Saturday, 18 September 2010

Highlights from SA #3 - Healings

I'm now well and truly back into the swing of things here in Bedford. We're awaiting a visit from Ofsted at school any minute, we had our TSM social on Thursday and we start our second year with 36 students this week. It's all go, and yet there's still much to reflect on regarding our time in Durban. The healings were outstanding! (Truth be told...every healing is outstanding!)

A lady at the conference had suffered with breast cancer a few years ago. One evening during the course of the weekend her husband found her standing in front of a mirror at home crying. When he asked her if everything was ok she told him through tears of joy that all the scar tissue from the operation she'd had had completely disappeared! That wasn't all...she also noticed that the veins in her hands and arms, that couldn't be seen due to the damage caused from her chemotherapy treatment had suddenly now become visible! What an amazing breakthrough!

One of the guys on our team who'd never seen anyone healed before prayed for a lady who'd had pain in her shoulder from a bicycle accident for 10 years. After the first time of praying nothing changed, but when they prayed again all the pain left the lady's body and she was totally healed! I love it when God breaks in to heal long term conditions!

At one point during the conference we spoke about the importance of working through disappointment from our pasts so that the reality of God's goodness can really take root in our hearts. During the ministry time a guy at the back of the hall received incredible freedom as he met powerfully with the love of his Heavenly Father. At the start of the next session he testified to the fact that 5 years ago his dad had died and that 3 years ago he'd witnessed his mum being murdered. He told us that he hadn't known it was ok to express his feelings so he'd just buried them. God had set him free from immense amounts of anger and pain. Thank you Jesus! At the end of sharing this guy took great delight in telling us that he'd also been healed from a meat allergy and that he'd been enjoying tucking into meat ever since!

More stories of lives radically transformed. Love it!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Instant Healing!

The Bible regularly talks about the healing people received through Jesus' ministry as being instant...immediate...on the spot. I know that sometimes healing can come to people over time as we persevere in prayer and I love that, but I get really excited when healing comes instantly! This week we've seen a lot of instant healings...let me share just a couple of highlights:

Yesterday I was texting a friend of mine in South Africa who told me that she'd had a car accident during the day and that she was feeling sore in her body from the impact. I text her back commanding the pain in her body to go 'right now in the name of Jesus.' A couple of minutes later I received this reply;

'Ok so what if I told you I just got healed when I read that last message. I kid you not! God is totally amazing! and into modern technology apparently'

A remote healing for someone in another country. Isn't Jesus outstanding!

Then this eveing at church Simon brought a word of knowledge at the beginning of His preach about someone who had pain in their neck. A lady responded and stood to receive prayer. Simon encouraged her to test out her neck before prayer as it may already be healed. As she moved her neck from left to right she testified to the fact that the pain she'd had for 2 years had completely disappeared. No-one even prayed!

Here's to much more instant healing...Here's to becoming much more like Jesus!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Highlights from SA #2 - Treasure Hunting

I've never experienced a culture so open to being stopped and spoken to on the streets and then being up for receiving prayer. The spiritual atmosphere was tangibly different in Durban to what we currently experience in the UK. One of my prayers in coming home was that I would somehow bring the atmosphere with me. It will be fun to see if anything feels different when I go treasure hunting on Saturday.

After 2 hours on the streets there were a multitude of stories to be told. Here are some of the highlights:

One team had an encounter with a street kid who had a damaged hip bone. He'd fallen out of a tree 3 years earlier and he hadn't been able to put any weight on his leg since. After receiving prayer the hip bone was instantly healed. All pain went and the boy was able to jump around and walk normally again! Off the back of this miracle the boy, and his brother who had been watching everything that had happened, both gave their lives to Christ and were baptised in the Holy Spirit! Yay God!

Another team had the clues red, flowery hat and foot pain. They came across an elderly black lady wearing a red dress and a flowery head scarf. After chatting with her for a while they also discovered she was suffering with pain in her feet! One of the guys on our team offered to pray and knelt down to place his hands on her feet. After a short time of praying the pain in the lady's feet completely disappeared and she walked off punching the sky in delight. What was amazing about this encounter was that the guy who prayed was a white Afrikaans man. Watching a white Afrikaans man kneel at the feet of an elderly black lady was just an incredible reminder of how the Kingdom of God cuts across all cultural barriers!

On a different day a couple from our team had an incredible encounter in a township they were visiting. They got to pray for a lady who was in constant pain with a bad back, who had to be transported to and from places because the pain was so intense. After a few times of praying the lady stood up pain free for the first time in a long time. She walked round her hut full of joy and gratitude, saying that she was going to share what God had done for with as many people as she could. The lady's son, who'd been sitting in the shadows but had witnessed this miracle, after brief discussion with the team decided to give His life to Christ!

Miracles leading to salvation...sounds like the early church to me! Jesus is on the move in Durban!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Highlights from SA #1 - The Power of Confession

I remember the first time I ever sat down with someone to confess stuff from my past that I was ashamed off. I remember it so well because of the sheer terror I felt in talking about stuff that I felt sure would mean I'd be rejected and ridiculed. It took me about an hour to get the words out and the feelings of shame and guilt were almost unbearable. What was totally mind blowing was the way in which my friend Lucy listened with such love and acceptance. The grace that she showed me that day was like the grace that God shows us every day and it brought freedom in my life like I'd never experienced before. I can now, hand on heart, say that there's nothing from my past or present that I'm ashamed of that I haven't confessed to at least one person... and it's so liberating!

My first talk at the Supernatual conference was all about identity; getting to grips with and living in the good of who God says we are now that we're in Christ. I talked about the importance of confessing hidden stuff to break shame so that the enemy can't use our pasts against us to call into question our identity. I encouraged all at the conference to find trusted friends to open up to and talked about my own personal experience of knowing incredible freedom off the back of confession.

During the ministry time a very dear lady came up to me and with her head hung low told me there was something she needed to confess. I took her to one side and sat her down with my arm around her (I knew how this felt!) She went on to tell me something from her past that she'd never told anyone else before. As she confessed this hidden sin she was overcome with guilt and shame as she wept openly expressing pain and regret. I sat with her and held her communicating, in the best way I knew how, the unwavering love and acceptance of her heavenly Father. After repenting out loud I spoke truth over this precious daughter to break the shame:

- Jesus has removed your sin as far as the east is from the west
- When we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness
- There is now no condemnation for those who believe

After I'd finished praying I asked the lady how she was feeling. 'Lighter' was her repsonse. We hugged for a bit, she returned to her seat and I went on to pray for someone else.

What was amazing to watch over the rest of the conference was how different this precious woman looked as she came into God's presence. For much of the rest of the weekend you would see this woman with the biggest grin on her face receiving overflowing joy from the Lord. She became the loudest laugher at the conference! In a 10 minute encounter shame was broken and joy was restored and this woman left the conference looking physically different! What an incredible miracle.

There's incredible power in confession...who are you talking to?