[ To Walking Index Page] [ To Previous Article ] [ To Next Article ]
I spent the whole week leading up to this Friday being sick. It started with a severe headache (I am not prone towards headaches) on Tuesday that became crippling and caused me to leave Tuesday night class early. By Wed night, it had gotten to bad that I could not walk unaided and I also felt like I was going to throw up -- through I never did. By Thursday AM severe pain had spread to my kidneys and lower back and my husband was considering taking me to the emergency medical clinic. I kept waking up in pain in the middle of the night and could not sleep. Things seemed to ease up a bit on Friday. I decided to go to our Church's Friday night renewal meeting. Normally I would be on the ministry team. But that night I just planned to come and receive prayer. I sure felt like I needed it and felt in absolutely no place to minister to anyone.
Recently, both attendance at the renewal meetings has been way down (35-45) and the mininstry team partisipants have also been way down to about 3 or 4 (and sometimes just Debbie and myself). Well, Debbie and I both showed up at church early -- mostly out of habbit, but neither of us went up to the conference room where the ministry team meets for pre-prayer. The past few weeks, ministry team pre-prayer has been just been Debbie, Bill Hernandez (the associate pastor who is over the renewal meetings) and myself.
Debbie and I were in the sanctuary and we both mentioned to the other that neither of us felt up to praying this week. Eventually Bill came down to the sanctuary to hunt us up and we agreed to go upstairs and pray/interceed for the meeting, but both of us expected not to minister (pray for others) that night.
At the prayer meeting, we mostly sat in silence waiting on the Lord. We did a tad of petition, but mostly we just sat there and waited. I'll tell you, we were a pretty mottley crew -- not at all the victorious team folks immagine us to be. Then after a long while (maybe 10 minutes of silence), Bill closed off the prayer time. He looked at me and asked me if I'd gotten any sense of direction for the meeting. It was now 7:30 PM and the worship was already starting downstairs. I shook my head no. I also realized that Bill's question meant he had no idea of what the Lord wanted to do that night. Then Bill asked Debbie the same question and her response was the same as mine.
About then I sort of wishfully spoke out. "I don't have a sense of direction for tonight's meeting, but I sure hope it is a healing service! I've been sick all week -- stuff out of the blue that I don't normally have problems with -- and I sure need a healing!"
"Really?" said both Debbie and Bill at the same time, "Me too."
"You know what that is, don't you?" Bill asked.
"You're not saying that all this sickness is word of knowledge, are you?"
Bill nods his head. Then he explains how that has happened to him in the past. One time God had let him be sick for about 3 weeks with the symptoms of a liver disorder. Then he was at a kinship and one gal there asked for prayer for her dad, back on the east coast, who was dieing of liver cancer and had been given only a few more weeks to live. About then, God quickened to Bill that he'd been experiencing the same symptoms because it was a word of knowledge. Bill laid hands on her as she stood in for her dad, and prayed for him. After praying for her dad, Bill's symptoms gradually diminished over the next three or four days and finally went away. The day after Bill prayed, the woman's father went into remission and was well enough to attend her wedding, 6 monthes later. He lived another 6 monthes after that and then went to be with the Lord.
Bill felt that since all three of us started suffering from things that were not our own issues about the same time that it was probably a word of knowledge. I mentioned that God was sort of mean if this is how He gave words of knowledge -- letting us suffer for a whole week. Bill said he could not explain it, but that God sometimes gives words of knowledge this way. He said it is part of the "hard side" of ministry. Debbie said that she was releaved to find we'd all been experiencing the same thing and it was not just her.
It certainly was the hard side of ministry. All three of us felt so "beat up" and unspiritual that none of us felt sufficient to minister. Back in the early days of renewal I had heard over and over that we are to minister out of fullness and if we are not full, we should go get filled up instead of ministering. But there were only three of us available to minister that night, and all three of us felt we were running totally on empty. In fact one of us, I don't remember which one, said "if anything happens tonight it will definately be the Lord because none of us has anything to give."
Anyhow, Bill suggested we pray about it and see if healing was on God's agenda for tonight. So we prayed and during that time God confirmed to us that He did intend to come with healing anointing that night. So we wrote down our various symptoms/disorders we'd suffered all week as a list of words of knowledge. We also asked the Lord to show us anything else He wanted to heal and we got a few additional words. Then I got a word that the Lord wanted to heal broken relationships that any among us (those at the meeting) might have and toand bind us together in unity. Bill decided that we should each give our own words and Debbie said that she'd rather not speak infront of the group -- public speaking makes her uncomfortable. So Bill wrote down Debbie's words, but asked me to deliver my own words myself.
