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June 13, 2022

Angel Rodriguez is a 12-year-old with a heart to serve and a passion for prayer. His testimony is an awesome example of what the Holy Spirit can do in our lives when we listen to His voice and trust Him.

“In 2017, I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me—I was seven years old. In my room, out of nowhere, I heard the word ‘serve’ like a whisper. It made me jump inside, but I knew it was God because no one else was around me. A couple of months later, I went to Gateway Kids, and they talked about the whispers of the Holy Spirit. That’s when I really knew it was Him! I wanted to serve in Gateway Kids, but I wasn’t old enough yet, so I decided to just keep growing and learning about the Holy Spirit and the ways He could help me in life.

“Before the pandemic my family was going to church on and off. When everything shut down and we couldn’t go to church in person, I still wanted to grow in my faith, but I was also battling fear about COVID-19. I didn’t know anything about the virus, but I knew it was causing people to get sick. Even when things started returning to normal, I still worried and felt nauseous going anywhere new. I knew prayer was powerful, but I didn’t rely on it that much for the fear I was feeling. Around that same time, my mom wanted a deeper relationship with Jesus, so when Gateway resumed in-person services, we started going more regularly. As we got to know the pastors more, my mom arranged for us to talk about my ongoing struggle with fear.

“I met with the pastors in April 2021 and told them about the worries I had about COVID-19. They encouraged me to pray and gave me some tips on how to overcome fear and a Bible so I could study what God’s Word has to say about it. I also told the pastors how the Holy Spirit first spoke to me and gave me a desire to serve in Gateway Kids. One of the pastors, Dusty Petree, stepped out for a few minutes and when he came back, he said, ‘Alright, we have you signed up to serve.’ I was excited; it felt like a blessing from God! So at 11 years old, I started serving in Gateway Kids helping the class leader for the four- and five-year-olds. I love it because I want to be a good example for kids younger than me. I want them to know that God does listen and always wants to hear from them.

“After that meeting with the pastors, I realized prayer is very powerful and I could rely on it. I started reading my Bible more and praying against fear. It took a couple of months, but eventually the fear started going away. This year, my mom and I started attending the prayer gatherings at the Grand Prairie Campus. In late March, I got to share my testimony and how the Holy Spirit has moved in my life. That same night I received the gift of speaking in tongues! Since then, I love inviting the Holy Spirit into every place I go, especially the weekly prayer gatherings where I listen to people’s testimonies and pray with them—it’s amazing! And the best part is my dad and little brother started coming with us, and now we’re growing even closer together in Christ.

“Now that I’m 12 years old, I am very thankful that the stronghold of fear has been broken in my life. I still feel afraid sometimes, but it’s less and less because I’m praying about it. I believe God wants to do something big in my life, and that inspires me to pray and read the Bible even more. For me, prayer is about talking with the Lord. It’s a time when I can ask Him for help and guidance. I pray about my problems, my fears—everything. I want to encourage every kid (and adult) to keep praying, digging deeper, and seeking the Lord.”

Are you looking to grow in your prayer life? Listen to Angel’s top four tips on prayer.