December 06, 2013
November 27, 2013
November 20, 2013
November 18, 2013
November 17, 2013
November 16, 2013
"We muslims also pray for the sick, BUT YOU CHRISTIANS ARE PROFESSIONALS", says Egyptian muslim man after being healed.
I realized it is clearly a demonic gifting. I then shared about my dreams. "If I see something bad", I explained, "it is so I can prevent it and pray". I said, "I know you are a muslim but next time you have one of these demonic encounters, you need to cry out to Jesus to help you". She agrees. Then I got another word of knowledge about ear pain and this time she doesn't deny it and admits that she has that problem. I asked her to put her own hand on her ear and as I am praying, the ear becomes hot and all the pain left. Then she said her knee hurt. We prayed, she felt God's presence in her knee and then the pain left her knee. Then the woman with me gets a word for upper back (her first word of knowledge) and the muslim woman's back was healed. It was my friend first word of knowledge and first time she's seen a healing outside of a Church or meeting context.
October 31, 2013
October 22, 2013
follow up - the day after I prayed I noticed that she was still wearing a wrap on her hand and was a bit discouraged thinking somehow she hadn't told me the truth. I was just about to actually delete this post but today I asked her about her hand noticing that she had no wrap on the hand. She told me that all the pain had left the day I prayed but that due to some medicine she had put on a cut associated with the original injury, she wore the wrap the day before. So I asked directly, "so you had a miracle then?" and she replied, "yes, something like that with a big smile on her face".
October 19, 2013
October 17, 2013
October 13, 2013
- Heb. 3:1 - "consider (fix your thoughts) Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession"
- 2 Cor. 4:5 - "for we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake"
2. Apostolic ministry begins in humility & continues in humility - Consider the Incarnation. God left heaven can became a man IN HUMILITY
- Phil. 2:3 - "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves"
3. Apostolic ministry honors women Mary "birthed" Jesus' earthly Apostolic ministry, women followed Jesus.
- Gal. 3:28 - "there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus".
4. Apostolic Ministry is "team-oriented" Jesus built a team, Paul built teams - even the Trinity is a "team"!
5. Apostolic Ministry is "released-oriented" / It's about Fathering & releasing sons and daughters to carry on the ministry in an even greater way.
- John 14:12b - "Greater works you shall do".
6. Apostolic Ministry is Kingdom-focused (not just Church-focused) is part of something GREATER. The Church is PART of the Kingdom. Jesus is PART of the Trinity
- Jesus spoke hardly anything about the Church and almost exclusively about the Kingdom.
- For example, the "Church" is mentioned 2X in Matthew and the "Kingdom" 50X!
7. Apostolic Ministry is relationally, NOT structurally-based begins with the Trinity.
8. Apostolic Ministry is "marked by signs wonders and miracles"
- 2 Cor. 12:12 - the signs/marks of a true apostle were performed among you with all perserverance, by signs wonders and miracles.
- 1 Cor. 2:4 - "my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power"
9. Apostolic Ministry doesn¹t build on another man¹s (churches) foundation - it is evangelistic.
- NOT SHEEP STEALING, Not Church "Transfer" growth, Not "collecting" other Churches into a so-called "Apostolic Networks"
10. True Apostles "have seen the Lord" and are chosen by Jesus Himself - they are NOT self-appointed, or Apostles because people "recognize" them as such.
- 1 Cor. 9:1 - Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?
11. Apostolic ministry will attract problems / Persecution
- 2 Cor. 4:8-11 - "we are afflicted in EVERY WAY, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying around in the body the dying of Jesus for we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus¹ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh"
12. True Apostolic ministry doesn¹t focus on money.
- Jesus said, "Freely you have received, freely give"
- To the Rich Young Ruler, who did Jesus say he should give his $$$ to?? The Poor!
October 10, 2013
I was shopping in a store in the mall when I had strong sense that one of the employees there had pain. I didn't feel clarity as to what it was, and she was in the middle of working with two other employees on the design of the store. I didn't know what to do since she was focused and occupied with work. I walked away hesitantly, though I felt like God was highlighting her. I was a little frustrated at myself, but I went on to pray for a few other people who were touched and experienced healing!
