Saturday morning, October 8th. Location: Downtown Toledo. Mission: Feed the homeless while continuing to build relationships and share God’s love with His people.
When we arrived, a line of hundreds had already formed. We were stocked with around 150 loaves of bread and a ton of hygiene items, like body wash, shampoo, and toothpaste. We also had the secret weapon of our faith: prayer. We set up tables and hung a “free prayer” sign on the end table. Within a few minutes, we were swarmed with activity. I looked for the sign and could not see it. I grabbed our evangelist, Ray, and then hopped in the crowd and got the sign. I then put the sign right on Ray’s chest! With him being this human billboard, more people would know this was available for them.
With Elizabeth and Raymond on my sides, we were ready as a mini-prayer team – “Where two or more are gathered….” A man then walked over to us. “Hello there. What is your name?” He said his name was Daniel. He was rail thin and stared right through my soul. “Hi Daniel, what can we pray for you?” “AIDS.” Gulp. “Excuse me?” He repeated “AIDS.” He nodded his head, acknowledging that it was he who had this disease. “Ughh, ok. Daniel, can we ahh…lay hands on you brother?” And off we went in prayer to ask our Father to heal this man with HIV. We prayed on him for a good five minutes. While my hand was on his right shoulder it was hot. Inside I was tempted to take my hand off him. “Was that my sweat or his sweat?” I know you cannot get AIDS that way, so I quickly thought of what was tempting me to think that. I refocused on Jesus and what we were praying for. We continued on and blessed him. He then smiled and said thank you. His mood was dramatically better and, Lord willing, maybe he was healed, or at least filled with more hope and faith than when he awoke that morning.
When you go out and do ministry in the world, it is quite exciting and sometimes scary. You never know where the Lord is going to lead you. Here is where faith and obedience come into play. When doing this kind of prayer ministry what is really cool is when asking someone if they want prayer. Nine times out of ten they will say yes. Then, be ready for anything! We have received some hard-core prayer requests in the past and they are all different. We must always be ready to do our best, and trust the Holy Spirit will help and guide us as we pray through the request, no matter how challenging or difficult.
In SEND, almost every time we are out doing mission in the world we are praying on someone. I am so encouraged by these young adults and that the team is always ready to do this. To be disciples out in our mission field called northeast Indiana. I think of Penny and her dog, Gus, while we were at Bixler Lake Park in Kendallville. We prayed for her and her husband’s health. We also met an elderly lady, Betty, yesterday in a mobile home park. We offered to rake her leaves and afterwards asked if she wanted prayer. She said yes and simply asked for prayer to keep busy and moving during her retirement years. We prayed on folks at the county fair “Free Prayer” booth. SEND prayed on a man with cancer in an ice cream shop, we pray for a little boy, Charlie, on a weekly basis, pray for our families, friends and loved ones, and pray for revival! The experiences go on and on. The power of prayer! It is the power of our faith. It is a key of what we are doing most in SEND as we grow in our faith and in our relationship with Jesus.
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:7-8
In closing, prayer works. SEND witnessed a miracle healing in front of our own eyes, along with a physical healing for someone on our team, just last weekend. If you want to hear or experience these signs and wonders, please join us on this journey. We would love to pray for you or with you, just let us know. We hope to see you out in the world, living our faith. Let us all move mountains as we grow in our discipleship and in prayer, as well as in the act of praying!