Archive for the ‘God answers prayer’ category

God Knows How Old You Are, Even If You Are Homeless

April 8, 2016

homeless manOn the way into voluntary work I was praying that God would use me and that I would have love and compassion for those I would meet. I also prayed that He might work through me.Ten Minutes before we closed a homeless man came in. I gave him tea and some biscuits and he said he really could feel the energy flowing into him as a result of getting something inside his stomach. We chatted about where he slept at night and I gave him a list of places where he could get food during the day. Some churches and church based organisations do free food, also a local church provides very cheap food for people on the margins. Also, I noticed we had been given some vouchers for a restaurant in town that provided the holder with a full meal at no cost. I gave him one and he really appreciated it.

He said he wasn’t an addict, and I believed him. He was concerned about how sweaty he was and how he smelled of urine. Also his clothes were pretty grubby and he couldn’t afford money for a launderette. We had little clothing available,  but we managed to find a tee shirt in his size which he gladly accepted.

He said to me:”how old do you think I am?” I answered: “61”. he said: “You’ve been looking at my paperwork!” I said: “No, I haven’t seen any of your paperwork” I went on: “but God knows how old you are, and lots of other things about you.” I chatted about how personal God was and he was quite amenable to talk about God things.  He was a little surprised when I told him that the pass mark for Heaven was 100%. I explained why it was 100% and how it was possible for me and him to get the full 100%. He readily accepted that Jesus got the 100% and that when we follow him as disciples we qualify for 100% on the basis of what He did, not on our own goodness. I explained how the Bible calls our  own goodness “filthy rags” and the need to confess all known sin as it holds us back from God and Heaven.

Before he left he thanked me profusely and, amazingly, commented how gentle and acceptable my approach had been as I chatted about God things to him.  He blessed me and thanked me for all he had received from us. I wished him well.

Advertisements

Doing Healing On The Streets Before Christmas

December 12, 2015

are you naughty or nice for santa?   I took a quantity of Christmas tracts out with me: “Born a King New Life to Bring” and “Love Came Down at Christmas”. I found that teenagers were very receptive; as their peers received one they wanted one too. We prayed for several people who came and sat down on the chairs.

One Christian woman was distressed, saying she had complained to God that very morning about how bad things were in her life. She listed a dying daughter and a male friend who was pretty unsympathetic to her (the woman’s) problems. She acknowledged she found it hard to receive, as she was always giving out to others. We assured her it was her turn to receive. I told her Jesus was standing in front of her waiting to comfort her. We laid hands on her, prayed and the Spirit came upon her. My team partner gave the woman a word from the Lord, saying He had parcels containing gifts He wanted to give her. The woman readily acknowledged this by telling us what each parcel contained, as the Lord showed her what was in each one! It really was a privilege to be present at that moment! She went away with a new perspective and the assurance that the Lord was working out circumstances for good in her life, despite outward appearances.

While we were there a group of Muslims set up a stall near to ours, giving out leaflets to people assuring them that Islam was not a religion of extremism.  I took a Qu’ran and a leaflet specifically addressed to Christians, to read later.

I Asked God To Use Me – And He Did

November 20, 2015

God Please Use Me  On the way into work I again asked God to use me, that it might be His Spirit at work – “thy will be done” – and not me striving in my own strength to accomplish things.

During my volunteer duty, in the background I heard a client say they had a leg problem. It turned out to be a lad of about 18, who had suffered problems with his left knee for about 4 years. The medics had not been able to cure his condition to date. I told him I’d seen lots of knee problems healed, and asked if he wanted me to pray for him. He was happy to give it a go, so I told him Jesus was the one who healed. I asked if he knew about Jesus of the Bible. He said he had been a Christian when younger, but had drifted away.

I laid hands on the knee, saying:”Father I thank you for Jesus. Jesus I thank you that you are the one who heals, and that you love this man and are drawing him back to yourself.” I spoke out healing, commanding the muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and nerves to be healed in Jesus’ name. I spoke life and strength to the knee in Jesus’ name. Afterwards I asked him how the knee was. He checked it out and reported: “No change, it’s exactly the same.”

From experience I’ve learned that you keep on pressing in until results start coming. This of course is dependent on the person being agreeable to you continuing. I illustrated this to the guy: “suppose you had an infection, went to the doctor and he gave you tablets to take, two a day for fourteen days. If you took two the first day and threw the rest away, that would be silly, wouldn’t it?” He agreed that would be pointless. I said: “praying for healing is similar; you keep on going with the treatment then you will see results”.