Probably an hour or more later I was walking in the main area of the mall, and I glanced over and noticed the girl from the store whom God had highlighted. I almost ran to her because I knew that this was a divine appointment. She was with her friend, and they told me that they are both from the country we are located in. I explained that I had seen her in the store, and I asked if she had pain. She said yes, that she had back pain. I asked her to put her hand where the pain was located, and looking into her eyes, I commanded all pain to leave in the name of Jesus, and I released the Kingdom of Heaven over her. I asked how she felt, and she enthusiastically proclaimed, "Woah, the pain is gone. Oh my, it's kinda creepy that it just totally left." She kept going on and on about how amazing and strange it was that the pain just left. Her friend said, "I want it too." I asked if she had any pain, and she said no, so I asked if she needed anything else. She said she had lots of problems. The girl who was healed asked, "Can you heal emotional pain too?" I told her that indeed Jesus heals all things. I explained that Jesus loves them so much! They didn't want to share right then, but we decided to meet up later to pray for emotional healing.
They got my number, and about two hours later they gave me a call. The girl who was healed asked if I could make the pain go away over the phone. She said the pain was back a bit. I told her that Jesus could heal her anywhere. So I asked Him to touch her, and immediately she told me that the pain was completely gone! In a text a little bit later she confirmed there was no more pain, and without me even suggesting it, said that she and her friends would like to experience church for the first time. Asking God to bring salvation and life transformation to both of these Arab women!!!
October 09, 2013
The next day I saw her get out of her car and run, yes run across the road, from my classroom window- no crutches! No bandage! She said her knee is 'all good!'! God is amazing!!!! I pray for an encounter with Jesus for this young lady!!!
October 08, 2013
October 07, 2013
October 03, 2013
October 01, 2013
September 27, 2013
A few days after that DesertCanuck was in a meeting; the woman sitting next her complained of a really bad headache. DesertCanuck prayed as the headache left. The woman looked up in total shock that it was gone. Her whole countenance changed to sheer joy. I reminded her that God really does love her and he keeps His word.
September 25, 2013
September 21, 2013
September 20, 2013
September 18, 2013
September 17, 2013
September 15, 2013
"In the beginning when school was just starting, I was stressed out, unable to sleep well, having panic attacks, and the worst of all, I had these horrible headaches that were inhibiting me of any kind of relaxation. About two or three days before class, I had a panic attack so severe, that it was getting hard to breathe. So I called out to the Lord and he rid me of my panic attack immediately. That was honestly, I feel, my first real encounter with God healing wise. Then when the guest speaker called out and said out of words of knowledge, "I am feeling that someone is having pain like headaches towards the back of their head, almost like a migraine."
That was exactly what I was having and in the exact area. Even after he had said that, I could already feel some kind of sense of relief. Then when he wanted the people he called out to go to the back of the room, I was a little too nervous and timid. After I emailed my professor, and she told me to read the prayer email with faith, and I did, I had this sense of almost full relief, and the pain in the top of my head was receding! I must have read that prayer at least eight times. Then I continued to pray further and thank God for my healing. That was my personal experience with God that day. I feel that what God did, truly furthered my want and need for him. Before as I would pray at night, I would almost feel as if I was talking to thin air, not necessarily losing faith, but beginning to feel as if He wasn't listening, or He wasn't paying attention. After my encounter, I truly know that He is always with me and never leaves."
September 11, 2013
Last Friday I was extremely skeptical about the whole healing process that was being explained to me. I listened intently to the speaker and genuinely was interested in what he had to say but I did not know if I could believe all that he was saying since I had not seen it with my own eyes before. When my teammates and I decided to stay after and see if a couple of our injured players could be healed, we were presented with incredible emotion.
Both my teammates Angie and Veronica had been healed and I was slowly beginning to feel the presence of God all around me. Never had I been surrounded by so many people who genuinely wanted to be a part of God's work. When it came time I finally stepped up and asked to have my right quad healed. As soon as the prayer began I felt an overwhelming amount of emotion and the pain had gone from my leg.
Even still I had been a little confused but when Rick had asked for prayer for his stutter and God answered him with an amazing gift, I was completely in awe. I was shocked and could not believe what I had just witnessed. This was honestly the most amazing moment I have experienced in my Christian life.
September 10, 2013
September 06, 2013
They have started a blog now where students are/will be posting their testimonies - http://vanguardmiracles.blogspot.com - check it out and be sure to leave comments to encourage them.
