Real, Right Now…In Your Life
Most of us pray in moments of great need or when those dear to us need God’s loving touch in some way. Our hearts reach out naturally to Him when we don’t know what to do. However, few of us expect God to intervene in the moment of prayer, in our lives.
It’s about a deepening life of trust with God. Does He really respond? We’d love to share some recent real life stories with you…
Knowing the God Who is Real and Right Now.
In January 2014, a pastor in Connecticut asked us to spend five Sunday afternoons teaching a group of lively and dynamic young people how to pray, using our book, “How to Talk to God, Personally” as a guide. This was one of our most enjoyable experiences. We realized how great the age gap was between us and each of the bright, inquisitive minds and hearts sitting before us. Some of them had studied about prayer before with loving and committed Sunday School teachers. We even felt that perhaps this wasn’t needed, since they already seemed well informed and very, very polite. Almost as an afterthought, I (Bev) stressed to them that we’d appreciate it if they were very forthright in their questions and thoughts. We stressed that there would be no judgement. Quite the opposite – we’d love the genuine give and take.
We decided to also use portions of some Christian videos that show God’s power in different countries of the world, when Christians pray. These were filled with exciting amateur video shots of many physical healings and extraordinary divine appointments between people that resulted in surrender to the Lordship of Christ. At the end of the last video, we asked the group, “What is your reaction to what you’ve seen?”
One person put up their hand and offered, “Its just really hard to believe that this stuff happens.” The comment wasn’t tinged in any way with unpleasantness, but touched our hearts with it’s honesty and transparency. As we looked around the room, slowly heads of the other people were quietly nodding in agreement. Most of these kids had been in church all of their lives. Many of them were approaching the age when they would begin making choices for themselves, not just adhering to their parent’s requests. It felt like a pivotal moment. Like one of those moments when everything could change depending on what happened right then.
There was no point in proceeding to teach them how to pray in a balanced and consistent way, if they weren’t convinced that it even made a difference. John and I look at each other across the room. In some way, we each knew what needed to happen. Our agenda needed to change. Rather than teaching how to pray, we needed to back up and let these kids have a direct encounter with the living God through prayer in a manner that they would never wonder again if prayer made a difference.
We asked if they would like to leave the book learning behind and gather together to pray for anyone in the room right now that had a physical problem. At first they looked shocked, then disbelieving of what they’d heard, then started to exclaim, “Yes, let’s do it.” The group identified two candidates for healing prayer. We asked each of those two people to stand in the center of the group. Then we asked if it would be acceptable to have others place their hands on the shoulders of those to receive prayer. The rest of the group stepped back in surprise. We realized in that moment they thought we would be the ones offering prayer and that they would just watch what happened. This was a surprise for them. After some giggling and a bit of awkwardness, each of them stepped forward and offered a simple one or two sentence prayer asking God to bring healing to their friends.
When they finished we asked each person to check for improvement. Both of these students needed to be active in their respective sports to know if these was a difference. One needed an asthma inhaler frequently during fast-paced games and also had elevated insulin levels. The other needed a knee brace. Everyone left eager to see what the outcome would be.
The next week, the two students reported back to the whole group. One parent would not approve the brace being removed during exercise. However, the other said that the insulin levels had been tested and were now back to normal and that in the last three games, not once had there been the need to use an inhaler. John asked, “Do you think this was God?” The response was, “Yes.”
That afternoon, the entire group poured over the book “You Can Talk with God, Personally” and peppered us with questions. It was like a different group of people. Now everyone was “all on” to learn how to pray. In subsequent weeks, we continue to hear back from different ones in the group, how they are stepping out in faith. As one girl said, “I guess you just have to get out there and trust that God is with you.”
What is our take-away? We can talk all day about prayer and its importance. But until people move that understanding from their heads to their hearts, it will remain a well-informed idea instead of becoming a lifestyle where God’s love and power pour through us to a needy world.
More Than Just Loyalty.
We are often asked to pray with those who need a touch from God. However, at a church we visited in the fall of 2014, our hearts were drawn to a dignified, elderly gentleman who was quietly shuffling down the center aisle after the service. His back was badly hunched over and he walked slowly and very tentatively even with a walker. It looked as though he was experiencing a lot of pain with each step.
We slipped down the aisle and asked him if he would like prayer. He paused for a moment and then said thoughtfully, “Yes, I would like that.” His eyes looked very gentle and welcoming. John thought it was likely that prayer for his back would be his request. Over the years, we’ve seen God intervene in wonderful ways to bring healing to people’s backs .
Instead, he said he had a painful bone spur on his right foot that made walking very painful and difficult. Because this foot had been paralyzed due to polio when he was very young there were even more problems. His toes were locked in a curled under position, his ankle wouldn’t bend and his calf had atrophied. Not much wonder he was in such pain.
As the congregation shuffled out of the building, he slowly eased himself down into a chair to be more comfortable. We asked him if it was alright if we put our hands on his foot and he agreed. So we began to pray to God to heal his bone spur. After a few minutes, we asked how he felt. At first he looked wary and then his eyebrows went up – the pain was gone. Praise God!
