Arthritis and a headache healed

I was out in an estate we reach out to with 2 others last month. We had some friendly conversations, but just as we were running out of time, we felt like God had someone else for us to bless. We prayed quickly that He’d lead us to someone, then felt we should walk round the back of one of the block of flats.

Just as we rounded the corner, an older lady shouted at someone in her house and then stormed out of a ground floor apartment and lit up a cigarette.

I’d been reflecting on God’s peace – how he tells the 12 and the 72 to let their peace go out from them (Lk 10), and how His peace is always present tense – not dependant on success or activity, but available right now wherever we’re at: Not in 10 minutes; not in a few months when whatever we’re going to do next happens.

We saw this lady and asked if she needed some peace – she said she’d love some, so we told her how much Jesus loved her and prayed for her to experience God’s presence. She immediately started stubbing out her cigarette and then said she felt much calmer.

As we were praying, my friend sensed that she might have arthritis – she said she did, and I then sensed her right wrist might be getting hot. She said it started burning, and then explained that she’d twice broken her right wrist due to the weakness and it was always painful. She said the pain was always a 7/10.

We prayed a super quick prayer and asked her how it was and matter of factly she said completely fine; she moved the wrist around and put weight on it all without pain – before calmly going back inside.

We went and met up with the rest of the team; another guy shared he had a really bad headache. We shared this testimony and then I commanded His headache to go in the name of Jesus – He was completely better moments later!

I saw her a month later and asked how it was – still completely fine!

Praise Jesus.

Achilles Tendon

I had a word of knowledge in my small group for someone’s left achilles being in pain. An intern stood up to say he had pain from running that was at about a 3/10. I and a few others started to pray for him. Nothing happened. After the 3rd prayer it was maybe a little bit better – but really it was negligible. We kept going.  Eventually after praying about 7 or 8 times the pain level started to drop and was a 1.

He kept testing it out and we kept praying – and eventually he said all the pain, which he’d had for 2-3 weeks, had gone. But that he wanted to check it out with a run over the weekend.

He was completely able to run without any pain! Something he hadn’t managed to do for a couple of weeks!

Thank you Jesus.

Pain in the neck

We went out on a prayer walk in town with my new small group. At the end, I offered a couple of words of knowledge. One for a pain in the right foot – a guy responded but nothing happened. The other was for some pain in the shoulder. A lady replied that she’d had really bad pain for ages and had been waiting for someone to get a word of knowledge for it.

I and a couple of others prayed for it and she said it felt substantially better; not quite 100%, but it’s been noticeably better ever since.

Thank you Jesus!

Vision – Where are we going?

Over the last few years I’ve been on a hunt. Looking for a movement to Church Plant with. I’m now part of a new community in Central London. We’re in the early days. There’s not much to look at at the moment apart from a group of nice guys who are doing various cool things, and who want to spend a bit of time together on a midweek evening. I’ve been thinking about where we’re going…

In this season of vision formation, it’s important that we stay grounded in who God has called us to be. A community in the heart of London for those that don’t do Church. We’re a space where people who haven’t got the time, or boldness, or even the hunger to venture in to a typical church building can accidentally stumble upon the love of God – just as those in Acts 2:5 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%202&version=NIV) stumbled on His grace as they went about their business. There, a group of people committed to each other (Acts 2:42-47) – meeting in their social spaces and their homes, walked the streets in response to the Love of God, and God changed everything.

So what is going to happen with us? We’re already a family. We’re already committing to each other and to this vision – whatever it may look like – as it forms, and as God builds it together. We’re already meeting together, talking about God and dwelling on His grace.

But we’re certainly not a place where we’re reaching out to our community at the moment – not as much as I’d like us to. Not as much as God designed us to. Nor are we a place where those who enter are guaranteed an encounter with God – sometimes they might just meet us. That’s fine in one sense – we’re nice people. But some people are craving that encounter; somewhere in our midst we need to do both.

