Tag Archive | healing

Throw out the Walking Stick…

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There is a temptation to believe that God only turns up at big Christian festivals, or in buzzing charismatic churches. We really should have learned by now, that He turns up wherever He is invited – from damp prison cells to dusty pews, and from crowded shopping malls to isolated mountain tops.

Yesterday we played as part of a Sunday morning service, in a church in Kislingbury, Northampton. we were also there on Saturday evening, doing a small concert. But yesterday, the rector had kindly invited us back to hijack the Sunday morning worship. We did our normal thing – sang songs and told stories; this time, to an audience of about fifty to sixty people, most of whom had been attending one church or another in that benefice for many years.

A quiet Sunday morning service in a fourteenth century church – pews, tradition, no one under the age of fifty years and liturgy. We were happily shoehorned into the middle.

Untitled designBoth last night and today, there was a lady (we’ll call her Sue) who sat fairly near the front of the church with her husband. She told me later that she had seen an advertisement promoting our coming to the church, and on the strength of that, had decided to come.

When she got up to go forward for communion, it didn’t take any great deductive skills to work out that she was in great pain. Slowly – painfully – carefully, with a much needed walking stick.

At the end of the service I got chatting with her and her husband; I asked what the nature of her pain was; I was told it was arthritis which had started in her knee some years ago, but in the last five to six months has spread with extraordinary aggression to her hips, her shoulders and her spine. She expressed real fear about what she saw as the inevitable spread to her neck, and what that would mean.

I asked whether it would be ok for a couple of us to pray for her. She said it would, and I toddled off to find a prayer partner from the host church.

We sat with Sue and her husband, and with permission, laid hands on knees, shoulders and back.

Let’s be honest – I didn’t have any real clue what I was doing – which of us do when we pray for people, right? I did my best Robbie Dawkins or Todd White school of healing prayer. You know – ask what the pain level is at the start – in Sue’s case, seven out of ten, with ten out of ten expected when she went to bed that night – and we started to pray. We invited the Holy Spirit in and off we went.

We prayed for about ten minutes, during which I felt the heat from my hands that I’ve become familiar with when the Holy Spirit is present, and then I asked how she was doing. She said that her pain had reduced to about a three or a four. She was also tearful and expressed a feeling of huge spiritual and emotional release.

We carried on praying.

About ten minutes later, I asked how she was doing again, and was told that her pain had reduced to a two.

Now, this was all very pleasing, and we were very grateful, but my prayer partner was called away for something else, and my woefully limited patience was suspicious that we weren’t going to get any further, so we stopped and chatted. Then I asked her whether she could lift her arms, and she found to her surprise that she could.

She sat and cautiously experimented with this new activity for a moment or two, and we chatted a bit more.

Then I felt God prompting me that whilst I thought we’d finished, He didn’t think so, and we were to continue praying.

So we did.

Once again there was heat under my hand as we prayed, but much greater this time. We can’t have prayed for more than another five minutes, but when we finally finished, she was able to stand up with a lightness that took her breath away.

She stood, her face radiant

She and her husband had both connected with us on Facebook, so I was able to pick her out and contact her through Messenger later. She has been walking easily, without a stick ever since, and is praising and thanking God in no uncertain terms.

New faith, new hope, new life…

Not wishing to overstate the obvious, but so are we.

Right now I feel like the snotty nosed kid who managed to turn up on bonfire night, and someone shoved a sparkler in my hand. The fire isn’t mine, but it sure is beautiful. I am breathless, delighted and struck with astonished awe to be allowed to be there.

Thank you Loving Father.

Closer to You

Click this link to watch the Closer to You video


Stepping up to line…

God is at work. Miracles are happening. I now have no doubt of God’s love; His ability and desire to heal – and I know that I should be stepping up to the line to take my part. So why do I feel that my prayers have all the authority of a dead mackerel?

10887719_776572215761999_1606746971_nI, and a small group of friends, have taken to following the Wanderlust movies with great enthusiasm. If you haven’t seen any of them, then do. We started off by watching ’Finger of God’, and then rapidly moved on to ’Furious Love’, ’Father of Lights’ and ’Holy Ghost’. During the same period, I was also reading Robby Dawkins’ book ’Do What Jesus Did’.
And I would love to be able to tell you that I’m a changed woman. I certainly felt an undeniable call to action; I was lifted up, encouraged, enthused; but I don’t think that I can claim to have moved forward as much as would have persuaded Robby Dawkins to give himself a delighted pat on the back and start writing his memoirs.

For example, do I have the courage, in appropriate circumstances, to sensitively ask complete strangers on the street, or non-Christian friends if they’d like me to pray for them and ask for healing?

I am sorry to say that the answer is ’no’. My prayers are still reserved for ’safe’ situations. So many opportunities for God to pour out His love and grace are being missed, because I don’t step up to the line.

In Acts 2:17 it says ’In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams’.

Well, we are in the last days, and have been ever since Christ anointed us with Holy Spirit and ascended to Heaven; so why am I so lacking when it comes to striking out and ’doing what Jesus did’?

In fact, ’lacking’ is far too gentle a word for it. There are moments when, I can’t help feeling that I am the wimp at the bottom of the pile.shutterstock_67226176

I have made a few changes… I’m now stopping to chat with ’down and outs’ in the street to find out when they last ate – only three times so far, but getting easier – then, having bought them a cup of coffee and a bacon roll and sat down with them to find out how they’re doing and how they came to be where they are, I have asked if I could pray for them. It also has to be noted that on each occasion they were very happy for me to do so; someone that cared enough to give a little bit of time and kindness was much appreciated.

But, oh boy! When I pray in these exposed situations, I feel as though my prayers are lacking something. I certainly feel huge compassion for the people I am praying for, but…

I guess I’m a work in progress.

