Always Looking Out.

I have had some thoughts today about what the church should be. It was sparked by some friends saying of other members of their church that they just want it to be a safe and comfortable place for their children and now their grandchildren.

The church is meant to be a place of equipping, training and maturing so that those who are christians are able to go out and share the Good News of Jesus with their neighbours. Church, in that sense, isn’t only a place to be comfortable. Sometimes we need to offer healing and emotional care, but that is a part of a much larger process of equipping people to know the love of God in order to share that love with others.

This afternoon I saw a police car, two ambulances, a fire truck and the Volunteer Rescue Association truck all flying out of town with sirens blaring. Clearly some kind of terrible incident has occurred that has summoned these people out of the comfort of their buildings at the peak of a hot and dry day.

They would be no use to anyone if these people stayed in their facilities, training and practising for an incident but never attended the real accidents taking place around them.

Imagine a hospital operating at peak efficiency but never admitting patients.

The church can be like this- is often like this. We choose a congregation on the basis of the nice preaching, the children’s ministry, the music. We listen to endless exhortations on sharing our faith, attend workshops on healing or supernatural ministry. But we never put those things into practice in our daily life.

It’s not the beauty of our worship services or the authenticity of our cell groups that matters.

It’s about taking the Christ we worship on Sunday and letting Him into our lives on Monday to allow Him to heal and redeem the broken people in our neighbourhood.

Here is a question for you (well, two questions really). What was last Sunday’s sermon about? What are you going to do this week to put it into practice?

If we just did that each week the world would be a much better place for having experienced God’s people doing God’s work in the power of God’s Spirit.

 

The Healing Ministry You Never Heard Of

There are many people who believe, without a scrap of evidence, that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12: 4-11) ended with the first apostles or the completion of the New Testament. This is called cessationism which might be defined as the belief that miracles petered out when Peter petered out.

There is a huge historical and literary swag of evidence that God has healed through the ages and indeed that all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit have been experienced. 

This article from “World Revival Network” describes the healing ministry of the Kings of England and France in the Middle Ages.

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The Shocking Story You’ve Never Heard – French and English Kings Prayed For The Sick

In the post-Reformation world, the French and English kings utilised the Christian ministry of healing to buttress their legitimacy. These large scale recuperative ceremonies were deemed vital for preserving order and asserting divine ordination. 

It was said that King Henry IV (1553–1610) of France laid hands on as many as 1,500 people in a single ceremony. Later, Charles II of England (1630–1685) touched more than 90,000 afflicted people. 

“Touching for the king’s evil” was formally included as part of the service order in the 1662 edition of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.[1] 

It was also observed in Shakespeare’s Macbeth (1605). 

A most miraculous work in this good King, 
Which often since my here remains in England 
I’ve seen him do. How he solicits heaven 
Himself knows best; but strangely-visited people, 
All swollen and ulcerous, pitiful to the eye, 
The mere despair of surgery, he cures 
Hanging a golden stamp about their necks 
Put on with holy prayers; and ’tis spoken, 
To the succeeding Royalty, he leaves 
The healing benediction.[2] 


On July 6, 1660, King Charles II’s Royal Touch ceremony was witnessed by John Evelyn, an English nobleman. Evelyn shared the following observations:

“His Majesty sitting under his state [canopy] in the Banqueting-House, the chirurgeons [surgeons] caused the sick to be brought or led, up to the throne, where they kneeling, the King strokes their faces or cheeks with both his hands at once, at which instant a chaplain in his formalities says, ‘He put his hands upon them, and he healed them.’”[3] 


One contemporary pointed out that

“That divers persons desperately labouring under it [a debilitating skin disease] have been cured by the mere touch of the royal hand, assisted with the prayers of the priests of our Church attending, is unquestionable.”[4] 


Lee Huizenga argues,

Some of Europe’s most famous medieval medical men recommended the Royal Touch. John of Gaddesden (1280–1361), mentioned by Chaucer in his Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, spoke of it as a measure not to be overlooked in the treatment of scrofula and other skin diseases . . . There can be no doubt that some of the persons who received the Royal Touch were cured of their ailments.[5] 


The rite was practised by all the Tudor and Stuart kings with the single exception of William III. It reached its apex when some 100,000 people were touched by Charles II and James II. The practice ceased in England in 1712 but continued in some form in France until 1825.

