We were outside one of the practice rooms waiting for a group of people to come out, when cheryl, my band's bass guitarist, shared with me and others around her that she woke up this morning with her hands red, swollen and painful and she had no idea why. And boy, were they really red, and swollen. In my mind, i was thinking: "should we pray...? sigh, don't want..." (my lazy, faithless human mind)
But my worship leader said, "come, lets pray for cheryl..." so we gathered around her and a few of us led outloud in prayer of healing for her hands. When 2-3 people were done praying, we looked at her hands again and saw that the redness had lessened but it was still swollen and painful. Usually, i remain quiet unless i feel that i have something to say but during a silent moment, Tomlin said, "I just feel that, joline, you should pray for cheryl. I asked God who else should and i saw your face... Just hold on to cheryl's whole finger."
I was of course stunned (more on that later, because i have some background info) but so i started out. I firstly declared that we have the holy spirit in us, and that allows us to do what Jesus could do in the past and therefore we have every ability of the holy spirit. I said to God, since you said you wanted to use me to bring healing to others, then this is what i'm asking for. With that, i just asked for healing for her hand and commanded the swelling and pain to leave. When we checked, the redness had gone down a little more but it was still swollen and painful.
By that time, it was time to enter the room for our pre-service prayer and so we decided to just trust God for the healing to come in time.
As usual, we started our time just singing and worshipping God... And for some reason, the prayer time we had was so intense. People were receiving words of affirmation of love and also God was telling us how He wants us to trust Him and His ways and to move along with His plans.
While worshipping, i suddenly had this strong urge to go over to cheryl on the other side of the room to pray again for her hands. At first i was like, "Nah... are you sure this is me just wanting to be altruistic or is this really God inspired?"
But then, my pastor had a vision of a mighty rushing river, but there were people standing by the side afraid to jump in. She felt God saying that the river was his holy spirit, and was saying to us to not be afraid to jump in because although it looks scary, he will never allow us to be hurt or killed but instead would lead us with His power.
At first i thought that did not make much sense to me but as i reflected on it, it DAWNED on me that: HEY. THIS IS EXACTLY what i am going through... (more on that later, as i said! :oD)
We started to sing the bridge of the song "Healer" and i was again stunned because we weren't spending the time praying for healing but rather we were just listening to God.
With the urge so strong to go over to Cheryl and with the final push/cue as they sang "Healer", i went over with both faith and fear in my heart. It occured to me that perhaps God was going to allow THIS time instead to show us His healing power. This was the moment.
To my surprise, two of my other friends also started to approach cheryl to pray for her. I was like, "oh. my. word". It was like, we were all prompted at the same time!
(i checked with Tomlin and he said that at that moment, he "sensed that something was coming". Cool huh?)
I decided to choose confidence over disbelief, and knelt in front of cheryl, held both her hands and started to pray with two of my friends as the rest sang and worshipped in their own way.
As the time came to a close when the music died down, i opened my eyes and cheryl and i smiled at one another... And she opened her hands and... There was NO MORE REDNESS, NO MORE SWELLING, AND BEST, NO MORE PAIN.
Those around us who saw us in a huddle asked if her hand still hurt and she said "There's no more pain!"
I myself could not believe it even when she showed me her hands and exclaimed, "See! Back to skinny fingers! You can see the bone!"
Ok, my faithless doubting mind always doesn't run far from me, i had to keep looking at her hand to see the difference... It was indeed back to normal. Earlier on, it was seriously red and swollen but now, the difference was STARK. Haha, i told her we should've taken a before and after photo...
I still have to say that God has to throw a brick at me at times. I am a very careful charismatic (the denomination) christian and i question and doubt a lot. Even with a miracle occurring before my very eyes, i could still ask myself whether it was really true and maybe there is a scientific reason for it, or maybe it was my friend's prayer (which is such a ridiculous thought because it is God's power and not who prayed that makes the difference) or whatever.
It's not that we can demand things out from God the Genie as and when we want to. Whatever happens or does not happen is God's choosing. Even if nothing visible happens, that is not the point. What matters is that i'm relying on a living God with whom i have a relationship with, prayer changes things in the invisible spiritual realm and I am simply choosing to step out in faith (and some inevitable fear of course) and exercising the bible's truth.
I know that what i saw and experienced was true and real. Nothing can take away the fact that it happened and that God partnered with me and my friends to pray and see the healing happen to bless my friend.
This incident has bolstered my faith and my resolve to continue in my walk with God despite the things happening around me. I am tired of being a quiet status quo christian. I am tired of being sceptical and jaded. I want to bring God's kingdom onto the streets. Yes, i am an imperfect, weak and flawed human being prone to going back to my old ways, but my Father God is neither of that. And that gives me all the reason to trust and move forward and bring destruction to barriers and obstacles, seen and unseen.
Background info will share in the next post or so.