Thursday, 19 April 2012

No need to be narrow minded

I have been unable to pray for anyone's physical healing today. It's not that I wasn't up for it or looking out for signs of physical impairment; there just wasn't an opportunity. (Apart from maybe with the three zimmer frame's owners in the supermarket. Maybe God is trying to challenge me on yesterday's conclusion about not praying for OAPs. If I see another tomorrow, maybe I will just take the plunge.)

Being deliberately open to God today though has led me to pray for three people, that had I met last week (before I felt prompted to start this whole stepping out thing), I might not have ended up praying for. The first was the cleaner Doris. From previous Thursdays preparing dinner for the children in the kitchen that Doris has just cleaned because of the children, I have got to know her a little bit. She's a wonderful African lady with a great big smile. I knew that a few weeks back she'd been suffering with a bad back, so I inquired today how she was. She told me that her back was completely fine because the root cause of the pain, was another cleaning job, which required some back-crippling repetitive motions and her contract there had recently come to a close. Great that there's no pain anymore, but she also confided that she now needs another job to compensate for the loss of hours and pay. I asked her if I could pray for her to find another job. She hesitantly accepted my offer and insisted that she didn't want anything more than 3 hours a day in the morning. So I relayed the specifics of her situation to a wonderful person I know can help. My God isn't just a healer, he's a provider and I don't want to refuse to pray for people's other needs as I go about these 30 days. Afterall, one of the reasons that I believe God loves to heal people is because it demonstrates his love for them, but he can demonstrate his love in so many other practical ways too. Let's hope for Doris that because we presented her request to the King, she gets her ideal job!

The next person that I was able to pray for today was an ever so slightly odd, but charming wrinkly man from Curacao. He remarked on the family's dog Mac, as I untied him outside of the supermarket. God prompted me to take the opportunity to strike up a conversation with him, rather than pretend I hadn't heard him (often a tempting option when you get accosted by weirdos about town). Manuel, as I discovered his name was, might have been externally odd in appearence, but he was such a sweet old man who I am glad to have met today. We chatted for a little while yo-yo-ing between his adequate English and my amateur Dutch about our origins and whether he liked my dog. After these niceities, I explained that I was a Christian and believed in healing and asked whether he had anything physically wrong with his body that I could pray for. He said that there was nothing at all, but he suddenly wanted to talk some more, so we walked together past his house and he told me about a prophet that I've never heard of before and about his life philsophy. Before we parted, he said that I could pray for his well being, which I did as I left.

"Thank you God for Manuel. Please bless him with the joy and peace that comes from knowing you. Please help me to be more open to meeting men and women that you created and love dearly, that I might share your love with them and help me not to be so judgemental about outward appearances."

So I looked out on the playground today for Marilyn, the Spannish lady who's leg I prayed for yesterday. But I couldn't see her anywhere. I'll be sure to keep a look out tomorrow and let you know how she's getting on. I wondered today whether there was anyone else God might like me to pray for at school, but I just didn't feel a pull towards anyone.

Once at home with the kids, I wondered if my options to pray for healing had dried up for the day. "God I am up for praying for someone for healing, but you kind of have to show me who." None of the kids got sick today, but after work I went to visit some friends that I haven't seen for ages. They're both Hindu and quizzed my brain for hours on Christianity. I did my best to answer their questions and dispell their confusion. Before I left, I asked them if any of them had any physical need that I could pray for. My friend asked if I would pray for anything other than physical healing because she'd really like prayer for her mum. Of course, no prayer request is void, God cares about it all. From my experience, praying for someone no matter what the issue, touches them in such a special way, that I love to do it.

Today I think God has challenged me that over these 30 days of making myself especially available to him, there's no need to be narrow minded and insist that I pray for physical healing - although these kind of prayers can be exciting and often see "spooky" instant results, I think God heals men and women as an expression that they are not forgotten by him. Any kind of prayer though, can communicate to an individual that they have significance before the God who created and cherishes them. I'm up for informing people that they are loved by God!

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