In spite of the Reformation’s cessationist impulse, the ministry of healing was still embraced. It became an expression of authority and validation. 

Read the full article here

The Question That Changes Everything

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We were blessed beyond measure last weekend when we hosted Steve and Christina Stewart of Impact Nations.

Impact Nations takes teams of people from wealthy countries such as Australia and take them to poor countries to minister healing and preach the gospel. A typical day on a Journey of Compassion, as they are called, might involve medical clinics in the day time and evangelism rallies at night. In many different settings, they pray for people to be healed and they are.

img_7803We were taught how to pray for healing and how to expect healing to happen, not because we are good but because God is good.

During the meetings we had several opportunities for people to receive healing. One person reported healing from Motor Neurone Disease, another improved peripheral vision.

The question that changes everything is very simple: “May I pray for you?” Those 5 words allow God to come into people’s lives who do not even think of God or of prayer, but recognise that they need help.

My highlight was going to a poor part of the town to knock on some doors. I normally hate that kind of thing, but somehow this seemed like fun. The assignment was to offer people a small bag of fruit- apples, oranges and mandarins- and then ask if we could pray with them. We talked with people and shared something of God’s love. Where people felt like their life was pretty good and they had nothing to pray about, we simply prayed God’s blessing on them.

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What was amazing was there were no grumpy people. We had ten pairs of people armed with three bags of fruit and all reported positive responses. I think people are happy to be offered something simple and there was no attempt to coerce people to be “religious.”

We also had some people visiting from other parts of NSW, including Dee and Mark McAllister who do prophetic dance.

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Mark Virkler: Stop Owning This!

Mark Virkler shares an important key to healing: Focus on what Jesus is doing not on what the devil is doing.

 

Stop Owning This! “Let me tell you about MY painful…”

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I vividly remember many years ago I met a person for the first time and they wanted to tell me their life’s story, so I listened for 90 minutes as they described to me, in great detail, every nasty, hurtful thing that had ever been done to them. We relived together every second of every story. Talk about depression overload. I would never let a person do that today, because it is far too damaging to their life.

They will never get healed of their hurts by repeating them over and over, visualizing them and living continuously in that darkness. By focusing on their pain, they are enlarging the darkness within them and it becomes their life, their identity.


Jesus spoke to me:“Whatever you fix your eyes on grows within you. Whatever grows within you, you become.”

Inner Healing Defined:“Allowing Jesus to remove the pictures in the art gallery of your mind, removing pictures that do not have Jesus in them and replacing them with pictures which do.”


Hurt, pain, sickness and infirmity are healed when they are brought to Jesus and you ask Him, “Lord, where are You in the midst of this event? Let me see You, please. What are You saying to me? Let me hear You, please.” Then you look for Jesus to appear. Relax and put a smile on your face, for you know that as He appears it is all going to be OK, plus your relaxing allows Him to appear, because you are no longer striving.

You tune to flowing thoughts (His voice) and flowing pictures (His visions), and you listen and watch, recording what He is saying and doing, and cooperating with Him in all the ways He is asking you to.This is inner healing!This works.

Now whenever you recount this story, in your thoughts or when talking to another, you describe what Jesus did as He appeared in the midst of the situation and spoke and moved. THIS IS WHAT YOU TALK ABOUT! You don’t focus on the evil or the pain. You spend your time focused on what Jesus did and said. Then His light grows within you, rather than satan’s darkness and gloom.

This process works equally well for physical, emotional or mental hurts and pains. You ALWAYS look for Jesus in the situation, and you always focus on Him and always recount what He is doing. It is called fixing your eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:1-2) or abiding in Christ (Jn. 15) or seeing Jesus always at your right hand (Acts 2:25; Ps. 16:8).