There’s a false dichotomy in some churches that says we can’t go deep with God with those outside the community. As if the depth of God’s truth is only applicable to the ‘in’ crowd. I don’t understand this. Jesus didn’t hide his message to the Pharisees (the religious in croud) from the gentiles (the non-religious ‘out’ group). He did the opposite. In fact, I’d argue His teaching was deeper with the gentiles than it was with the Pharisees. With the gentiles he expounded and defined what love was – no one had a frame of reference for it, so he would have to build up the picture, set it clearly in their minds, then demonstrate his compassion. With the Pharisees he spent more time rebuking and correcting – and pastoring errors…

I wonder if our Churches should reflect that a bit more. If we should love – and be free to describe what (who) love looks like to those on the fringes unashamedly. Unreservedly. And then hold our holy huddles to grasp something else.

Then we could all be inspired. Even more – new comers could inspire us. Because their impact on us – the impact of seeing people meet Him… would revolutionise our lives.

If this movement could be born out of the stimulus that is broken people meeting Jesus, maybe we would stay there. Maybe that is what revival looks like. It doesn’t look like equipping the Church to sit in a huddle and enjoy the presence. It looks like equipping the broken to become like that woman at the well in John 4, who was so transformed that she went from being an outcast to being someone everyone else in the whole town followed (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%204:39&version=NIV). Then they’ll keep on following. They’ll keep on meeting Him. Maybe it will never stop.

Cartilage healed after a word of knowledge

Tonight at Church I was receiving some prayer, when I felt God’s presence come upon me and the words ‘Damaged cartilage in the Knee’ and ‘Joshua’ come into my head. I figured God wanted to heal someone…

I felt it so strongly that it actually crossed my mind to just shout out and pray for it to be healed then and there – skipping the ‘invite them up for prayer’ stage. I resisted – I instead just shared the words with Al who called them out from the front.

Straight after he said it a guy about 5 rows back put his hand up and responded. He walked up to me, said his name was Joshua and that he had damaged cartilage in his knee. I began to pray. I felt sure it was going to get better. As I prayed the guy felt the presence of God, but when he tested it out, the knee felt no different. I prayed again. This time the guy dropped to the floor under the presence of God.. and I kept praying. After a few minutes he tried it again. He said there was no pain, but that there was still a ‘pop’ every time he moved it. I prayed once more. As he tried it, jumped up and down, leant on it etc, he said that both the pop and the pain had completely gone.

He took my email and said he’d pass on how it felt in a couple of days, once he was absolutely sure. I’ll let you know!

Thank you Jesus!

Praise Jesus – 3 healings and new cartilage at the bowling!

Last Thursday, I went bowling and and dodgem-ing with some guys from Church…Towards the end, and in the space of about 5 minutes, I had the privilege of seeing 3 people healed according to the mighty love of Jesus.

One girl had a sore back and couldn’t really bowl without it hurting, so she was sharing a lane with another friend. As we were about to leave, I offered to pray for it – and she accepted. After we had prayed the first time she said she felt it was noticeably different, but still painful. We prayed a few more times, and soon all the pain had left and she could bend over without it aching.

We’d become detached from the group because we were praying, but when I and another guy rejoined the others we let them know what God had done just as we were about to get on the dodgems. Another girl said that I could pray for her ankle afterwards. She said she’d been suffering from pain for ‘months’ after twisting or spraining it. She didn’t really know what she’d done, but I took it as an invitation and didn’t see any reason to wait – so I knelt down and prayed for 5 seconds at the most, inviting Jesus to heal it according to His love. Her face was a picture – the pain had instantly gone.

Straight after that I prayed for the girl who had been sharing the lane with the girl with back pain. She’d had operations which removed cartilage from both of her knees following an accident which had broken the bones literally years before. Physios and Doctors had run out of solutions. Her knees were destined to grind forever. I offered to pray – again only briefly. She felt heat in her knees as I did so, and immediately all the clicking and the pain had gone. Jesus must have recreated the cartilage that had been surgically removed!

Praise Jesus!

Chronicles of Malta

I’d been weighing up where to go with a week of holiday that I’d booked off a couple of months ago. I’d gone through about 6 different options and none of them had felt quite right, until on Monday night I was chatting to a Maltese friend who invited me over. I knew God would have something lined up and it felt right. I booked tickets at midnight and left for Malta at 9am the next morning.

