I was invited recently to go along to a youth group in a poorer area of our town that's made up of mostly unchurched kids to bring words of knowledge and pray for the sick. The guy leading the group had been talking to the kids quite a bit about our up and coming visit. The kids kept asking him, 'when are the healers coming?' A month ago myself and a team of 3 others turned up!
For the first hour or so of the evening the kids did what kids to best, they 'played'. Inflatable jousting; Poole; Table Tennis; Xbox. When they were gathered together for our bit I started by telling them some stories of healings we've seen as a church. Although one or two were interested, for the vast majority this was totally outside their experience and the stories I shared were met with mockery and unbelief.
I don't know if you've ever tried to share words of knowledge and then pray for the sick in an environment like that. This was a first for me and it wasn't straightforward. We got to pray for a guy who needed one of his legs to grow with all the 'unbelieving' kids gathered round. To say I was desperate for God to break in is an understatement! Nothing obvious happened and so we continued to share more words of knowledge.
We got to pray for another guy who responded to a word about a bad knee due to a football injury (when I say responded I mean all his mates pointed at him when the word was brought - I think he would have been happy to let it go!) but he didn't want to check it out so we couldn't tell immediately if anything had happened.
As the kids began to go back to their games, a few lads decided to stick around to watch us pray for one of their friends. They seemed awkward and laughed a lot and they continued to mock what we were doing. That is until God decided to catch them off guard with some incredibly spot on words of knowledge about their personal situations.
First of all one of my team spoke to a guy about someone significant in his family passing away not so long ago. At the very same moment God told me it was his gran. It was and he was clearly still cut up about it as his head dropped and his previously joking demeanour turned serious. I then felt God speak to me about this guy wanting to start up his own business when he was older, something to do with cars. Wide eyed he told me that he had a dream of running his own business as a mechanic. I told him God thought he'd be great at that and encouraged him to go for it. He spent the rest of the evening sitting in a slightly stunned state. He had softened up masively and it felt like we had the privilege of seeing a glimpse of who he really was behind the bravado.
Throughout the course of the evening more life changing words were brought. A friend of mine felt God speak to her about one of the lads to do with his mum. It turned out his mum had died when he was 3 from alcohol and drug abuse. We got to encourage him and let him know that God can meet his need for a mum as well as being his perfect Father. I got to encourage another guy after God told me what he wanted to be when he left school - a fireman. I think he was slightly blown away that God knew that about him!
For many at the youth group, their evening was turned upside-down as God spoke and revealed stuff to them that only He could have known. Needless to say, the atmosphere at the end of the evening was tangibly different to the beginning. How powerful is the prophetic!
(A quick 'big up' to the team running the youth group - they are doing an outstanding job with some really broken youngsters. Woodside church rocks - keep going for it guys!)