I felt like i was a part of the life of Jesus/story of the church in Acts. We gathered together to eat pray, worship, sit under the Word and fellowship and then like the 70 sent out by Jesus we we went out to proclaim: good news to the poor; freedom for the prisoners; recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, and the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19). As we gathered in the center of the village with teachers, doctors, pastors, nurses, children from Pittsburgh, Mexico City and Ahuatitla, speaking English, Spanish and Nauat. Some sorted medicine, preparing to see patients others dispersed into the village while I stayed behind to preach from Mark 2, in English, and then translated into Spanish and then into Nauat. After that our tri-lingual team offered pray for the sick and broken-hearted. We listened to stories of incredible physical and spiritual pain and oppression. We prayed together in the unity of the Spirit even though we never spoke in the same language. We saw God's power and authority in very tangible ways - people were healed, principalities and powers were battled, tears were shed, hearts were mended and the kingdom of God was advanced all through PRAYER in the Spirit. Not the normal way I do ministry. I saw and felt the power of God go out through me and the others in our prayer team. I saw hands used to bring healing to other people's bodies and spirits. I heard discernment and insight into the lives of people that could have only been given by God. By mid-day I was completely depleted, exhausted and amazed. I experientially understood why Jesus often withdrew to a quiet place and connect with his Father - replenishing power, strength and wisdom. There were people waiting in line to meet with the doctors and nurses and to be prayed for. My spirit was weak and in need of renewal. The work that God had prepared me to do I had never done before (praying for people for 4 hours straight) and after lunch we headed back for more miraculous work of God healing peoples bodies, minds and spirits through us, his wounded healers on their knees.
How am I translating this back into the USAmerican world that, to quote Nacho Libre, "has it's faith in science?" I believe that we need to learn about the power of prayer and the reality of the spiritual world. We modernistic USAmerican Christians tend to live in our minds, depend on rationality, human ingenuity, the scientific method, technological development, medicine, and what we can explain. I certainly believe that God is in the technological advances of science and medicine to heal can be used for his glory. I do not want to create a dualism of body and spirit, mind and emotion or prayer and science - God is in all and sovereign over all. But it seems to me that more faith in humanity's ability to progressively heal through technological advancement than in God himself. God is pushing me and prodding me to trust him more, to ask more boldly in prayer and believe that God can and will break in through his Spirit to bring healing to his world.
- If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
- ...the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
- And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people.
- Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make them well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.