It was now about 7:50, and the service had been going for 20 minutes. Bill asked us if we remembered the teaching Don Pirozok had done about the paralytic at the healing pool? Don's slant had been that Jesus was standing before the man ready to heal him, but the only way he could perceive of a healing happening was the traditional way (an angel stirs the pool and then the first one in is healed). But Jesus wanted to do it differently than the tradional way. He tied this to the renewal and expected God to come in and move the way we were used to, but that we needed to allow God to stand before us and do it however He wanted to. I mentioned to Bill that this was really good teaching and he ought to share it at the meeting tonight. Bill said that was his intention and asked if any of us knew where that passage was. So we all three grabbed some paperback bibles that happened to be in the conference room (which did not have concordances) and began leafing through the gospels looking for the passage. I am pleased to say that I found it first. (Smile.) So the teaching for that night was born in conference over a 10 minute period 20 minutes after the service had already begin. This was definately a spontaneous (as opposed to pre-planned) renewal meeting.
Somewhere about then, Debbie and I mentioned to Bill that we weren't planning to pray for people tonight because we were so beaten up. Bill said, "Really? I wasn't planning to pray either. This should make for an interesting ministry time."
Then we decided to close in a brief prayer and go down to catch the remains of worship (we have an hour of worship at our renewal meetings). As we did our closing prayer, the Lord fell on all three of us and renewed us. We spontaneously all broke out in laughter at the same time. By the end of this prayer time, we felt very renewed and empowered and each knew that all three of us would be minstering that night.
So we went downstairs. There were only about 30 people there. Bill said to me that he is not suprised that attendance is down because it's a holiday weekend and some people are out of town for the weekend. But he had a strong sense that the Lord was going to show up powerfully.
During the service, the Lord gave me another word -- that someone in the group had recently learned that a close friend was saying hurtful things about them behind their back. That God wanted to empower this person to forgive before a root of bitterness set in. Sigh. I was not so sure I wanted to give that word. But God impressed it on me a second time, later in the service.
By the time it came to give my words, I had two non-physical healing words and 4 physical healing ones. When Bill gave his words, one of the words he gave was that someone was fighting off the start of a cold or flu and that God wanted to heal them so that they did not get sick. I remembered thinking to myself "Now, that is really stretching it Bill."
Then we went into ministry time. The Lord showed up powerfully during ministry time and it was easy and fun to pray for people. His power seemed to be there and also there was a free flow of words of knowledge and the prophetic. It was not the "fire and power" Mehesh had predicted for Friday night (which he says is the literal day of pentacost), but it was a good meeting. During the course of the evening, I ended up praying for people with conditions that matched each of the words I'd had that night except for the stomach problem. I even ran into the woman who'd just recently found out that her close friend was spreading false rummers about her behind her back. And I got to pray for someone with the stomach disorder the following sunday morning (about 36 hours later).
I also ended up praying for two people who were "fighting off coming down with something". It was the flu for one and a cold for the other. I was sorta surprised at this because I'd discounted that particular word Bill gave as being to trivial to really be a word of knowledge. I mentioned this to the Lord. He kinda laughed at me and told me that was why He gave me both of the people that Bill's word applied to. He wanted to teach me to simply take His words as they were given -- not being afraid to give the ones that seem "too hard" or too specific and not discounting the ones that seem to trivial.
It was a good meeting and I went home feeling, yet again, awed by the Lord. I got home about 11:30 PM and went pretty much straight to be. I slept the whole night through until my husband woke me up at 5:00 AM the next morning to take him to the airport for his trip. Most of my physical symptoms were gone and the ones that remained were very minor in intensity compared to what they had been during the week. I was reminded of Bill sharing how they gradually faded and disappeared over a 3-4 day period and was encouraged. I do think that what I experienced was a word of knowledge. I've often had words of knowledge where I feel the physical pain, but it usually happens just before I am to give the word and usually the duration is very short. I've never had a whole week of being in pain from a word of knowledge before. It is sorta outside of my picture of God and how He does things. But it seems to be within Bill's experience and it seems to have been what happened to me last week. Maybe it's time for a theology adjustment.
(Lately the Lord seems to be putting a lot of time/energy into teaching me not to try and limit Him by my expections. Every time I think I've finally learned that lesson, I brings me into yet another situation where I find myself unconsciously limiting Him.) Thank God that He is a patient teacher!
[ To Walking Index Page ] [ To Previous Article ] [ To Next Article ]