Prayer Saved My Life

Prayer Saved My Life

Prayer Saved My Life

NLT: Psalm 50:15

Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.

 Prayer Saved my Life

As a seven year old girl growing up in rural northern New Jersey, I didn’t go to church but knew there was a God. Somehow, I just knew it.  I don’t know how I knew, I just knew. Then of course there was the baby Jesus, that I heard about at Christmas. To me, Jesus was still that baby in the manager.  I would talk to God about all sorts of things. I didn’t understand it all with no one to teach me, but I always felt there was more. This is my testimony of how prayer saved my life.The summers were a great time to break away and head to the shore. The shore is like the beach, but where I come from we call it the shore. We packed it all up for a day trip to the Jersey Shore. What a beautiful day it was! Sun shining brightly, seagulls flying quite low hoping to catch a morsel of food dropped in the white hot sands of Asbury Park.

As we settled in, I found my big red sand bucket.  So here I go, I was ready. Ready to discover the best shell ever!  As I continued exploring for treasures to collect, I wandered, enjoying the warmth of the sunshine on my back and the summer breeze that was just enough to make this day perfect. I recall feeling so happy and content as the water came back to wash the sand off my feet and the bottom of my red bucket. I was just moseying along slowly without a care, down the shoreline… Singing a little song as I strolled along, carefully collecting treasures and putting them in my bucket.

It was odd that no one seemed to notice I was gone. Maybe it was because I was a quiet child, petite in stature and easily entertained.  I don’t have that answer, but the next thing I knew, there was this long dark colored pier that looked very interesting to my green eyes. A new place to explore and I was ready, so I thought. I watched as the waves crashed hard under the pier, reaching  my feet and washing away the footprints. As I climbed up the step to walk out to view the water, the breeze seemed to pick up. It was blowing my long brown ponytail in my face, but I didn’t mind. I was mesmerized by my new discovery. I walked slowly as I held on to my treasures that were safe in the bucket.  The sounds of the waves slapping the posts under the pier and the smell of the ocean seemed more distinct and surreal. Walking a little further without getting splinters in my feet, I gazed over the edge. It looked like I saw fish. Oh boy, a fish! That certainly caught my attention! I set my red bucket down beside me to get a better look. Leaning over the edge, I became top heavy,  losing my balance, and tumbling into the cold Atlantic Ocean.

The fall and shock of the cold water hitting my seven year old body was serious trouble! It happened all so quickly! I did not know how to swim. I began crying out to God and trying everything I knew to survive! The waves from the pier were treacherous as I sunk deeper. It seemed I was spinning around under the current of water and couldn’t sense which way was up. Frailing deep in  the water with no breathe in sight, I cried out to God to help me! In the midst of the panic and fear, my mind was screaming for God to help me. I felt my time was about up when suddenly a great light and a peace seemed to engulf me. I quit fighting and in that moment I heard this voice say, “Go this way, go this way.” In that split second, I made a decision of a lifetime that would change the outcome of everything that summer day. If it was the wrong way, I knew, I only had time for that one decision. I followed the voice and the light that day. The Lord heard my cry and delivered me. Still to this day, I don’ t remember how I got back to the shore. I praise God for saving me! I have learned his way is best. He promises to lead, guide and direct your path as you learn to lean on Him.

He is waiting for you today, call on His name and He will answer!

-Dawn Rivera, Community Awareness Director


  1. Very well written, I felt like I was right there in your testimony! Praise God for saving you!

  2. Dawn, what a beautiful story of how God literally saved your life that day for His Kingdom purpose. So glad He did…you’re the best!!!

  3. wonderful story, my GOD is real for i can feel him in my soul, love you girl!


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I have been serving in some way with Take the city since October 2013. I spent a lot of time on the prayer team in the beginning and encountered God’s heart for the city in a life changing way. When the teams came back and shared testimonies, it was always fun to see that our prayers coincided with some of their testimonies in special ways. More recently I have had the privilege of leading a team to a nursing home where I used to be an employee. I used to pray over the facility every day, and it was such a miracle to see an old friend who lives there give his life to Jesus on one of our outreaches a year later. God sure has a way of answering prayers. And Take the City is an answer to so many prayers that have gone up here.

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