Last Sunday morning at 1:00am when I went to bed, that’s all God had given me to speak about at Grace Fellowship in Madisonville the next morning.
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
I thought, “oh this should be interesting!” God gave me a few more things on the drive over, but it wasn’t much. And it was probably a good thing because with what little I spoke, we didn’t get out of church until 1:30pm. I led worship with their worship team, preached a little and gave a lot of testimonies of what God has been doing in the last year, and then prayed for people for almost 2 hours. It was really neat to see what God was doing. This was the first time I had ever gone out and done that kind of ministry by myself. I am used to people falling down in the presence of God when I pray for them (or hug them…ha ha). I am used to seeing God heal people when I pray. But in a ministry situation, it has always been under someone else’s spiritual authority, ministry, or anointing. This was the first time I was out ministering on my own, so to speak, and it was awesome to see how Holy Spirit showed up so powerfully. It appeared that God touched every person I prayed for in some way, whether it was through physical healing, emotional healing, a prophetic word, or a touch from the Holy Spirit. One guy that had knee problems was able to squat down and stand back up, and he hadn’t been able to do that in years. God healed another lady who had been having bad neck pain and mobility problems. God also began/continued some physica healing in others I prayed for, but I haven’t heard exactly what happened with some of them yet. I have continued praying for them this week that they would see a physical manifestation of the prayers and that God would complete the good work He started.
People have asked me over and over why I think that we see prayers for things like healing answered faster and more often in Africa than in places like the United States. I only have one summer of experience to answer such a loaded question, but I believe that at least part of the answer is that “the thirsty drink.” The Mozambicans we encountered last summer on outreach were desperate, spiritually thirsty, and expectant that something was going to happen when we prayed. After all, the witch doctors in their communities operate in supernatural (demonic) powers, so believing for something supernatural to happen was not a stretch for them. They were also desperate for something more… something that would bring freedom and not bondage. We didn’t charge for healing; we didn’t secretly curse them with some other physical problem that they would need to come back later and pay to get healed from (and repeat the cycle); we brought the Holy Spirit – freedom, liberty, and victory.
Some people are content to live where they are. They let “the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19) Others are blinded by the lies of the enemy or can’t see past themselves to see the truth that God loves them enough to want to give them good, free gifts despite their past or present situations. And some people just don’t care! Regardless of what’s going on, God has to break in supernaturally and touch and change hearts. We can’t force feed people. Even kids whose parents make them come to church have to choose to open up and receive.
But the fact remains – the thirsty drink! It is evident on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at church and how God is showing up so powerfully. He inhabits the praises of His people. He comes where He is wanted. We are desperate, we are thirsty, and He wants to be with us! And it’s beautiful to see how these teenagers are getting totally filled with the Spirit and with a hunger and passion for more. It’s nice to feel this fire in my home church! More Lord!.