Then we asked him if we could also pray for the locked up muscles and bones in his foot. Normally when we pray together for healing, I (Bev) pray in support of John’s leading as he has a stronger gifting in physical healing. However, as I began to pray, I had a clear sense that this time I was to pray for this man’s heart would sense God’s nearness and intimacy through what God would do physically for him.
After a few minutes of prayer the most interesting thing happened. There was an audible sound of cracking in his foot inside of the heavy orthopedic shoe. His toes began to wiggle a bit, his ankle began to flex, and his calf muscles began to move.
We paused and asked him how he felt. He was unsure and said he had to stand up. As he did, his face gradually broadened into a smile. Now his eyes really focused in on ours and he said quietly, ”It’s so easy to forget that God is this real. This makes me feel like I could preach again.” He went on to share that he had been a pastor for 57 years but had never ‘known’ God to be intimately involved in his life. We were humbled to be honored to pray for this man who had served God so faithfully.
What a joy to hear several months later that his foot and leg continue to heal and have become even stronger.
What is our take-away? No matter how long anyone has loyally served God or what we have known of Him in the past, He is always ready to surprise us with His love, His power and to take us to a deeper place of intimacy with him in our lives.
Another Learning Experience with God…
We recently changed how we teach our ‘Christian Inner Healing and Freedom’ seminars. Previously we had asked people to read the three books before the seminar and then taught for several days with a full practice session using the all approaches learned, in the last half day of the seminar.
Due to a glitch in shipping from the printer, we needed to begin a seminar in the Seattle area with participant books arriving just hours before start time. No one would have time to read anything. What to do? We decided to teach just a portion of the approach, demonstrate it with a volunteer from the participants and then coach the audience to now begin ministering what they had just learned in small triads. Then we would move to another portion and repeat the same process.
In one of the portions of learning the small triads moved through releasing forgiveness to others in their lives, we could see tears of relief and freedom beginning to flow and joy surfacing on people’s faces. God was filling hearts that had carried bitterness for years! What a beautiful thing to watch unfold across this group. God was healing emotional wounds that had kept people’s hearts captive for years. When we asked the group for their feedback right after this exercise, a surprising number of people offered that they felt lighter now, or that they felt something lift from them and a new joy had flowed into their hearts. God was bringing spiritual freedom to his children and replacing darkness with His light.
As the group went through the various portions of learning and ministering to each other, the final portion included an opportunity to pray for physical healing for those in the group who had some injury or medical condition for which they would appreciate prayer. With new found enthusiasm, people gathered around those needing prayer and with some guidance from the front, whole heartedly prayed for healing. The whole group, including us were excited and delighted to find at the conclusion of a fairly short time of prayer that 31 people responded that they had experienced significant or complete healing. We stood together as a group to sing and praise God for His abundant love and power released through physical healing.
What is our take-away? As we think about the great commission scriptures, we realize anew how intensely God is interested in totally salvation for His people. He cares intensely that (1) our hearts are submitted to His Lordship (Matthew 22:34-38, 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16), that (2) our emotional wounds from relationships are healed (Isaiah 61:1, Matthew 22:39), that (3) we are freed from any form of oppression (Mark 16:17 and Matthew 10:8) and that (4) we boldly come to Him for physical healing (Matthew 10:8, Mark 16:18). These are glorious scriptures, but both of us grew up in wonderful churches that only focused on (1). We embrace that God brings total salvation to His people – spirit, soul (mind, emotions and will) and physical. We continue to learn how the health of our spirits, souls and bodies are connected. God continually reminds us that “His arm is not too short” to do more than we imagined possible in our circumstances (Isaiah 50:2, 59:1 and Numbers 11:23). What may be limited is our own understanding of His grandeur and power.
On Our Other Pages You Will Find…
The About Us – Intimacy with God page has our personal testimonies and how we have been led into intimate relational prayer with God as a lifestyle.
Some of our understanding about prayer. ‘Prayer is the Key’ is the outcome of our prayer life with God. It is focused on prayer – individual intimate prayer connected with a real, real time God, praying for others, the authority of believers, the kingdoms of light and dark, freedom in Christ, and comprehensive healing – body, soul, spirit. We write, teach, speak, and lead seminars.
‘Prayer is the Key’ is a partner for local churches to create life-changing prayer ministries. Help your church become a vibrant church anchored in prayer. Change the world around you by changing the world within you and within the church.
We also offer prayer ministry (spirit, soul and body) to individuals.
Through books and training we support and coach people as they develop an intimate, experience and prayer life with the Triune God. For pastors and their key leaders we offer personalized private, confidential healing prayer.
We also provide comprehensive prayer training to groups interested in inner healing, physical healing, and deliverance healing learning. For churches and individuals we provide strong, proven training, equipping, and development.
Our goals are based on the first and second commandments and Isaiah 61:1-3
- Personal and corporate intimacy with God – God is Real – Let Him be Real to you
- Individual and corporate engagement with the living God
- Unity in the body of Christ. Supporting local pastor initiatives within their churches.
- Active engagement of the local church in the Kingdom of God.
- Understand and use the authority Christ provides believers
- Live in the freedom Christ has given believers