Today a very dear friend of mine from Sweden posted the beautiful ‘Blessing’ song on Facebook – in Swedish. It’s really lovely, especially as Sweden is high up the list of my favourite countries, and a wonderful place to go.
On the video, there are many churches named that I’ve had the privilege of preaching in, and praying for people. And quite a few people I know singing on the video.
On my first visit I was in a lovely church in a city, Vasteras, and it was a great meeting. I had a good friend, Heidi, with me, a very prophetic young woman with a healing gift, too. There were three men at the front in wheel-chairs, very clearly stroke victims. I’ll be honest, at that time I sued to leave people in wheel-chairs to the end in the hope that everyone else would have gone home or someone else would pray for them (!)
This night I knew I had to go to them first, and knew which one should be first. I held his hand as he was unable to shake hands, introduced myself through the Swedish translator, and asked his name. ‘Jose Luis’ ‘That’s not a Swedish name, it’s Latino’. ‘I’m Latino’ he replied. ‘Where from?’ ‘South America’. I said that was a big continent(!) -which country? One in the north that’s very dangerous, foreigners don’t go there. I said that could apply to most Latino countries, which one? Colombia? ‘Yes, I’m from Colombia’. I was there 4 weeks ago. You were in COLOMBIA? Yes. Which part are you from – by now I was speaking some Spanish to him…. ‘the south, a city no one goes to as it’s far too dangerous’. That covers a few cities! – Buenaventura, Medellin, Pereira…. ‘You know those cities?’ Yes, but I think you come from Cali. ‘You know Cali?’ Yes, I was there 4 weeks ago! ‘ Which part of Cali are you from? ‘The east’ – I said the east was pretty big, was it Agua Blanca? ‘You know Agua Blanca?’ Same answer again… Yes, I go there often. What street in which district are you from? Turned out I’d stayed on one street and he’d lived on one that joined it at right angles! His face was a picture, you could see in his face faith rising because God had clearly put us together.
I asked him if he wanted to be healed (!) – he did – so I suggested he get up out of the chair. I didn’t feel with what God had done ‘surreptitiously’ that I needed to pray: his withered bent left arm straightened, and his right arm which was completely still in his lap both moved to the arms of the seat, and unaided he got out of the chair. It was incredible. His wife and kids were laughing and crying, Jose was laughing….
The next guy spoke good English – Tony – same condition as Jose: what do you want God to do for you? ‘I want what he’s just had!’ nodding towards Jose, who was now walking out of the church. So I said ‘Well, get up and be healed in Jesus’ Name’ – which he did, instantly! To say he was over the moon would be an understatement – the same as me!
The third guy, Peter, was the same – what do you want God to do for you? It must be getting easy for you after those two! His answer was like a kick in the stomach. ‘If I’m healed and get out of my wheel-chair, will I lose my benefits?’ I told him that doubtless he would – but at late 30 years old, he’d have his life back.
‘Please don’t pray for me’. You could have knocked me with a feather. Who would prefer benefits to miraculous healing? It didn’t take the joy of the first two guys away but it made me realise – as I had previously – that some people DON’T WANT to be healed. They come forward for the attention, maybe, but I know quite a number of people who’d prefer to use the excuse of illness or disability than be blessed by God and healed.
It’s one of the things I ask God about before I ‘waste time’ praying for someone who doesn’t want what God wants to give them. It’s sad, but true. Many others got healed that evening in Vasteras, so it was a great evening, but I’ll never forget Peter….