For several months God had been talking to me that we needed to go downtown in prayer teams and pray for people. But the schedule and the usual discomfort we humans have prior to these type of situations had seemed to dictate timing. Finally, I made the announcement to the choir and my husband to the church, that the first Friday of October would be our first night to try this.
The group that met us out by the fountain downtown made my heart swell with joy. Lots of young people, as well as, people prayer and faith. Families were everywhere, the joy of the weekend could be felt. A drummer line played in the background while my husband gave a few directions on how to pray for the sick. After that, I looked up Acts 4, and we prayed the prayer for boldness together, and headed out in pairs of 2 and 3’s.
My first thought as I walked away was… “Pause… ok, this is scary”. That was the last thing I remember before I seen a young man sitting alone, on the fountain with large earphones, staring down at his phone. Without thinking at all, and as not to scare him, I slowly lowered myself waving my hand to get his attention. He looked up, removed his head phone. And with the boldness that I had just prayed for, I smilingly said, “Hi, we are out tonight to pray with people. Is there any need, or miracle you that you need in your life, we could pray for?” He thought for a minute then said, “No not for me”. I said, “Do you have a friend or a loved one, who has a need we can pray for? He sat there for a minute and said, “Yes you can pray for my friend”. I asked the friend’s name, and what the need was. He said his friend’s need was mental health.
My husband told me to get out a prayer cloth out of my bag and out of his pocket, he pulled out a little bottle of oil, he had got at Men’s Conference. Right there under the night sky we anointed that cloth and I asked the young man, if he would like to pray for his friend with us. His answer was yes, and as he laid his hand on the cloth, our hands joined and we prayed for his friend. The presence of the Lord was there.
We moved on, asking individuals, families, whoever we felt. Such love was out there. Not at all what the enemy had told me would happen. One guy Max, waited a minute after being asked, then he gently said, that he was sure we believed in what we were doing, and that he didn’t want to hurt our feelings. We said, “Don’t worry about that, you can’t hurt our feelings that easy.”
But we just began getting to know him. Finding out, we actually had a lot in common. He had traveled across the US many times, hitchhiking. Finally I said again, “Listen, let us pray for you about anything!!! What do you have to lose? If when we pray, nothing happens, no big deal, but if God is real, and prayer works, then you will know.“
Somehow in the 20 minutes we enjoyed his company and got to know him, we managed to pray for 4 things. He suffered from headaches, back pain, from when his back had been broken. While we prayed, he politely bore with us, I managed to pray safety over him as he sleeps outside, and that the love of God would surround him. My husband and I had made a friend who asked us to have a seat next to him, and you can be sure the next Friday we go out, we will hang out for a while, if Max is there.
I was shocked at how open hearted people were even if they politely declined, and said, they were good. With each ask, there was a sweetness, a love extended just in the connection. It struck me that it was dark, yet, no one was acting frightened at our approach as I had been worried they would.
We decided after a while, just to walk the streets of our downtown and pray over our city. As we walked I could see different young people from our church, sitting on the pavement talking to someone. Other’s I seen leaning against a building talking to a person. Genuine conversations, not a invitation to church and then a disappearance. Another couple from our group was seated at a table with a family they had just met, enjoying a conversation together. Later I seen them praying together.
By Saturday I was dying to know what all had happened with the others. So when I seen 2 of my singers, Kaley and Rene, who are sisters, I wanted to know their experience! Going together as a team, their story shocked me!
They started looking for people to pray for, but kept being directed by the Spirit to continue walking and praying down the streets. Kaley kept feeling led of the Holy Spirit to walk further and further down the street and Rene praying beside her, was following her lead. When suddenly Rene felt strange, trying to figure out why, looking around, she realized they were right across from a tarot card and Wiccan product store. They walked across the street and began declaring the blood of Jesus around the store and praying spiritual warfare. The whole night God kept directing them to the stores down the streets which were selling witchcraft paraphernalia! Finally the Lord led them to a large building that Rene saw in a flashing vision was a stronghold of the enemy. Those 2 girls walked in the dark, around that building seven times, praying, declaring and commanding the evil spirits to leave our city! And God showed them as they circled it, which spirits to pray against! I got so fired up listening to their testimony!!
We all met on Sunday, many of us were in the choir room to begin practice but instead of practicing, testimonies were flying from everyone who had went. The power of God was moving as we testified and I decided to listen to them instead of practicing!
