Wednesday, August 24, 2011
The healing power of Jesus!!!
Went in to San Jose central to pray today. We take most groups into the city. Orange bags are filled with juice and cookies and we go seeking the lost, the outcast, and the homeless. They're easy to find. They tend to congregate in the parks and in certain zones of downtown. They are dirty, in old clothing, and have a look on their faces like life has been hard. We also go to pray for the sick, or those with canes, in wheelchairs, or visible physical needs. Today we saw some thing amazing. My group, which included Max and Sarah from the Denver team and Kevin and Randall from the community, decided to walk along the side of the hospital and make our way up to the national park. As we were cutting through the park, Max and I noticed a woman with an eye patch heading toward the hospital. We both agreed we felt a tug from the Holy Spirit. It felt kind of awkward at first. I mean, Max is taller than me....and we were doing what would appear like stalking in most countries....walking after someone and trying to catch up with them while obviously looking a bit out of place. When we caught her attention, we told her we were missionaries out sharing the love of God and praying for healing. We asked her if we could pray for her eye. She said of course. We asked what happened. A stroke. A few days ago. Her facial nerve was damaged and she couldn't close or blink her eye, it was fixed in the open position. That was why she had the patch on, to protect it from the sun and wind. It was burning and her eyes were watery. Kevin, Randall, Sarah, Max, and I all laid hands on her and asked for the Holy Spirit to come. There were no lighting bolts from heaven. No burning bushes. No voices that sounded like Morgan Freeman coming from the mysterious beyond. Just an overwhelming sense of love and compassion for this woman. We didn't use any special words. We just asked God to come and touch this woman. We asked Him to show her His extravagant love and touch her as only He can. And then it happened. Max asked her if she would remove the patch. And she did. The pain was gone. She could move her eye lid!!! PRAISE GOD!!!!!! She had been on her way to therapy for her muscle weakness. She said she felt totally better! I encouraged her to still go and give testimony to what God had done for her.
God still heals!! He still hears us!! A bit later we were on a street corner when a man came up to me. He got right up in my face and said (in Spanish, but for the sake of the blog I'll put it in English) "Do you remember me?" I did, so I said yes. I remembered praying for him a few months ago. He said he wanted prayer for his brother. I asked why. He told me that when we prayed for him a few months ago, he was living on the streets and we prayed that God would help him get off the streets. He told me today he lives in a house and has a job. He wanted the same for his brother. PRAISE GOD!!!
Only God can do that. Only God can make that kind of change in some one's life. Only God can bring healing and change and freedom. All we do is give God opportunity to do His work. We act as the natural, physical catalyst so God can do His supernatural, spiritual AND physical AND mental works. By taking steps of faith and praying for people, we invite the presence of the Holy Spirit to come and have His will. And we know from the Bible that His will is always to make people whole.
We did have two completely different experiences. We saw a older woman with her daughter. The woman was walking with a significant limp and had a cane. We also approached her and offered to pray for healing. She completely refused. A bit later we saw a woman in a wheelchair. She had partial paralysis in her legs and could only walk when assisted. We offered to pray for her, too, and she willingly accepted. However when we finished praying and asked her if she felt any different, her response was a bit unusual. She said she felt no different and this obviously wasn't the time that God was going to heal her because she felt nothing. We asked if she wanted to try standing. She said no. She told us she knew God would heal her, but in His own time. Well, what about now? we asked. She said no, she couldn't and wouldn't attempt to stand because she was certain God did not want to heal her at that moment. That maybe He would some day, but she was certain today was not the day. Ok. You cannot force someone to want to be healed. So we moved on. Kevin pondered a bit out loud about what he thought happened. The Bible says whatever we ask in Jesus' name, when we have faith, God will answer. So maybe God did answer our prayers. But maybe the woman had too much fear of failing. Maybe she was afraid to stand for fear that it "didn't work" and she would be disappointed or she would fall and make a fool of herself. Kevin thought that maybe this happens quite more than we think. That God answers our prayers for healing, but there is a step that needs to be taken...one of faith...that some times the person doesn't want to take. I think he makes a pretty good point. The experience certainly didn't make us want to stop praying and asking.
The point is to keep praying. To keep going out into the streets and asking God for His healing touch. Keep giving God the opportunity to demonstrate His power in real, practical, loving, kind ways.