A couple of things that have come up that are important for them (and for us) to consider:
1. It is ALWAYS God's will to heal. There is so much bad/poor theology out there that isn't rooted in what the Scriptures teach, but rather are rooted in people's experience. This is also related to unbalanced concepts/ideas about God's sovereignty.
I could list dozens of NT Scriptures here to illustrate why I believe the statement I have just made, but Jesus reveals the Father. If you consider the number of times that the Gospels record, "and Jesus healed them all", we should seriously reconsider why our own lives look so different than His life. At the very end of the Book of Acts, far from Paul's healing gift somehow diminishing (as some have erroneously taught), EVERYONE on the Island of Malta was healed (Acts 28:9 - "and the REST OF THE SICK ON THE ISLAND came and were cured").
2. Faith is A FACTOR, but not the only factor. There was an incredible amount of faith on the Friday that the Holy Spirit fell at the University. The faith rose up through several means. One of them was that a message was brought with a challenge that "if we don't do the works that Jesus did, don't believe our message". And then, words of knowledge were given. Beyond that, once people started to be healed, even more faith, corporate faith, was being released and faith ALWAYS attracts heaven. It is one of the currencies of the Kingdom.
Why did I say it is "a factor"? Because, sadly there are those who have taught extreme notions of faith making it somehow the only factor and even blaming people who aren't healed for the "lack of faith". I'm going to be completely honest - when it came to the young man who was stuttering, I really had no faith for that to be healed. We had seen so many healed before that, and so my faith level was up and surely the students' faith was high in wake of the healings and the powerful encounters people were having with the Lord. But, I had never seen stuttering healed before and one of the reasons I ended up praying a second time for the young man who had been a lifelong stutterer was because I was struggling. Can we be honest here? It doesn't help when we aren't brutally honest. Even when I asked him as he was having a powerful encounter with God to "go away and continue to let God minister to you", I was stalling. I was still not in a place of faith - I wasn't in a place of faith to ask him, "So, what has happened?" And yet, in spite of my clear lack of faith, God healed the young man. All this to say, the core basis for healing is GOD's LOVE. Check it out - see how many times it says that "Jesus was moved BY COMPASSION and healed the sick". Faith is "a factor" but clearly not the only factor.
3. The devil is a liar and wants to "steal" everything he can from the life of the believer. In the wake of the students being healed and walking away pain free from that Friday, some of them began to "feel" their symptoms again. This isn't uncommon. The cynics (and some reading this blog) will say that people weren't actually healed but only "thought" they were. That is an issue of profound unbelief that each and everyone of us needs to wage war upon. I emphasized in those lectures that we are all, every single one of us, in a lifelong battle to "have faith" - remember what Paul says in Galatians 5 - "the only thing that matters is faith working through love" - that is a foundational verse identifying our two most basic challenges in the Christian life - overcoming our lack of faith and our lack of love.
So what do we do when the enemy comes back and begins to lie to us - "you weren't really healed", "God doesn't really love you like they said He does", "you aren't worthy of...", etc. etc. And then a slight symptom comes back, a twinge, a little bit of pain. What do we do? This is a key thing - a vital principle. Stand in your healing. We aren't "enemy focused" - this isn't a time to go into intense spiritual warfare. The enemy is trying to come back; he wants to get you to believe a lie (or lies). So we simply say, "Jesus, THANK YOU for what you did and that you have healed me". That's it. We are to be Jesus-focused and thanking Him for His work, for His healing and as has been said, this is the "submitting to God" that results in the the "devil fleeing". (James 4:7). There were some students who thought that their healing was gone, or wearing off, or...BUT once they did this, they were again pain free and walking in their freedom.
4. The power of the testimony - word is getting out. A blog has been started. It was even mentioned in chapel several days later about "a revival that was starting on campus after an OT class". I think the word "revival" is a bit premature to be using, but there is simply no reason why that cannot and will not be the result of what God has started.
This goes back to point #1 - there are those who erroneously teach that God only sovereignly starts/ends revivals and that we don't play a role in that equation. This is just blasphemy. Jesus left heaven, came to earth to defeat the enemy, remove the barrier between God and man, returned to heaven and sent His Spirit to subsequently see the advance of God's Kingdom until His return. What would be the problem then? Everything has been provided and supplied. The problem is that God's people actually don't believe it. So much so that we had to "invent" theologies that explain away why we don't see God moving like we see in the pages of Scripture. As Bill Johnson has so convictingly said, "Jesus opened up the heavens and there is NO RECORD of Him ever shutting them up".