One of the testimonies came woman of faith and a great singer, in our church whom we will call Ann (pseudo-name to protect her job). Her testimony was how the miraculous happened at work!! Ann works as a teacher in a school, where she is NOT ALLOWED to say the name JESUS. (Yes, we MUST have people of God, IN that environment!) A few months back a beautiful little 2 year old girl was brought into the school who could not walk. The child had very little muscle mass, on her legs, it was mostly bone. And her legs were deformed into a bow legged curve. She got around by hopping on her little behind. When Ann seen this little girl at the school, her heart broke, for the mother and the child.
Ann told me that God was dealing with her to pray for this child and she was believing for a miracle! The main problem facing her was how to do it, and not get fired. Strangely enough, night after night, God started waking Ann up at 3:30 am, to pray for this child.
After 3 straight weeks of being woken every night, Ann got aggravated, and said, “God how can I ever pray, when this child is not even in my class and I can’t even say JESUS? You better make a way!”
The next morning her boss met her at the door and said they were missing teachers, and had to gather classes. Ann instantly believed God had made a way! But her boss walked her right past the room, that little 2 year old girl was in. And then walked her right down to the class at the end of the hall… but as she walked in that room, there sat the little girl, on the floor.
Because Ann has a teaching partner with her at all times, she was still trying to figure out, how can I pray for this child and not get fired? At story time she sat the little girl on the floor next to her. And from the bone at the hip down, she began to rub those tiny, mostly bone legs saying, “Jeeeesus.” Her teaching partner knowing this was a firing offense, quickly turned her head and looked away. Ann continued a few more times rubbing up and down those little legs, saying “in the name of Jesus.”
The next day classes are back to normal. Two weeks goes by Ann, went to the child’s class and asks, how is this girl doing? The teacher says no change. Three weeks later Ann goes to check again. But this time in front of her very own eyes, and with the mother watching, the child stands UP and takes 5 or 6 steps toward Ann. The mother starts crying saying, “We don’t know what happened the doctors said it would take 2 years if it would EVER happen that our child could walk.” Ann just stood there, filled with such joy. She said, even the bowed legs were straight!!! We were on FIYAH after that testimony was told, She testified in the service along with others and people started coming to the front to get prayed for in the middle of the service! It was so powerful! The faith, the expectancy of the people once they heard all that had been happening.
What I have learned so far, about reaching out beyond the accepted religious norms and into the supernatural is that it is about overcoming a MASS of fears! Fear you will get it wrong. Fear you will look crazy. Fear of loss of self. Fear of speaking on God’s behalf. Fear of stepping out on faith and God not having your back. Fear it won’t be worth the effort. Fear of failure. Fear of what people will think. Fear of having to talk to the person at Walmart and ask if you can pray for them, when God tells you to. Fear of looking crazy (this fear should be inserted into this list, again and again).
All this fear is at first, is paralyzing! It’s only when your relationship with God is more important, than your allegiance to self and/or any other person or thing, that you will consider it worth the pushback of this amount of fear.
Until then, you live in spiritual limbo, a self imposed paralysis. Asking God to use you, but mostly choking when he says to do something, annoyingly unable to deliver on the mission.
Let me tell you a secret boldness, comes with determination, prayer, reading the word and the consistent surrender of self in the presence of God. Understanding, I’m here today, to do the will of the Holy Spirit. I love Jesus so much, that for HIM, I will look crazy! I will do ANYTHING, he asks. It is worth it to me.
And then, the excitement of being brave becomes addictive! The risk becomes energizing! Obeying the voice of the Spirit becomes empowering! Ministering to people becomes pure JOY! You realize God is meeting you in a way you had only seen in your dreams, before.
And, because of these risks, you are aware you are important, an ambassador of Jesus Christ. The last things he told to do before he ascended up into heaven was, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10). Tom Dooley says it so well, “Our job is proclamation, HIS job is performance!!” I love that!!
It’s NOT about us being the perfect amount of anything! That day will never dawn! We will never feel worthy, or ready. Thank God feeling that is NOT a requirement! But what IS a requirement is speaking aloud, in the name of Jesus that someone ( a person), be SET FREE, HEALED, DELIVERED and MADE WHOLE. That is our job! And it is the job, to lay our hands on the sick, declaring they are healed in his name. To pray for the dead commanding life back into them. That is the job. It is God’s job to RAISE THEM UP!
If we want to see God RAISE THEM UP then we must, GO and DO the job he said! Not wait around helplessly to do these things hoping someone will come to church. Doing it, is the place where the supernatural is! That point where obedience meets risk. That leap of faith where one surrenders, self awareness, self focus, self gratification and willingly does the will of God. There is that place Jesus spoke of, where both joy and miracles reside!!