More recently I have had people claim their infirmities by telling me, “I have this (insert the name of your physical problem).” Folks, I don’t want to claim any sickness or infirmity! I don’t want to affix it to myself. Instead, I want to journal and hear what the Lord says about this infirmity, and then speak ONLY that!

So I end up saying, “Jesus has healed this (state the infirmity) and set me free. Infirmity, be gone in Jesus’ name! Jesus spoke to me concering this and said….” I receive what Jesus has spoken. I declare it. I speak it over myself. I speak life and wholeness to my entire being – spirit, soul, body and mind: “You are healed. Be healed. Function normally, in Jesus’ name.”

And of course, since pictures are the language of the heart, I always ask the Lord for a picture of myself fully healed. He shows me and I choose to hold that picture constantly in the imagination of my heart. This releases God’s emotions, power, light and glory into every cell of my being. Doesn’t this sound better than claiming the infirmity as my own?

 

 

Doug Addison: Strategies to Get Healed and Out of Debt

Doug Addison gives strategy for overcoming chronic illness and financial weakness.Strategies to Get Healed and Out of Debt

 

Success strategy and step by step business planning as a blue pencil drawing connection lines to connect the dots on a puzzle shaped as an arrow going up as a financial metaphor for a successful planned personal project.Are you struggling with things like debt, sickness or discouragement? If you are not seeing results in a particular area of your life it is really important that you press in until you do.

It is usually the times that you are sick or down that makes it the most difficult to battle through it. I know this because I have been struggling with repeated sickness for the past two years including Lyme disease and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. But in the midst of being very sick and nearly dying in 2013, I found strength in God and contended for my healing and breakthrough.

As I write this I am still suffering from the aftermath of this horrific attack on my life. I want to share with you and take what was intended for evil against me and turn it to good. My hope and prayer is that you will gain something for yourself or someone you know.

Time to recover losses

This is a season of time that you can recover things that were stolen from you over the past seven years or more. You have to press in and contend for it! I recommend reading 1 Samuel 30 where David had lost everything and his followers were ready to kill him.

In the midst of his distress, he inquired of God and got a strategy (verse seven). He was able to recover his losses and in chapter thirty-one his life destiny radically shifted. He went from running from the enemy to ruling as King of Israel. But it was not without a battle.

Contending for your breakthrough

I was healed of Huntington’s disease and Lyme disease as well as several other things that have come against me. To be honest I did not feel like I could go on one more day. But like David, I inquired of God and got a strategy. From there I took radical steps that eventually turned things around.

God also gave me financial breakthrough strategies that got us out of a major level of debt. This is not only for physical healing but also for financial, relational and emotional restoration. It’s time to recover it all!! I don’t know about you but I am sick and tired of being sick and tired! I’m sick and tired of financial losses, debt, and setbacks.

Read the full article here:

Our Faith Is So Small

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Last Sunday I preached about Jesus’ ministry of healing. At the end of the sermon I asked people to stand if they wanted to receive prayer for healing. I then asked for other people to lay hands on them while I prayed for healing for those standing.

I didn’t do a check up to see if anyone was healed, but I will be asking for testimonies next Sunday, and I’m hoping to hear some good stories!

Something happened during the week to make me wonder if more people should have asked for prayer. I’ve been thinking about the thought processes that sometimes hold us back from seeking healing. I’m not even thinking about people who deny that God is involved in miracles these days.

Some people think their problem is too small for God to consider. These people never heard the words of Jesus about our Father caring even for sparrows. (see Matthew 10:29)

Some people think their problem is too big for God. They think God could raise Jesus and Lazarus from the dead but can’t heal cancer. (see John 20)

Some people are embarrassed about their conditions and don’t want other to know about them. I’m sure  the lady with the problem with bleeding overcame her embarrassment and the religious declaration that she was unclean and anyone she touched would be unclean. (Mark 5:24-34)

Some people think deep down that God really does not love them because they are unimportant or because of shame about some sin that they feel unworthy to ask Him for anything.

I was praying this afternoon and I felt that God put this into my head:

If you mothers know how to put Band-Aids on your children’s imaginary injuries because you love your children, how much more will your heavenly Father heal your real injuries because He loves you?

