We were on the street doing outreach when a guy with lots of face piercings came up and said: “I need prayer!!”. He explained he was a drug addict, had enough of the life of addiction and wanted free.
He was severely agitated and, despite what he said, would then keep drawing away, changing his mind and saying “no”.
He had about 10 or 12 piercings on his face, lips, chin and ears. But there was nothing menacing about him, only sadness. The fact he was a drug addict tied in with his repeated pulling of his arms close to his chest and scratching his arms.
I asked him: “do you want to be free?” He said he did, then he would pull away, being constantly in two minds. I said: “Jesus can set you free – do you want him to do it?” He said he did so I led him in a prayer of deliverance. After this I asked him: “do you want your sins to be forgiven?” He said he did, so I then led him in a prayer of repentance. He then seemed to change, having lost his agitation and acting like a different person. He suddenly put his arms round me, hugged me and said “I love you!” I reminded him Jesus was the one who sets people free. He didn’t have a bible, but we gave him the “Why Jesus?” and I also gave him a tract about salvation. Exciting stuff!
He said he had come with a friend who was still being prayed for by others in our team. Afterwards they left together. It transpired that they had some local church connection through a drop in free lunch outreach.
Was heading into town to do my volunteer duty at the Food Bank. As I walked down the road I was asking God to really use me in loving others. Two minutes later, as I passed a man sitting on a low wall, I felt God say “stop and talk to him”. By this time I had gone past him, so I doubled back and sat down beside him for a chat. To cut a long story short, he was suffering all sorts of rejection by family members after the death of his mother, whom he’d looked after 24/7 for a long time. He also suffered several illnesses, plus a withered left hand that he had covered in a glove, “because people make fun of it”. He was a very sad man. He shared how he’d tried to end his life before. He confided that some days he even sat out in the rain in shorts to try and catch pneumonia so that he would die!
I offered to pray for him and he accepted. I prayed, but was conscious of my inadequacy and of having to leave him to get in to do my shift. I offered him a good news booklet, but he said he couldn’t read. I tried to encourage him as best I could, then went on my way. It’s so hard seeing the world’s misery in human terms! It makes you wonder how badly God feels about it, knowing an answer exists that so many find hard to grasp hold of, for whatever reason.
A woman came in and said she’d just left hospital. She was pregnant and had been suffering pains. They had checked her out for ectopic pregnancy, appendicitis and other things, but found nothing apparently wrong, so sent her off home.
I could see she was still in pain; she said she was, and she was rocking back and forth in her chair trying to manage it. I said “we are Christians and we pray for people. Would you like me to pray in Jesus’ name for the pain to go ?” She said “yes, please”.
I asked if I could hold her hands and she agreed. I thanked the Lord for his healing and basically spoke to the pain and told it to go. I asked how she was. She replied that the pain had started to diminish. I shared the illustration of how, if you go the Doctor and he prescribes two weeks worth of pills, you don’t just take one and throw away the rest. She agreed that was silly, so agreed my suggestion of more prayer. We continued for another minute by which point her food parcel was ready and she had to sign for it. She said the pain was now much improved and, as she went out with her food, she said “thanks very much”.
Two of us went on the streets today, praying around the city. We went to the Court Buildings, the Cathedral, the City Council Building and the prison.
My companion picked up a Polish gospel tract as he came out this morning. Sure enough, we met a man walking his dog – he was Polish. His right hand was bandaged, damaged two days ago in an accident. We offered to pray for his hand, so while I did that my companion played with the guy’s dog. When I lapsed into praying in tongues, the Polish man said “I recognise that language” I said “what is it?” He replied “it’s Italian” I knew it wasn’t so I said: “no, it’s a heavenly language, not Italian”. After we prayed for him, we gave him the Polish tract and invited him to read it.
We carried on round the city, shedding a few tears as we prayed for those in power and authority over us, that justice and righteousness might prevail.
Yesterday was my last day in before Christmas and we were inundated with food donations coming in and clients taking it away. For three hours we were constantly busy. The downside was that we didn’t have much time to chat to clients.
I noticed one woman pick up a gospel tract and place it in her handbag. She also started to read our framed poems on the walls, such as “Footprints”. I engaged her in conversation and sussed out that she had issues in her life. I suggested she might like prayer when we were quiet and she said “yes”. Unfortunately, we never were quiet and she left with her partner taking her food but without any prayer. Hope she comes back again when we’re quiet, after Christmas. We don’t have any separate room to take people for prayer as our premises are so small. Must discuss this with the manager sometime soon.
Another client was a guy who shook hands with his left hand as his right, in a black glove, was evidently useless. He told me he’d had 13 operations on it so far, and he still had practically no use of it. I offered to pray for healing and he agreed, ‘tho’ admitting he didn’t believe in God. I said that’s OK. I laid hands on him for a while, then another team member joined me and prayed too. I told the guy to test his hand out, doing something he couldn’t normally do. He did, but said “no change”. He said he felt heat when I laid hands on him. I said to him I had often prayed for people where no change seemed to happen at the time. Later, when I saw them again, some reported that healing had occurred. I explained that God’s healing power can carry on working after the event, so thank God for what he’s doing.
We had a Christmas outreach market stall on Saturday. During my time there I prayed for a homeless guy, a non-Christian. He recognised (without any pressure from me) that he had bad things going on in his life and was agreeable to give them to Jesus. I told him to imagine Jesus standing there in front of him, with his (Jesus’) arms open to receive his bad stuff. I asked my guy to hold out his arms and give it to Jesus. He did. We prayed and afterwards he said how much better he felt, having passed these things on. Amazing, really! I love the street guys and women – they’re very WYSIWYG.
Later, a rather timid Christian lady we know came to see us. The last time I saw her was around 2 months ago, when I prayed for her in a church about problems she had with her heels, causing her pain and making walking difficult. I’d had no feedback afterwards, until today when she said: “after you prayed for me that time I got healed, and I’ve been fine ever since” Isn’t Jesus wonderful?
A couple of stalls away from ours, was a stand run by a guy who managed a large out of town venue with snooker and a large hall for shows, etc. I noticed he had a poster displayed for a psychic medium show. I chatted to him about spiritualism and the spirits behind it all. I gave him a full explanation and he clearly had no idea what was involved. He was quite taken aback when I told him about the demonic spirits involved in it. I gave him and the woman with him (the venue owner’s wife) my website card and invited them to contact me. I could then direct them to detailed warnings from people who had been involved in it and got out of it, but not without a struggle!
We provided food parcels for 40 people today, so very hectic! One lady said she had been before and said “you prayed for me”. I then remembered how one of our ladies gave her a word from the Lord, namely: “make me your rock”. She said things had improved since she saw us. She still wasn’t linked up with any church so we gave her some suggestions.
As I was chatting to some other clients, one asked if I was a vicar. I said no, but I enjoyed telling others about the Kingdom of God. I shared two of Jesus’ parables: “the treasure in a field” and “the pearl of great price” to illustrate how valuable God’s Kingdom is and how important it was to seek after it. I also shared some of my testimony how I became a Christian.