I prayed again, in a similar vein as before. This time I was aware of the Holy Spirit flowing in me in a fairly powerful way. I mention this because many times I pray and see people healed but feel nothing myself while it’s going on. I asked him for an update. He said he could feel something moving down his leg, plus a tingling feeling. I told him that was God at work. I could feel the power flowing for a couple of minutes and he could too. I then asked him to check it out. He walked up and down and reported a significant improvement. I laid hands on him one more time. He reckoned the leg was a good 40% better at the end.

lost sheep found by Jesus  I then told him the parable of Jesus where the shepherd left the 99 sheep on the hillside to go after the one that was lost. I said: “you’re the lost sheep, and God knew you’d be coming here today, so he planned this encounter to draw you back to Himself” He agreed that seemed quite a likely possibility. I gave him my card and asked him to let me know how he got on. I also gave him the gospel tract “No Satisfaction”.

 

How To Get Started In Sharing Your Faith As a Christian

August 3, 2015

man in horror saying oh no, not evangelism!

cartoon on sharing your faith

It ‘s the nightmare scenario of quite a few Christians. What if someone asks me about my faith??? How do I get the conversation started and what do I say??

If you’ve been born again by the Spirit of God, then you have a story to tell. There is no-one like you and there never will be again. You are a unique “God creation” and your personal story is both special and powerful.

The website New Christian UK has already created a helpful page on the web that will lead you through the steps in sharing your faith and the gospel message. This page is free to reproduce for non-profit use, so let’s look at the advice it gives:

What Is  Witnessing?
a). An overflow. b). One beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. c). “To witness is so to present Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit that men and women shall put their trust in God through Him, to accept Him as their saviour and serve Him as their King in the fellowship of the Church” (Archbishop William Temple).

Why Should We Do It?

a). It brings glory to God – John 15:8. b). We are commanded to do it – Matthew 4:19. c). People are lost without Jesus – I John 5: 11-12. d). The love of Christ constrains us – 2 Corinthians 5: 14. This love is expressed, not by the emotions, but by THE WILL. We should never wait for our emotions to make us feel like witnessing.

Why Might We Not Do It?

a). Embarrassment – if I talk about what I believe I will feel silly. b). Fear of rejection – I might be rubbished and rejected. c). Inadequacy – I’m afraid I won’t know the answers to people’s questions and I will lose out, let God down and wish I’d never started the conversation.

It’s OK – Our Inhibitions Are Biblical!

a). Even the Apostle Paul shares our experience of feeling foolish – I Corinthians 4:10. b). Jesus’ own neighbours take offence at him and reject him – Mark 6: 1-6. c). Jesus promised the disciples that if they trust God, the Holy Spirit will speak through them when they are tongue-tied.

We Need To Remember…..

It’s possible to have faith without having all the answers. If we can have faith while still having problem areas, so can other people! Most people’s faith is like a set of balance scales. Faith comes when the reasons for believing outweigh the problems. Like the blind man in John 9:25 we can say: ” I don’t know, but this I do know…..” You can always offer to come back to someone with an answer if you don’t know it off the cuff.

We Need To Pray For People And Opportunities     hand lifted up in prayer

God loves those He made more than you do and doesn’t want any to perish. Someone once said “Prayer is not conquering God’s reluctance but laying hold of God’s willingness.” We can therefore pray boldly and with assurance that God is with us in our witnessing. Having prayed, expect to see the opportunities that God will provide.

Make Sure There Is No Unconfessed Sin In Your Life

Repentance applies to Christians as much as to unbelievers. I need to take time before God to address those actions, attitudes and behaviour patterns in my own life that offend God. I cannot expect God to bless my witnessing or any other activities if I am knowingly disobedient to Him in some area of my life. Look at the promise in I John I:9.

white dove hovering  We Need To Go Out In The Power Of The Holy Spirit   

When you came to Christ you were sealed with His Spirit. To be effective witnesses, overcoming the hindrances of the flesh mentioned above, we need to go out in the power of the Holy Spirit. If we feel lacking in this area, we need to appropriate by faith the fulness of the Holy Spirit which is ours by right, by virtue of what Jesus’ accomplished through his death and resurrection. Jesus promised “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem; and in all Judea and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Look also at the parable of the Friend at Midnight in Luke 11: 5-13, in particular the promise in verse 13. Finally, I John 5: 14-15 says :”This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we ask of Him”. It is God’s will that we witness to Jesus, not in our strength alone, but drawing on the Lord’s resources to enable us.