The enemy wants to extinguish the sparks that God has lit. He wants to divide and conquer. The power of the testimony is one of the ways we combat His lies, and a way forward that will lead a spark into a flame that will become a fire that will lead to..... If God is truly a "consuming fire", then His very nature is revival! To say that revival isn't always God's will (and by God's will, I mean "God's will right now") is like saying that God isn't always loving. We know that it is ALWAYS God's will to express and communicate love, because His very nature is love. In other words, He can't help Himself - He can't NOT love. So if revival is also His nature (and I guess I would define revival as "God's presence and power consuming everything and everyone in It's path"), then it can't ever not be His will to bring revival.
At this point, the question becomes, "What will the students at this Christian University do with what God has done and is doing"? Will they become a "one thing" community? - namely that the "one thing" that matters is God's Kingdom in their midst. Will they "co-labor", will they "cooperate" and "steward" what God is doing? Will they cry out and say, "whatever it takes, whatever it costs"? These are the questions that God is looking to be answered.
If you are a student reading this - I want to say this clearly. Don't look at the others right now. What will YOU DO? One living sacrifice is all it takes for the true fire of God to fall upon? Will you be that "kindling for God"? Will you be the one who God will use? The fact is, I know there are more than "one" - others are responding and the "ones" will find the other "ones" that will become the "twos", the "threes" and so on.....
This post is long enough. I'll leave it at that for now. We are now 9000 miles away contending for revival in a part of the world that is on the brink of literal war here in the Middle East - but I
September 01, 2013
I left that University, but my professor friend told me the healings continued in the faculty lounge as she shared the testimonies of what had happened with the students.
When I got to my next appointment after leaving, the owner of the restaurant came up to tell me of a woman my wife and I prayed for how hadn't been able to conceive children. She was healed and we didn't know about it. She now has a baby and I find out about the miracle 2 years later! Why is this particularly interesting? Because my friend who is the professor who invited me for the lectures hasn't been able to get pregnant and I prayed between the two lectures for them to conceive. I felt like this little divine appointment was God letting us know that He'd "heard" our cries!
That Friday night in a meeting we saw some other healing. We also prayed for another stutterer and his condition lessened. I don't know how he is now but I'll report back if I hear any further developments.
Two days later and the miracles just keep happening. My professor friend shared the Friday student testimonies in both morning services and they counted 17 healings in the first service and 17 more in the second! I had been at another Church, a Presbyterian one, that morning and got two words of knowledge for two of the pastors. The first one was for the left shoulder of the worship pastor and the second was for the neck (left side) of the discipleship pastor. After the service, I approached the disicipleship pastor and she was a bit shocked that I "knew" she had that problem and let me pray. I couldn't get to the worship pastor because he was practicing for the 2nd service, BUT the discipleship pastor was willing to follow up and bring healing to him!
Then I get to lunch with another couple and start telling them about what had happened on Friday when I notice a young woman with a cast on her right wrist. I excused myself and was able to share a few miracle stories from Friday and asked her boyfriend to lay hands on her. He did and I broke off the shock and trauma from her injury and commanded the pain to leave. She began to move it and with a perplexed look asked if she should take off the cast. I said she should and she did and was completely healed! She too began to cry. Her boyfriend also felt God's power flowing through his hand during prayer. In the end, she had the cast off (20 minutes later) indicating that she was still healed and then I gave them my card, told her that Jesus loved her and then told her boyfriend that God wanted to use him as a miracle worker too. He couldn't even look me in the eye - he too wanted to cry (and maybe was).
The final miracle happened about 15 minutes later as we walked into a sweet shop. I got a strong word of knowledge about a right foot condition. The owner had the problem and asked me, "Are you a healer"? I told her I was. She wanted to know why kind of healer I was. I told her, "I do divine healing". I sensed she was a New Ager and sure enough we find out at the end that she practices Reiki.
I had her lay hands on her right leg and prayed and she said the pain when from a 7 to a 3. She let me pray again (even after knowing I was a Christian - the praying in "Jesus' Name" is always a bit of a give away :). By the time we left, her pain was between a 1 and a 2. I am thrilled that she saw and experienced the superiority of the Holy Spirit's power.
