In recent weeks, since I’ve been more actively involved ‘on the road’ again after last year’s ‘not being able to walk’ problems, it’s been absolutely wonderful to know that – while it seemed that people forgot me last year (apart from a handful, including my lovely not-yet-Christian’ next door neighbours), that God didn’t forget me! I did wonder if, after the best part of a year mostly out of circulation, if I’d be remembered when people wanted someone to speak, or pray for the sick: I’m very grateful that I’ve already had some wonderful opportunities this year, and seen God do some wonderful things. It’s so good to know that the gift and call are irrevocable and that God knows when even a sparrow falls to the ground it isn’t forgotten.
Some of the testimonies from meetings – and people I’ve prayed for in homes – I’ve already told in blogs, but it’s always good to hear that those people are still well, going on with God better than before…. one young man (I won’t mention his name) who’d been having long-term problems with alcoholism, and drug abuse, came and spent some hours in my home, brought here by a very long term friend from 30+ years back…. a local friend who was here, too, just briefly after they’d arrived, had a word of knowledge/encouragement for the young man, started to break down all the walls he’d built around himself to keep God ‘at bay’ – and during the course of a number hours (not intense – on and off in that time!), God set him free…. he desperately needed to pass his driving test (which was the following week) so that he could go back to the country where he was living and working: he wasn’t in the least confident he’d pass. After God had dealt with his history of failures, he passed the driving test with flying colours so much so that the examiner pinned his pass ‘notice’ on the wall to show others what could be done…. He’s doing great back ‘home’ now and has grown in faith, firstly because of the words of encouragement when he arrived, and then by what God did that day and through my friend who’d brought him here….
Had a terrific time in Welshpool, Powys, recently – I have a long-term friendship and life-long bond with one couple there – Jonathan & Kathryn moved there almost 20 years ago, but Kathryn was the driver of their car in which she was taking me to Heathrow in 1994, when we were crushed between two articulated (18 wheelers Americans!) lorries (trucks Americans! – as you know, we’re one nation divided by a common language!). That sort of experience – which should have killed both of us – does tend to forge a bond that is unbreakable!) – I heard another bit of the story that I didn’t know from Kathryn, too! She was first out of the car, being tall and slim: I thought I sort of rose up out of the front windscreen (windshield Americans!) with the big angel’s hands around my arms (they’d obviously been around my arms at some stage as I had massive bruise print finger marks on my biceps) but I guess that was to get me out of the seat belt which was still connected – lap and shoulder straps – Kathryn said I came out of the car really fast, spinning (I pictured it when she told me as like one of those machines they drill tunnels with!) – I had NO idea of that – probably it was just the shock and relief of getting out of the car that filled my mind. She told me about other conversations she had that I wasn’t aware of either! The story gets better and better!!!!
I’d gone to Welshpool to speak at the Filling Station, where God did some lovely healings, including the miraculous release that evening from pain of a man (I haven’t asked his permission to mention his name here) who’d had massive injuries in a car crash and constant pain for many years. I asked him what his pain level was at the start – on a 1-10 scale – and he said 12-15, so that’ll give you some idea. After we chatted and prayed, I asked him what he was feeling (my body is on fire! – which you could see by the sweat on his forehead!) and what was about pain that level now – 1-10 – ‘1’ was his answer, and he could stand up and sit down with no pain which he hadn’t been able to do. Others received either total or partial reduction in pain: other diseases/physical ailments were healed, or the process began…. I love what God wants to do for us, and promised to do – and DOES, through ordinary people like me and you… Went to a few people’s homes the next morning to pray for them – both will only know what’s happened as a result when they return to hospital for tests/check ups/scans….
The journey home was one of rejoicing at having been with such a wonderful bunch of Christians in a little Welsh market town, where their expression of church is very much an Acts 2:44-47 church:
44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
They come together a couple of times a month to meet collectively, and then have ‘The Filling Station’ as an open time of worship, speaking, evangelism, and healing. I love going there, especially because of the ‘car crash’ bond which has made my friendship with Jonathan and Kathryn very precious! Then the long drive back to Northfleet Wednesday afternoon….