WRITING YOUR TESTIMONY

Before You Start

Ask God to guide you in your preparation. Be honest in your statements and don’t exaggerate either the positive or the negative aspects of your story. Don’t criticise other people or denominations or make any other negative remarks in your story. God has lifted YOU up, so don’t bring anyone else down. Don’t use any religious jargon. Aim eventually to have two versions of your story; a two minute one and a ten minute one. You can than adapt to the circumstances, according to which version is appropriate for the occasion. Make sure both versions are concise and to the point! When you have written your story, practice reading it over in front of a sympathetic friend who can give you positive feedback.

First Part – My Life Before I Became A Christian

Some people have a sudden conversion experience. For others, it can happen over a period of time without a clear pinpointed date.Whichever way your conversion occurred, try and recall here what your life was like before. What attitudes did you display? What were your behaviour and feelings about life?

Second Part – How I Came To Realise I Needed Jesus

Include here what made you turn to Jesus. Did you have a need that Jesus met? Were you at the end of your tether and couldn’t go on? Was the process a long or a short one? Make it clear in your story that becoming a Christian was entering into a relationship with Christ, not just subscribing to some set of principles or way of living

Third Part – How I Became A Christian

Explain exactly what brought you to the point where you gave your life over to Jesus. What specific step did you take to become a Christian? Was it a sudden transformation or was it a long process?

Last Part – What Being A Christian Means Now

What difference has becoming a Christian made to your life? What are the highlights? Has there been a price to pay in relationships? Based on your experience to date, explain why you would encourage others to become a Christian too.

SHARING THE GOSPEL MESSAGE     note with important message

Is there a simple gospel message that you could get started with? Again the website New Christian UK has a useful page on this, as follows:

1. The Bible tells us all men and women are separated from God because of their sin  (Book of Romans Chapter 3 verse 23).  Therefore you are separated from Him.

2. There is a judgment to come when Jesus Christ will be the Judge of all, separating good and bad people. (Book of Acts Chapter 17 verse 31)

3. God wants to be friends with you so that you will no longer be separated from Him because of your sin.(Book of Romans Chapter 6 verse 23)

4. Jesus came from Heaven to solve this separation problem and to offer you forgiveness for your sins. (John’s Gospel Chapter 14 verse 6)

5. Although Jesus was innocent of all sin, God allowed Jesus to die on the cross for your sins, in your place, thereby solving the separation problem. Jesus became a scapegoat, taking the rap for you. (Book of Romans Chapter 5 verse 8)

6. After his death, Jesus rose from the dead and is now alive forever. His resurrection from the dead means you can put your trust in him as God’s answer to your separation problem.
(Colossians Chapter 1 verses 21-22)

7. Jesus is a friend of sinners. Therefore he is YOUR friend.
(Mark’s Gospel Chapter 2 verses 13-17)

8. Jesus is now offering you forgiveness for all your sins and a place in God’s kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven.
(John’s Gospel Chapter 14 verse 6)

9. If you want to accept his offer, tell him so. He will not reject you.
(Book of Romans Chapter 10 verse 13)

For in-depth study of the gospel used in evangelism, check out the British website What Is The Gospel?

In another post I’ll look at some questions you might get asked as you share your faith.      questions questions graphic image

 

God Turns Up Again – Twice In One Afternoon

January 17, 2014

man with back and neck pain   A guy arrived and was complaining of pain in his back and neck. I could see he was uncomfortable just sitting there. He’d been involved in a motorbike accident 4 years ago but still suffered from constant pain. He said that on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 was no pain and 10 was the worst, it was around an 8. I told him I’d seen pain disappear from lots of people when they were prayed for. He seemed happy with that so I laid hands on him. I told him it was Jesus who did the healing. I couldn’t heal a fly.

This time round I felt I should keep prayers short. I’ve noticed that guys like Torben Sondergard, Tom Fischer and Pete Cabrera Jr do quick prayers and see great results. You could say that long, drawn out prayers were an indicator of little faith, that you had to keep at it, otherewise God might feel short-changed and not turn up! Strange things go through your mind sometimes.

