So, day one was Tuesday, which was quite bitter due to the wind. Our first place was the HSBC bank. I have been processing how to do this whole thing so that anyone can do it. My first decision is it should be in the midst of doing normal daily things. We needed to make a deposit and to get some info for the church so it seemed like a good place to start. We engaged the young teller in some conversation about Valentine's Day but couldn't find a link to healing with him. Then I talked to another bank employee about some forms. While she completed that she asked me where I was from. We had a good conversation but didn't turn it into healing. Now you have to remember that we are looking for opportunities to pray for healing! That changes the dynamic for me in regard to conversations. I can talk to most anyone, it's this praying thing that is more awkward and threatening. (You know, 'what will they think of me?' 'What if nothing happens?' And I'm an experienced pastor!) The thing to do is 'doubt our doubts'. Turn them around and say, 'yeah, but what if they are healed?' or 'what if they really like me because of it?' Bonnie talked to a mother and her two daughters, found out a great deal about them but didn't get an opportunity to pray for anything.
We, then, walked down the High Street. There was a woman hunkered over with two crutches leaning against a store front. Bonnie asked her if she was in pain. She said she was, in her back due to osteoarthritis. Bonnie asked if we could pray for her and she said 'ok'. After a quick prayer Bonnie asked her how she felt. 'Good' was her response. Bonnie asked if she had any pain and she said 'no'. As we talked to her she literally straightened up before us. It was cool. But she did make it clear that she had a stroke 18 years ago and that wasn't going to change.
We went on from there and engaged in some more conversations but did not get another opportunity for prayer. When we got home, Bonnie was expressing her disappointment with our results. I told her that we had talked to 5 people and prayed for 1 who got relief from her pain. That's 20%! I think we build it up so much that we expect everyone should have a divine encounter which isn't even really biblical. I know people quote that Jesus healed them all but the situation in Nazareth indicated that their unbelief kept Him limited to a few miracles. The crippled man at the Gate Beautiful that received the miracle through the hands of Peter and John was 38 and sat there everyday begging. What happened? Did Jesus never enter the temple through that gate or did He miss the occasional person?
Still with me? You probably noticed that Bonnie was the initiator with the lady with two crutches. The Lord conspired that today was my day. We had a friend drop in who wanted to go with me on to the streets and Bonnie had to drive a family to the airport.
My friend and I went to the city centre and followed the pattern of doing natural daily activities. We went to the post office to post a letter to Canada. Whilst at the counter I talked to the lady serving me. She was the picture of complete health. Nothing wrong, no pain, completely well! I got into some banter with the gal working next to her as well. Then her stamping machine jammed, so she passed me to the next fellow who finished up the posting. He told me she was grumpy because she didn't get anything for Valentines. At the end of it I had 3 of the attendants and the supervisor involved in banter but no healing opportunity. As we left the post office we passed an elderly lady with a cane but I didn't feel at all inspired to talk to her. (I mentioned to my friend, 'what's the point? she's old, could die tomorrow!') Then we went to the bank to turn in the form I got the day before. The two employees that greeted us were hale and hearty. Not a problem, two thumbs up! Ok, we went on to the pedestrian area of the High Street. We passed a different elderly lady with a cane and I felt that I needed to talk to her. I went back to her and asked her, 'how she was?' She told me that the cane was for osteoarthritis in her lower back but that she had a large growth in her abdomen. While I managed to get her talking and then couldn't get her to stop. Finally after finding out that she was 91, I managed to pray for her and she was off before I could ask if she noticed any difference.
We went from there to Starbucks as you do in a normal day. Again I got the staff in conversation but it is very hard to engage people who are busy making coffee in prayer. (Add that to your list of what to do and not do in praying on the streets!) My friend ended up sharing with a lady that she had a gift of friendship and the Lord was blessed with her faithfulness. He prayed a blessing upon her and scurried back to join me. I then got into a conversation with a young man working on a computer. We talked about Apples, his work and finally asked him if he was in pain from his work. He's a fitness instructor and in perfect health.
When we left, we discussed our time and what we learned. My friend said he thought he was so nervous that he rushed everything instead of engaging in more genuine conversation. I felt that I missed the opportunity when the young man expressed that the Midlands had the most obese people in the UK and he was on a mission to change that. I should have asked him why? What's inspired the mission?
I think that part of becoming effective in this has to do with a bigger canvas than just healing. It probably for me has to do more with genuine interest in people. They are God's children and he's interested in everything they do as I am with my children. I think if I am going to show God's power I need to show God's love and care for them.