Sunday, 20 February 2011

p.s...... once dead, now alive!

We had been praying for 'R', a friend of 'Z' who works in one of the shops in the Forum shopping centre. She was distressed and although she's not a Christian yet, she asked us to pray for him, as he was in a coma.

[She is the young woman who had been communicating with her dead grandad and knew things which were going to happen before they did. I had prayed (unbeknown to her) that she would stop hearing from her grandad or those spirits but would begin to hear the voice of God, which is exactly what began to happen straight away!]

Anyway, as we were praying for R as a team, we asked that he would come round in God's timing, but that he would encounter God strongly whilst unconscious and he would wake up completely transformed. Death to life. Spiritual eyes open.

We had a text from Z a few days ago to say that R had begun to move his fingers and that it seemed as though he is going to be okay. We continue to trust in God's timing and in His ways, and that through this, it will bring both R and Z into fullness of relationship with God.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

"all the lonely people, where do they all belong...?"

On Thursday (17th Feb), since it had been Valentine's day just a few days ago, we decided to head down to Eastgate Street near the clock and do the 'free hugs' outreach. How often might it be since someone had been shown unconditional love, or the warmth of human contact in the midst of busy lives which can often be lacking in genuine connection....? It's a simple project and has been done by Glyn, Chris and others many times before; a great way-in which often goes straight to the central theme of the good news..... generous love, freely given.

Even though the streets are laced with roadworks at the moment, charity guys and buskers, this didn't seem to deter people from approaching strangers with brown Chaplaincy hoodies for a hug, and to ask why we were doing this. Even for those who were too busy to approach us, it raised a smile and thoughtful looks. One lady even said 'that's made my day!', as she was on her way to a difficult meeting concerning the custody of her child, and the hug and prayer seemed to give her courage.

We had the priviledge of chatting with a woman who works in a local shop who was trying, unsuccessfully to keep her brimming emotions down, as she asked for prayer for her parents. A heavily pregnant woman, although not a Christian, was keen to receive prayer for the safe and rather impending delivery of her little girl. We listened to 'M', a very bored older gentleman who was very lonely and probably had dementia... Jess listening to him seemed to give him honour and make him feel like a person who was 'seen' and 'heard', maybe for the first time in a long while. 'C' broke down in tears as we offered him prayer for his depression and a word of hope from scripture. 'K' was glad to receive a hug and prayer for her grandson who is having to be home-schooled following bullying and removal from mainstream education.

My most challenging chat was with a couple of lads who were well up for the free hug, and a chat about why we were doing this today. When I explained that we are Christians, he responded 'I think I'm a Christian!' and then he and his mate had a bit of a chat about it. He said he believes in God, but when I asked if he knows Jesus, he said 'no!'. I wonder how many people assume they're Christians, without knowing the most important person: Christ. After all, as I've heard it said - if you don't know Christ, what good can 'Ian' do you?! He went off with something important to think about.

So did I.

As I was challenged later on, what do we do for those who 'get it?' Are we then brokering for them an opportunity to respond to this God who they have just encountered?


Monday, 14 February 2011

words, words, words!, today was mainly an admin day - taking time to remember those we had met and whose lives we had shared, albeit briefly! although reviewing policies and risk assessments aren't super exciting, they are necessary to protect ourselves and those who we meet...

...whilst we were in the cafe, one of the team had a prophetic word for a lady sitting at a table opposite us. sharing this 'word' with her opened up conversation. as i shared about my background, she too spoke about her childhood which was lacking in demonstration of love and affection, and we spoke with her for some time about how powerful it is to know that you are loved, especially by God... we were at the til paying for cuppas, i suddenly got a shooting pain down my arm. it wasn't my own pain, but i felt that God was saying that someone else in the shop was suffering with a pain in their arm and that He wanted to heal them.... I turned to the lady behind me in the queue and asked if she had any pain in her arm. she suffers almost consistently with shooting pains in her arms and in other joints in her body. when I told her that God had told me this and could we pray, she reacted in an unexpected way.... sadly, she didn't accept prayer. she couldn't accept that she might be free of pain and felt that this illness was something she was stuck with. as we headed back to the office, we prayed for her nevertheless .... it was very hard, but sometimes you have to walk away and leave someone with illness, emotional baggage etc. being free and healed is a choice, i guess....

p.s. a few weeks ago, an employee of a city centre shop had asked us to pray for a young colleague who had discovered a lump and feared that it was cancerous. jess and i went back into the shop today to find out how things were - the young lady had been to the doctors and was relieved to discover it was only a cyst which is being removed in the next few weeks. phew!


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Free Lounge

Last week we took a sofa down to the library and set it up opposite a bench as a free lounge with a coffee table in the middle, inviting people just to come and sit down and chat and pray.
We prayed for and with a lot of people. Prayed for one guy not to be tempted by drugs, leading to him deleting his dealer's number from his phone. We prayed against addiction and depression and he felt some real peace after that. Prayed for a uni student with tissue damage on her right knee. Also for a tense shoulder which was preventing the guy from turning his head, and afterwards he could turn it :-)
From the various conversations we got the distinct impression that people do believe in God, but they don't wanna belong. Eg: "I'm not religious, I believe in...". It's like people want to belong to the church but they're afraid of a commitment to religion, of being brainwashed.
A good day all round and we chatted about doing it again...