Anyhow, after a quick 7 second session of telling the pain to go, I asked how he was. He said the pain had diminished to around a 4. I said: “let’s do some more”. After another short hands-on session I asked him to test it. I got him to do things that were normally painful. He gave himself a pretty good workout, then announced: “well I reckon the pain’s gone!” He then said:”you’re a healer, man!” I said:”No, it’s Jesus who does the healing. I couldn’t heal anybody”.

The next guy I spoke to had been sitting watching our healing session, so we moved easily and naturally onto spiritual topics. He showed no great enthusuasm for things of God, but as we chatted I asked if he had a Bible. He didn’t, so I offered him a Gospel to take away. He said he’d take one, so I found him Luke’s Gospel. I suggested he read about Jesus and he said he’d give it a go.

I then had a conversation with a man suffering intermittent pain from an undiagnosed illness. He’d had tests, scans, MRIs, etc, but the medics still don’t know what’s wrong.   tests being done in hospital

He’s scheduled for exploratory surgery very soon. As we chatted he mentioned “the Lord”, and told me which church he attended. I asked if he’d like healing prayer, as the medics had so far drawn a blank. He was agreeable, so I shared how the first man’s pain left him after a hands on session. I also talked about how Jesus always healed those who came to him, without exception. Also, he never turned anyone away because they weren’t good enough or because of anything else. All who came were healed.

Another volunteer came and joined me and together we ministered to him. It was one of those occasions where you sense the Lord’s presence and you know he’s going to do something. I felt a bit shaky as the Lord made his presence felt. I gave this man some words I felt were from the Lord and the lady with me did too. Both lots seemed to tie in together, which was reassuring! I had my hand on the problem area and spoke to the problem in Jesus’ name. The man thanked us, but didn’t give us any feedback afterwards, so we left things with the Lord.

Our last guy used to be a rough sleeper who begged on the streets. He recognised me from when I’d been round with food and drinks round town before. His girl friend was on remand for offences related to drugs. He himself was getting to the stage where he felt “enough was enough” and he’s now found a cheap bed and breakfast place in town.

Christmas is a Time For Giving – and Receiving

December 20, 2013

One woman came through the door saying:”you prayed for me last time I was here!” I said: “I pray for lots of people; can you remind me?” It gradually dawned on me who she was. She had been running away from an abusive partner that day and knew no-one in our town. She was so grateful for what she received last time that she asked today for more prayer. We held hands and she got a friend with her to join with us. She said afterwards her new male friend was looking out for her, but he had his own problems. The other day he said to her “cuddle me”. She did, and he explained afterwards that he wanted to be held because he’d been hearing voices in his head telling him to kill her.

boxed christmas present We gave out many food parcels to hungry clients today, enough to feed 74 people for three days. In addition to normal food, we added bags of Christmas food as a Christmas bonus. People were thrilled.

One woman was gently trembling and told us she was suffering from various injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder following a car accident. Her car had been stationary when she was hit from behind by a car travelling at 40 mph. I offered healing prayer to her, which in reality turned out to be me just holding her hands while I shared other healings I’d seen Jesus do. She was grateful. I suggested she come back again if she wanted a top-up.

What a privilege and honour God has given me to minister to people in various states of distress and suffering!

A young woman with a 7 week old baby told me she was looking forward to marrying her partner soon. They’d been sweethearts since she was 14. She needed to save up the £145 or so to get married. She really touched my heart! I asked for her address – which she gave me – as I said I’d drop her a card.

Does God Answer Prayer?

November 26, 2013

Was heading into town to do my volunteer duty at the Food Bank. As I walked down the road I was asking God to really use me in loving others. Two minutes later, as I passed a man sitting on a low wall, I felt God say “stop and talk to him”. By this time I had gone past him, so I doubled back and sat down beside him for a chat. To cut a long story short, he was suffering all sorts of rejection by family members after the death of his mother, whom he’d looked after 24/7 for a long time. He also suffered several illnesses, plus a withered left hand that he had covered in a glove, “because people make fun of it”. He was a very sad man. He shared how he’d tried to end his life  before. He confided that some days he even sat out in the rain in shorts to try and catch pneumonia so that he would die!

I offered to pray for him and he accepted. I prayed, but was conscious of my inadequacy and of having to leave him to get in to do my shift. I offered him a good news booklet, but he said he couldn’t read.  I tried to encourage him as best I could, then went on my way. It’s so hard seeing the world’s misery in human terms! It makes you wonder how badly God feels about it, knowing an answer exists that so many find hard to grasp hold of, for whatever reason.  words god is love written on wristband