If you’ve ever consistently prayed for people in a ministry context, particularly when it’s a lot of different people in a relatively short time-frame, you’ll know how wonderfully fulfilling, satisfying, and exhausting it is. When you’re dealing with people who are mostly pretty sick, frequently in a great deal of pain, possibly looking death in the face, and suffering emotionally as a result of one or maybe all of those things, I still fail to see how you can ‘pray’ for them by going along a line, tapping – or worse, pushing – them on the head, just saying ‘be healed’ – and expect it to have any lasting impact. When you sit with them, and talk, build a ‘bridge’ with a sick person, it drains you incredibly.
The last eleven days have, for me, included six whole days in Londonderry, doing just that – sitting, listening, encouraging, building up faith in the person, telling a few testimony stories of others in their situation who God has healed – plus, of course, six days of driving from Bangor to Londonderry – ok, it’s only 80 miles each way, but often, I’ve been leaving there often after 10 p.m. having had 10 or 11 hours of pretty solid ministry….I have to say that, today, I’ve crashed out in the chair in front of the England v. Pakistan cricket test match, totally exhausted! Last night, is was past midnight when I got home, but often the problem, at the end of the day, when you’ve seen God do some special things, the adrenaline is still going, and it’s just not possible to sleep straight away!
Yesterday was great: I fear that I’m boring you now with the constant stream of lovely healings, and a considerable number of miracles, that these posts contain. Good old WordPress, the blog software, gives me a running total of how many people view the blog – yes, I know that there are people who get the blogs by email – and some days, I’m having to think that ‘boredom’ with what God’s doing, is one of the reasons he doesn’t seem to do as much in our culture, as he does in many others…
I’ve never wanted to go after publicity: I’m not criticising those who do, but when I read that there are a good number of people being saved in Reading, England, I have to wonder why 300-400 people being wonderfully healed in the north of Northern Ireland, in less than 4 months isn’t making the news… there’s a growing sense amongst people there that this is going to be a ongoing situation in Derry, Limavady, Dungiven, Drumahoe, etc…..
My sense is that it’s still the FEAR of healing, the fear of God’s ‘power’ gifts, and the scepticism, even cynicism, that still grips a large percentage of the UK church where those gifts are concerned. I think it must make God weep. We’ll do the things that Jesus did – or will we? Is he still doing them? What if in 20 years’ time, a person is sick again? Or even 5 years…or 3? That’s NOT our problem. Lazarus died again, at some point. So did Jairus’s daughter. I’m sure the woman healed of bleeding as she touched Jesus’s clothes, had a cold, or a back pain, at some stage later in her life.
I don’t deny that salvation is STILL the GREATEST MIRACLE that can ever happen to any human being. But the commission from Jesus in Matthew 10:7-8, sending the disciples out on their solo mission trip, was ‘tell people that the kingdom of heaven is at hand: heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons, raise the dead. Freely you have received, freely give.’ So power ministry was pretty high up the agenda as far as Jesus was concerned.
I’m grateful, more than I could ever say, that God has called me to this ministry. I’m aware that in some places, what I do makes me ‘persona non grata’, just as I’m aware in some places I go to speak, that the moment I start telling of what Jesus IS doing, a wall like the Bank of England vault goes up. Maybe, I’m just writing down these stories for the sake of history in the future, maybe one day to go into a book (if ever someone can persuade me to write one – there’s a challenge for you!)….
Yesterday, there were some wonderful healings… four ladies, who’d congregated in one house, all healed, all pain gone – from fibro-myalgia, osteoarthritis, heart conditions, poor circulation, depression, scoliosis, flat feet, bunions…. and it finished late last night (with a good few more people in between) with a great guy, in his 50’s I guess, who’d got severe crohns disease: his pain started to go down immediately, and by the time we’d made it to the door to leave, which took some time as we had loads to talk about! – had pretty much gone completely.
For me, for Davy, and for the people healed, it was a great day. I hope the fact that God seems to be on a ‘roll’ – it’s like a snowball rolling downhill – with healing people here, blesses you, too….