I also, now, have no doubt of God’s ability and desire to heal – His love for the people I am praying for. So why do I feel that my prayers have all the authority of a dead mackerel?

I’m trying to work out what it is in me that can’t take that final step of totally trusting God in exposed situations.

I feel far more exposed when I pray for either a complete stranger, or a friend in a ’secular’ environment than I ever would praying in a Christian environment, and I certainly feel more exposed and vulnerable when praying for these people than I ever would performing on stage in front of any size of audience.

Why do I have the feeling that Robby Dawkins’ prayers would be so much more effective than mine?

Is it that I have somehow not quite grasped the fact that God is everywhere? Or is it that although I know He will turn up in critical situations when His people turn up for Him, maybe I haven’t quite grasped that He will even turn up for me? Is it that devil doubt ’I’m-not-worth-it’ thing?

And critically, there’s this, lurking at the back of my mind , if I ask to pray for people and absolutely nothing obvious happens as a result, am I being any kind of ambassador for God? Aren’t I just being a nuisance?

So. This is what I’ve come to so far:

Maybe I need to learn to trust God to the extent that I will pray, regardless of what the outcome should or shouldn’t be. Maybe God can accept that I might not trust Him completely, but what He wants is for me to stand. To show up to the party. To risk my own exposure. To say “OK, I might be about to make a fool of myself – but that’s OK; because Jesus risked far more than that for me.”

Maybe I shouldn’t be praying with an end objective in sight. Maybe I should be doing what Abraham did when he placed his son Isaac on the alter; when he completely placed his first love, his hopes, his ambitions at the mercy of God. I don’t believe for one second that he was confident of what God would do; but because he gave it over to his Lord completely, then it was possible for a nation to be built.

Maybe I should be going out and praying for people, simply because that is what God has asked me to do. The rest is up to Him.

Then, perhaps, I’ll be able to hear what He is asking me to pray for in each situation.

I’ll give God the glory when a person is healed, and give Him the glory when they’re not healed; the miracles – or not – are all His.

Not mine; either to be proud of or shamed by.

shutterstock_2885119And while I’m sorting out my humility, summoning my courage and deciding whether it’s all worth the risk, I’ll remember that Christ was crucified on a cross with all the pain and humiliation that went alongside – knowing that we, who He was doing it for – might never come to accept Him as our saviour.

 

But still He turned up. He took the risk. He stood.

As I say, I’m a work in progress, I suspect you’ll hear more from me on this topic.

 

  • Robby Dawkins book – Do what Jesus Did, is published by Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group and can be purchased through all good retailers.
  • Also thanks to Robby Dawkins for permission to use his photograph. What a nice man.
  • The films Furious Love, Finger of God, Father of lights and Holy Ghost produced by Darren Wilson can be found on the internet from Wanderlust productions http://www.wpfilm.com.

 

 

Where is God when I pray?

Where is God when I pray?

One of the biggest points of struggle in my relationship with God has been answer to prayer, and in this, I know I’m not alone.

At New Wine this year, we saw some amazing healings, we saw several people walk freely again where before they had needed a stick or crutches and, among other things, I saw a lady get her sight back from being registered blind; the last time I saw her, she was trying to give her white stick away.

It was wonderful… amazing… extraordinary. The work of a very real, loving God who has a real and intimate desire to make our lives right and to make us whole.

I’ve prayed my own prayers, and, against all odds, God has come through with resolutions to situations that seemed impossible. He has filled my life with love and delight, my cup really does overflow.

But I’ve also prayed in situations when I was sure, oh so sure that God was going to make it right, make me better, make someone else better, resolve the conflict… you name it I’ve prayed it at some time… and God has sometimes seemed inexplicably silent.

But I know he’s not a silent God, nor an unloving God. I know He loves me, I know he really is all powerful…

So why?

I highly recommend Peter Greig’s book ’God On Mute’, an extraordinarily honest account of his and his wife Samie’s fight, initially for her life and later for a positive outcome after diagnosis of a debilitating brain tumour … I read about Peter and Samie’s ongoing battle with her illness, and with God’s response to their prayers for her recovery. There were times when answer to prayer seemed starkly absent, but there were also times when palpable change in a given situation was immediate and astonishing. For them, the battle, both spiritually and medically would appear to be ongoing. And yet in spite of the set-backs, Peter and Samie appear to be clear: in their lives, God is real, ever present, loving and all powerful.

Peter mentioned that even in the most desperate times when they were imploring God for seemingly unforthcoming results, there was peace. God’s love. His presence.

And then there’s Nick Vujicic, who was born completely without arms or legs. He suffered humiliation, bullying and a sense of hopelessness. He was suicidal at the age of ten and who can blame him? But when God breathed on him, his life was changed… Nope, still no arms or legs… but read the book, see the Youtube clips, listen to the guy speak… He was most certainly set free through the power of Jesus Christ. His healing took another form, but it was just as real.

And also, looking back at some of the times when Kevin’s and my son, James, was very ill as a baby, when we felt frightened, exhausted and totally deserted by God; it was some years later that we were able to look back and recognise that at those times when life seemed impossible, He was actually taking extraordinary care of us, bringing amazing people and extraordinary situations to help us through until James became the healthy chap he is much closer to being today.

This is a bit of a big issue to try addressing in my blog so please forgive me, but this is the point I’ve come to at the moment:

… What if when we pray, it simply allows God to pour His Holy Spirit upon us? To breathe on us. So there is always an answer, because although he might not press the button that makes the problem go away, His breath will do something. Whether it be to ease pain, open doors, bring peace, bring healing or simply bring the reassurance of His presence. The more we pray, the more Breath comes.

And that breath does more than make the difference that will make suffering endurable, it makes the difference that will set us free.

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