Not a bad weekend if you ask me.
I had another student put his hand on him and I later learned that as I prayed, this "partner" who I had randomly asked to put his hand on the stuttering young man because he was standing next to him, began to speak in tongues for the first time in his life! Talk about a legitimate way to get a gift of the Holy Spirit! After the first prayer, I just felt I needed to embrace the man we were praying for as his crying had become sobbing and I prayed again breaking off all the shock and trauma from all the years of people teasing him, bullying him and making him feel stupid. My professor friend also broke off all the shame. He was having such a major encounter with God that we decided it was better for him to go and continue to encounter God by himself. He went off for about 5-7 minutes (maybe a bit longer) as we prayed for some others who were healed and then to all of our shock and amazement the young man comes back COMPLETELY HEALED, speaking normally and at that point many other began to cry. Having never seen such a condition healed (and to be honest having very little faith for it when I prayed - which was why I prayed again and longer while I embraced him. Just being completely honest here!), I was pretty much in disbelief. The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord had fallen on all of us!
During all these healings, people were sending out text messages and telling anybody with pain to come over to this particular location and as I turned away from the young man who had just been healed of his life-long stuttering problem, there standing in front of us was one of the male soccer players on crutches with huge knee brace on his right knee. It had been blown out two days earlier in a game and it was obviously a very serious injury. His name was Francisco and I reminded him of St. Francis! He let me pray and something was happening. He couldn't believe it when he started moving the knee inside the brace and was doing it without pain and with a range of movement he couldn't do when he had limped up. He had to test it out further. Then he hands his crutches (Note: I did not ask or encourage him to do this) to a friend and begins to walk without them. He takes maybe 10 steps and turns around and is now crying because he realizes, maybe for the first time in his life that God was real, really real and his pain free walking was personal evidence of this truth!
At this point, I actually had to go but since I had made it clear in both lectures that this was normal Christianity and didn't depend upon us being there, they just continued on praying for healings and EVERYONE who received prayer was healed over the course of another 30-40 minutes.
the testimonies are still coming in and we will undoubtedly be posting more of them here. People were also getting prayer for inner healing and many encountered God with tears that day. How about a Part 4 to talk about what's happened in the wake that day's miracles.
I got a distinct word of knowledge about pain in a particular location in the head (back left top). I inquired who that would be and a girl said that it her. She'd been thrown from a horse 10 years earlier and had suffered from chronic headaches ever since. She also had suffered from a neck injury that limited the mobility of her neck and she even said there was slight brain damage. Another student laid hands on her we prayed breaking off the shock and trauma and releasing the Kingdom and all the pain left her head and she could move her neck with no restrictions! She began to cry.
Next an Indian background girl (I had asked where she was from in case you were wondering) came for prayer. She had been having back problems for the past month, was seeing a chiropractor and was in constant pain. I had a word of wisdom that the cause of the back problem was performance-related coming from her parents. She affirmed that her parents had been that way with her and as she released her parents (I led her in the short prayer) we saw ALL pain leave her back and she was completely healed. She began to cry.
It was amazing that most of the people healed cried. That doesn't always happen, but it was clear that people were not only being physically healed, but also having deep encounters with God's love (which was such an emphasis in my message before this all started).
There were others that were healed too during this time but then the absolute biggest breakthrough was about to happen which I'll relate in Part 3
I was invited to be a guest lecturer by a good friend of ours who is a professor at a Christian University. I took two lectures last Friday morning and I will try to "capture", abeit inadequately, what we saw the Lord do in the wake of the two classes. In the first lecture, I spoke about miracles being "normal" and that it was actually abnormal to be a follower of Jesus and not see miracles. I asked the question, "How long could you have followed Jesus around until you saw a miracle"? The follow up question was the one with punch: "How long can people follow YOU around until they see one"? I told them we would see miracles at the end of the lecture and if they didn't then they were free NOT to believe what I said. Jesus gave people that freedom - "If I don't do the works of my Father, then don't believe what I say" (John 10:37). At the very end of the first lecture, I called out 3 words of knowledge - left shoulder, right neck and also dizziness. As I walked to the back of the class, a baseball pitcher was there. He was the left shoulder. I had his teammate lay hands on him and I prayed a 10-15 second prayer breaking off the shock and trauma and releasing the Kingdom. He was completely healed and he was shocked. He didn't know what to do with what had just happened. No pain, full range of movement. My friend had been praying for the girl who came for the neck condition and she was healed. Finally the girl with the dizziness came and I normally find that this is demonic in origin and so I prayed more of a deliverance prayer and she said she felt something "go" and began to cry as she knew the Lord had set her free.
