was freed from the addiction that had kept me prisoner for so long.
I am like Lazarus. Jesus raised him from the dead by the power of his words. I was raised from the dead, from drug addiction, through Jesus, too. Jesus will always have my heart.
My name is Hamid,* and I am from Iran. There are so many people like me who try to escape the hardships we face in my country through drug use, alcohol, and many other things. Many of us have lost our confidence in the government and its ability to rule us properly. We have suffered economically, politically, and spiritually since the Islamic Revolution that many thought would create a better Iran. Islam couldn’t fill us with peace, so we sought to be filled by other things. When I was an addict, my god was drugs. Many people in Iran are suffering from this today.
Please join me in praying for people in my country who are seeking fulfillment in drugs. Pray that God will change their lives—bring them from death to life—just as he did for me.
During Secret Church 17 we will be praying for the persecuted church in Iran and for the people in Iran who have little to no access to the gospel.
*Name changed for security purposes.