It is so hard to really believe that God loves us extravagantly and wants to heal every wound- physical, emotional and spiritual- but it’s true. And when we start to take that risky step of thinking “What if it is true?” then we start to see healing and miracles and joy and love and peace abounding in our lives.

Here’s Why We’re Not Seeing Miraculous Healings in America Steve Stewart

Food for thought and action… 

Here’s Why We’re Not Seeing Miraculous Healings in America

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Why isn’t there more healing in the Western world? (Lightstock)

With all the traveling I do these days with Impact Nations, I get asked a lot of questions about a lot of issues. However, there is one question that I am asked more often—by far—than any other. In fact, in the past two weeks, I have been asked it in England, New Jersey and Canada: “Why don’t we see the same kind of healing here (in England, the U.S., Canada) as you do in Africa and India?”

I usually respond to this in several ways. First of all, I do see God heal in the same way in the West as in the developing world. I have watched in North America, Europe and Australia as deaf ears were opened, cataracts dissolved, cancer instantly disappeared (verified by doctors), and paralysis and pain have gone. In my living room, the Lord healed a woman who had been totally blind in one eye for 20 years. He is the same God in Canada as Kenya, in the U.S. as Uganda, in England as India.

Although I have seen the Lord open the ears of nine deaf people—one after another—in North America, in fairness, I would say that although the quality of healing that I see is the same everywhere, the quantity seems higher in the developing world. However, I need to clarify this statement. It is not that I see more people not being healed when prayed for; it seems to me there are fewer people looking to be healed in the West. (To clarify once again, I am not saying the people on the streets of our cities do not want to be healed; it is just that they are not being asked and therefore do not think of healing as an option in their lives.)

This leads to what may be the biggest single issue: expectation. Jesus always looked for faith in people. This is why He sometimes asked, “Do you want to get well?” or “What do you want?” Jesus expected people to be healed, and they in turn expected the same thing.

When I am asked “the question,” I usually answer with a question of my own: “Do you expect people to be healed?” One of the ways we can discover how we really feel about this question is to examine how often we step out and ask others if we may pray for their healing.

After all, more people are healed if we pray for them than if we don’t. In many cases, we simply don’t have a real expectation that God will move, so we stay in the safe zone of keeping quiet when presented with the opportunity to pray for healing.

One of the reasons I take people from the Western world to the developing world to do the gospel is to change their expectations. Again and again I watch as they discover a whole new level of truth about the power and compassion of Jesus and of who they really are because they live in Christ. How can anyone experience being used by the Lord to heal the sick day after day on a Journey of Compassion and then go home unchanged? Back home, as these men and women continue to pray and expect, God continues to heal.

Recently, I was with a church in Patterson, N.J. After teaching them about the reality and immediacy of the kingdom, we went downtown to pray for the sick and hurting.

Understandably, they went out on this first experience with some nervousness, but even greater was their desire to see the kingdom tangibly come. In an hour, they prayed for more than 70 people. One of these was a woman who was hobbling on the sidewalk. I say hobbling because she really was hardly moving with almost all her weight on her cane.

It turns out that she had suffered two strokes in the past two years. She was in significant pain and was struggling with profound paralysis. After a short prayer, she remarked that she felt significantly better. Another short prayer and this woman stood up straight, picked up her cane and walked freely up the street.

He is the same God in Canada as Kenya, in the U.S. as Uganda, in England as India.

And so is His kingdom, where it seems that what you expect is what you will receive.

Steve Stewart is the founder of Impact Nations, a Christian organization that brings hope and restoration to the poor and vulnerable in the developing world through both supernatural and practical expressions of the kingdom of God. Since 2003, Impact Nations has not only touched the lives of the thousands of people living in volatile regions with clean water, education, schools, businesses and churches, but thousands more have had live-changing experiences traveling and ministering in these regions around the globe through Journeys of Compassion. Follow Steve on Twitter at @impactnations or learn more at impactnations.com.

This article was from Charisma http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/43418-here-s-why-we-re-not-seeing-miraculous-healings-in-america