Note: Everyone was healed after praying just one time! I only say this because our experience has mostly been that not everyone gets healed and often it takes two our three prayers until full healing comes.
the next post will be about what happened in the wake of the 2nd lecture
August 31, 2013
Another testimony from one of hosts in Ireland:
On Monday morning before I left my house for work, I prayed a new prayer I had never prayed before, I prayed the I could display the “Reality” of God to all I would meet during the day. When I got to work one of the girls in an office was back in work having been out due to an accident in her house. Her hand was stitched and in much pain (pain = 8/10) and was throbbing and unable to move whatsoever (stiffness = 10/10). She did not know I was a Christian and was shocked when I said to her “could I release the healing of Jesus over her hand”. Got her to lay hands on herself as I remembered what DJ said. I spoke over her hand in the manner which you would do and 10 seconds later I asked her check it out. She started asking me what did I do to her, wanted to know what was going on. She said there was heat and she looked startled. She then said the pain was much less, she then started to move her index finger only, I started to laugh. I then asked her to do something more she could not do. Then her other 3 finger started to move. I prayed again and asked her to check again. All she could say is “Declan what are you doing to me”, I laughed and said I was doing nothing but that Jesus was doing everything. She then started to move her thumb, now the whole hand was moving. She then said she could not hold anything since the accident. I gave her a paper punch and she held it and looked on in amazement. She then said she could not write, I gave her a pen and she held it and laughed. I then shoved paper under her and she began to write her name, the first attempt was bad, but after the fifth attempt it was perfect writing, her signature. She was blown away and to be honest so was I. I am really looking forward to catching up this Friday and seeing if she told any of the rest of them in the office. This is a first for me in a public place and it was awesome, God is fantastic and His love for people way out passes anything I previously knew, I am really excited as I see the kingdom unfold from my hands. It is just an amazing place to be so close to a move of God.
What follows is the testimony of a miracle that I had never seen before. A young man with a stuttering problem that reminded me of the challenge portrayed in the recent film "The King's Speech". I HAD NEVER seen this type of condition healed until what we witnessed yesterday. It was one of the most powerful and moving things I've ever seen God do, EVER!
"Today, I encountered God like never before. The day started off as usual, waking up, getting a cup of coffee, and reading research about stuttering and speech therapy while doing some vocal warm ups. As I was walking to my Old Testament class, I kept on thinking, "What day is it?" being that I haven't had a Friday class since high school year ago hoping class would be nice and go by quick so I could start my three day weekend.
On the way to the room, I heard people talking about the guest speaker we had. Once he started speaking, I knew why.
His name was DJ. DJ is a Middle East missionary and regularly, through the power of God's Spirit, heals people. During the lecture, he kept emphasizing God's love and healing powers while stressing that we have that same power today; the power of God, seen at it's fullest through Jesus, and the same power that Jesus gave to us at the day of Pentecost as the disciples' remember, "I am sending you an advocate even greater than I." Now, even as great as all this sounded, I was a bit skeptical. I mean, I've grown up in a Christian household, went to church, knew of God, and have read through Acts and the Gospel. All that sounds nice, and I believe it happened, but never thought that could happen to me.
During class, I listened so intently to what DJ was saying. The passion and conviction in his voice was moving. Slowly I felt something come over me, like a wave of fear and intense anxiety; something I'm use to feeling, but never like this. This, this was God. I felt Him, throughout my body, stirring all that I was, calling me to trust Him and His promises and to believe what DJ was saying. By the end of class, I wanted to leave so badly. I couldn't stand the way I was feeling and was just freaking out. I mean, I've heard charismatic speakers before at youth camps and stuff speaking on the same thing, but this was different. Freaked out, uncomfortable, and feeling sick, I left class and went to the bathroom.
But I couldn't leave. Something (someone) was pulling me back. I've experienced altar calls and all that stuff before and walked away, I'm fine and I don't need prayer, but this time, I simply couldn't. So I walked over and joined the rest of the class in prayer outside the Heath hall.