Malta is awesome. Covered with beaches, doused in glorious sunshine and filled with plenty of fascinating history both from a Christian perspective (the Apostle Paul got stranded here in AD60) and my own family’s (my great uncle was this guy.).

Part of the reason I came was to stretch myself in sharing God’s love on the streets. On the Wednesday I went to Valletta determined to see His kingdom come and prepared to make a fool of myself. It wasn’t long before I walked past a group of 8 guys in their late teens who were just mingling and hanging about. I felt like I should go up and offer to pray for them, so I did.

“This might sound a little strange… but do any of you have any physical pain in your body?” I asked. I explained that Jesus loved them and that I felt that he’d heal them if they did. Amidst the surprised reaction of the group, one brave guy piped up that he had a swollen knee which hurt when he walked. I laid hands on him with the 8 guys standing all around me, prayed a simple prayer and asked how it was.

After that, the whole group were suddenly interested in what I had to say. I chatted for a bit and then prayed with all of them before moving on. While I shared some of the gospel message I wish I’d shared more, but at least I know for next time. They did at least grab business cards of the local church from my hands.

Almost immediately after that I walked past a lady limping heavily with a crutch. I stopped her and chatted a little with her about how Malta became a Catholic country because the Apostle Paul had been shipwrecked there, and had then healed lots of the islanders (read Acts 27-28). Jesus hadn’t changed, and I was there to do the same. Her daughter helped to translate but didn’t want to be on the video so unfortunately this video isn’t great.

She’d fallen down a flight of stairs a couple of days earlier and sprained her ankle. She said that the pain level was a 5/10 (with 10 being absolute agony) to begin with and then after I prayed once it had dropped down to a 2/10. I then prayed again and I asked her to walk a few metres with out the crutch and she said through her daughter that it wasn’t hurting. I left her with contact details for the church and watched her walk away without a limp.

I walked past an estate agents and felt like I should walk in and offer to pray for someone there. It didn’t go so well. One lady said she had a friend with back pain so I prayed for him standing in the doorway while one of the 3 staff members watched in disbelief. I told them God loved them and moved on. At least his name was glorified. I don’t care about mine.

Next I did a bit of tourist stuff – visiting (St Johns Co-Cathedral in Valletta) and as I emerged I saw a guy walking with a limp. I stopped him and prayed for him. He said that he felt the pain drop about 50-60% but the real issue was that it was so bandaged that he couldn’t move it. He was on his way to a physio, so I’m praying he’ll have got there and discovered that it was completely healed.

While looking for lunch, I saw a lady on a cigarette break and felt like she had back pain and heaviness all over her. I walked up and asked if she had back pain. She jumped in surprise and said yes, asking how I knew. I prayed for it at the pain level fell from a 5/10 to a 2/10. She then had to rush back to work so I didn’t get to pray for the rest.

Then I chilled out for the afternoon doing more touristy stuff around the harbour until joining my friend Claude to go and support a network of Churches from Malta in an outreach. En route I had asked someone if they had ear problems (slightly ironically perhaps) and was wrong, but nevermind. For whatever reason I didn’t personally see too much happen at the outreach, but we met some of the youth – and 3 guys I spoke to told me that 6 days ago they’d been heavily shooting heroin but had had a sudden encounter with God, become Christians, and not used it since!

On the way back as we were getting on the bus, Claude and I asked a couple of guys who were getting on the bus with us if they had any pain. They were a bit taken a back but both said that they had back aches. We offered to pray. One of them let us, and was instantly healed. He then spent the rest of the journey trying to convince his more sceptical friend to “have them do it to you”, and kept saying “I’m serious, I’m serious, It’s better”. It was quite funny, but it gave us an opportunity to talk to them more about who Jesus was and what he had done. During the conversation we told the more sceptical guy that we felt God had gifted him in maths and that he was pursuing a career which would use those skills – to which he said that Maths was his best subject and he had just begun to pursue work in IT.

We got off the bus with a girl who had been sat behind and overheard the whole conversation. She was curious and happy to talk to us. She mentioned that there was a particular area where she could use prayer and so we prayed for her, sharing pictures which God gave us. She was clearly touched, said that the pictures we shared were ‘exactly what she needed’ and gratefully took contact details of the Church as we parted ways.

It was a fun day…