We popped in to see my in-laws one Sunday before church and my father-in-law slowly came to the door hanging on to the window ledge of the porch because he had a lot of pain in his back. He couldn’t stand up straight and was hunched forward.
My first reaction was ‘oh no, I’m going to have to pray for John!’ This is because I had recently decided that I would no longer walk away from offering prayer to someone who was ill, as long as God was prompting me and it didn’t feel pushy. I wanted my christian faith to be real and relevant.
I didn’t offer to pray for him straight away because I don’t like to jump in, and I prefer to check prayerfully that it is the right moment. I also need at least a few minutes to make sure that I am in a good place with God, and to build my faith to believe that healing is going to happen.
During the church service I was genuinely nervous simply because I really wanted God to heal him and bless him, reminding myself that it is Jesus who heals, and so I really wanted him to honour me as I stepped out in faith.
After church we returned to his house and my wife Sarah disappeared into the garden with her mum to avoid the awkwardness! To my surprise, my father-in-law gladly accepted the offer of prayer and turned round so I could lay my hand on his back. After I prayed, I asked him if he felt any better and he said not really, although my hand had felt very warm on his back. I told him that I would keep praying for him over the next day or so to see full healing, as I really wanted to see him healed of this back pain, and I believed that God had started something powerful.
The next day I got a long phone call from him to say he had been fully healed – he was really pleased and grateful to experience such a healing. I told him that it was Jesus who had healed him, and that this is one real way that Jesus shows us that he is alive and loves us. His faith has certainly been stirred, and he proceeded to tell all the family about what had happened, which was really nice to hear.
It’s moments like these when I realise that God really does want to show people that he is alive and loves us – all we have to do is believe that he wants to work through us.