As I walked up, DJ and my professor, Ms. Jackson, were praying while others laid hands on one of the girls who has had headaches and pain for many years since her accident. And then, after one simple prayer, she was healed. And then that happened again….and again…and again. I was freaking out! Coming from a seeker sensitive church, the Holy Spirit was basically never mentioned. But I knew it, I mean Him. He was real, alive, and present in that moment. DJ then asked again, "Is there anyone else suffering and need healing? The Spirit is alive and present here!" Then, I walked up….
There were probably about 20 of my classmates left at this time and everyone was very emotional. Once I was up front of the group, DJ simply said, "What are you suffering from?" As I started to speak, I said I stuttered out the words, "I have had a speech impediment all my life" and just broke down sobbing. Like not just teary-eyed or even regular crying but wailing and wheezing. The entire class gathered around me forming a tighter circle and everyone laid hands on me or someone else close by. Then DJ began to pray.
I wish I remembered everything he prayed; the words were so beautiful and powerful. He said something along the lines of,
"Father heal Rick of his stuttering….free him of his constant worry, pain, anxiety….of his feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and regret…of those that have called him names and teased him…rid him of the moments he saw himself as a failure….bless Him with your healing and your love….only you can heal father….change and rewrite his story, use his stuttering as a witness to you and your name for your glory….that he may use his new found fluency to speak your name. Amen"
I cannot fully describe what I felt in that moment. Looking up, I saw everyone else crying and teary-eyed. Then, I felt something come over me; my chest and lungs felt like the were revived, my throat and larynx felt opened, my mouth, light and free, and my brain, full, complete, and at peace. Peace. I have never felt anything that way before. I then began to speak….and speak…and speak without any stuttering. At this moment, everyone else started crying and was in complete shock. I overheard some people saying, "Is this real? Did he really stutter before?" Graham, who was in a class of mine last year testified that I really did have a stuttering problem before. Mariah, one of my closest friends, was bailing and saying to the class, "I've never heard him talk like this before." DJ then encouraged me to go off to the side and spend some alone time with God so I did.
Then, DJ's friend came over to me and we began to talk. He told me that one of his family members also had a severe stuttering impediment. He then went on to say, "I have this feeling that God is going to use you and your history of stuttering in profound ways. I believe that it isn't a pain but a purpose, a gift. A gift you're now going to share with others." I then went on to say that recently I have had some thoughts about going into speech therapy as a career. He confirmed that word of the Lord by saying something like, "Yes, that's what he said to me too." During that time, another guy from my class Joshua was sitting there. He said that during my prayer encounter he spoke in tongues for the first time and wanted to thank me for that experience. He also remembered what he said and told me that he'd let me know what the translation means. Can't wait to hear that.
Then I spent some alone time with God. Still crying, I broke down even more. I didn't say anything but invited God to. He said something like: "Well done Rick. You have worked hard and long enough. You have completed the task I have placed in front of you and are ready for what's to come. I rid you of this burden you've been trying to carry for so long. Good work but it is finished and it is now mine. Do not live in fear any longer for those days are gone. This is it. Freedom. Now go share this story and do good works in my name." I just sat there for a little bit longer, being still in God's love and embrace. Feeling closer to God than ever before. Peace. Free.
Then I went back over to the group and they asked me how I was feeling. So I started telling them, fluently, freely, and without fear. I then read Exodus 4 aloud, in front of everyone, most who I didn't even know, which says, "Moses said to the Lord, "Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." 11 The Lord said to him, "Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." Upon hearing this, people were amazed. And I was too. Not only did people say I didn't stutter, but I read the verse very well, like I've been fluent all my life.
Then many more were healed through the power of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. People heard what was going on and they joined our group. One guy showed up to our circle, skeptical and on crutches, we prayed, then he laid the crutches down and walked off to his next class. To close out our time, I prayed over the group as a whole, something I've never done before. I then went and called my Mom on the phone and talked to her for 30 minutes, perfectly. After that, as I was going to eat some lunch, a small group of people were gathered on the lawn and Graham was telling them what happened. They called me over and I shared my testimony. Others heard, and then they joined as well. Some of them I just met, others I knew last year, but all were amazed and touched by God.
Throughout the day I kept sharing my testimony and did not stop talking. Now, as I write this almost 12 hours later, I have not stuttered once.