"It is the closest thing to hell on earth you will ever suffer in your lifetime."
As Pastor Carter Conlon of Times Square Church shares his testimony, he reveals how he began experiencing panic attacks when he was 15 years old.
"A panic attack is when you implode from the inside," he says. "Like a computer meltdown. You feel like somebody is pouring a bucket of sand on your head. You feel there's darkness all around you. You feel like there's no hope. Your heart pounds like it's going to come outside of your chest."
His panic attacks became so severe that one time, during college, an ambulance truck had to take him to the hospital. When the nurse started to take his blood pressure, she dropped the monitor to the floor and ran to get a doctor because she feared he would die.
Conlon describes how he would endure his panic attacks by chasing Valium with whiskey. His temperament worsened, and he started to lash out at his wife, Teresa.
"The deepest grief in my life, a grief that almost swallowed me for a season, was my regret over how I had treated my wife," Conlon writes in his book It's Time to Pray: God's Power Changes Everything (Charisma House, 2018).
But all that changed when he came to Christ in 1978. He felt the presence of God enter his heart.
The next time he had a panic attack, he remembered a Bible verse: "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:31).
Instead of turning to pills or alcohol for strength, Conlon said in his prayer:
"Satan, you can only kill me if God allows you. And if He allows you to kill me, I'm going to heaven—so I win this battle either way. So you throw at me everything you got, but I throw back at you what I now have, in the name of Jesus Christ. The Son of God. I resist you!"
By God's grace alone, Conlon was healed of his panic attacks. But that was only the beginning of his journey. His message, as emphasized in his book It's Time to Pray, is how God hears and answers our prayers. Furthermore, our prayers can change the world. We can pray for restoration in our community. Stability in our country. And, just as importantly, we can pray for God to transform our hearts.
The night that Conlon rebuked the devil, he felt a heat fill his feet, travel up his legs and torso and rush up through his head. Since then, he never had panic attacks again.
In addition to pastoring Times Square Church in the beating heart of New York City, Conlon travels the world and speaks to audiences that are said to have been as large as half a million people. He teaches with the conviction that what God has done for him, God can also do for you. It's Time to Pray reveals seven specific miracles Conlon has witnessed in his walk with God and shows readers how prayer has the power to change everything.
Conlon says, "The most powerful thing we can do in our life is pray!"
This article is based on It's Time to Pray: God's Power Changes Everything (Charisma House, 2018) by Carter Conlon. Conlon is senior pastor of Times Square Church in New York City, an interdenominational church with more than 10,000 people in attendance, representing more than 100 different nationalities. He joined the pastoral staff in 1994 at the invitation of founding pastor David Wilkerson, author of the best-selling book The Cross and the Switchblade. He was appointed to the office of senior pastor in 2001, and he continues to be a voice for God far beyond the pulpit of Times Square Church. He is invited to speak at numerous conferences across the country and around the world. His weekly radio spots on 1010 WINS, the nation's longest-running all-news station, and his sermons, interviews, and call-ins have been featured regularly on Times Square Church Live, a weekly radio broadcast on WMCA 570. Time to Pray, Pastor Carter's one-minute devotional and thirty-minute program, is currently syndicated on over 350 Christian radio stations worldwide. He is the author of several books, including The 180 Degree Christian, Fear Not and Unshakable. All net profits from It's Time to Pray! are donated to the Carter Conlon Compassion Fund. For information or to give, go to tsc.nyc/give/give.
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