…to leave earlyish Saturday morning to go the long drive to Plymouth – so worth the drive to speak at another church I love, City Church – I’ve been going there since the middle ages I think! – but so many of the people there are really great friends, and they bless me so much, and seem to love me a lot! That’s most important to me – to be able to love and bless and be loved and blessed. No startling miracles, but there were people who received relief from pain, someone who’d broken her hand on the Thursday before experienced a big reduction in pain, and the next day (I think) the hospital said that there was no need to for plaster as it was healing well… This story, too, is lovely, about a boy with a number of mental and sociological issues:
- Hi Paul. To encourage you. I met Benjamin’s Mum in town today. She said that since you prayed for him there is a big difference in him. Whereas before, if she said something to him he would repeat it back to her but not respond. Now when she says ‘good morning Benjamin ‘ instead of giving a little wave, he says ‘good morning Mummy’. There are other changes as well and she is thrilled and believing God for more. Lots of love Nina
I love it when Good heals instantly, but I love it as much when God begins a process that results in permanent transformation. A couple of Sundays ago, at a wonderful Cafe Church in West London, God released a number of people – many of them desperately poor and some homeless/refugees etc., – of a lot of pain, osteoarthritic knees were eased massively/healed…. a lovely Iranian refugee with chronic knee pain and the other leg ulcerated, received a great amount of release from pain in his arthritic knee – here’s a bit from the email received from a very long-time friend, Godfrey, who runs the cafe church:
- I wanted quickly to pass on from Reza, his thanks to both of you, (I had a fantastic faith-filled praying friend with me who’s own healing/word of knowledge gift is such a blessing) and to tell you that the pain in his knee remains very much less ever since you prayed – as he said, one or two out of ten compared to at least five, and it has stayed that way for which he is extremely grateful. He’s hoping to get back to doing some work soon so mobility is very important. The ulcer pain in his other leg is no better, though he said two interesting things. He said that he had wondered on Sunday if this was something that was enabling him to understand how other people feel (as your knees do for you). The other thing is that after we left, and all yesterday, he felt drained of all energy and was falling asleep when some friends came to visit him yesterday – I wondered if you had come across that sometimes as a reaction to healing prayer? I know (as in Elijah after Mt Carmel) that it’s a recognized physical reaction to spiritual activity. (My response to that is yes – it’s sometimes like God gives us an anesthetic in order to carry on working on us – and rest is an important part of allowing the healing to take effect).
Godfrey and I have known each other – we worked out – for almost 40 years, though it’s many years since we were in touch – there’s a wonderfully beneficial side of Facebook despite some of the criticism people level at it! – When I worked for Youth for Christ in East Sussex, a brilliant singing/poetic duo used to come quite regularly to work with us – Shattock and Rust (Geoff and Godfrey). They were great musicians, Godfrey a great poet….so it was a delight to hook up again! A lady called Glenna (I think) received a lot of healing, so much that she came back for more to get another ‘dousing’ from the Holy Spirit to completely heal her…. prayed for so many that evening, it was wonderful, too, that there were so many nations represented there, a few of which some of the people were delighted that I knew and had been to!
God spoke as I was moving over to England that there would be an increase not only in what I do in the year/years ahead, but also in seeing much more of his power in action. It goes with the ‘turf’ that when God moves there’s an enemy reaction, and I don’t think that in all the years I’ve been following God’s call I’ve known attack like it before and after trips, physically, emotionally, and practically. I’d really value your prayers that as the year rolls on, and more opportunities come in to go to other places to minister, for protection – especially physical and practical – when I got back from the Plymouth trip (I’d gone to Welshpool a few days earlier), the enemy ‘hit’ my body with such force I couldn’t get out of the car when I got back home. I sat in the car for a good 10 minutes and even wondered if I’d need to sleep there, as 30+ stairs up to the flat I’m renting seemed a physical impossibility for these suffering knees. In the end, I decided that I had to try, as my bed is more comfortable than the car seat, and it took me 20 minutes to get back up to the flat. I just fell on the bed unable to move. I’ve been ultra-conscious, too, of the assault of a particular spirit – some of you will be aware of the Jezebel spirit – wow, when that spirit attacks you certainly know you’re in a war!
Lots of other changes going on, but rather than extend this blog, I’ll write another one as it’ll be so long you’ll give up reading it, daunted by the length!
I try to take one day at a time. Looking ahead often makes me feel overwhelmed. I can’t look at tomorrow’s challenges with today’s grace. But I remind myself that all the grace I need for tomorrow will be given to me WHEN I GET THERE. Jesus put it like this,“”So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
Jesus just has a way with words doesn’t he?