We returned today after a beautiful ‘holiday’ in the Netherlands. We went to the Pentecost Revival conference and the following week we celebrated my father-in-law and my grandmother’s birthday. In the meantime, we also made several visits to friends. It was also special to visit our own house :), with Fabian and Albertine, who rent our house. After Opwekking we had a wonderful stay at the brand new Bed and Breakfast from my in-laws
Revival was beautiful! We were with our caravan at a campsite nearby. We have been going to Opwekking for years, but last year was extra special because we prayed with a group for a man who had been in a wheelchair for 10 years and could walk again after prayer! You can read more about it in the section ‘ About Robert ‘. This year someone again came up with the idea to start praying for people again with a group. There was a lot of enthusiasm for it! About 30 people gathered in front of the entrance to the “24 Hour Prayer Tent”. This has happened several times. The first time I went with a small group, but unfortunately had little time because I would also be at the Go and Tell booth. Later I saw a video of the experiences of the same group:
Jessie heals here through prayer and is encouraged to walk along and pray herself. This is something every Christian can do: heal diseases and ailments in Jesus’ name.
She did and a few minutes later this happened:
The videos were also picked up by the popular website dumpert.nl. Obviously few words of praise – and many people who respond think it’s acting:
Yet it is real. This is what we see when we step out in faith and pray for others with the expectation that they will be healed on the spot. Some reactions are understandable:
Every sickness and disease can be healed by faith. Jesus Christ says it very broadly: “Everything is possible for those who believe”. You can even lift a mountain and put it somewhere else. The problem lies only in the faith of us Christians. I used to think that faith was a strong inner conviction. A kind of feeling. But today I think differently.
What is faith?
James makes the link in the Bible between ‘faith and works’ ( James 2:18 ). Faith is manifested by works! So I can say that I believe that God helps us when we are in need. But if I’ve never been in a position to need God’s help, because I’m relying on my job and bank account, pension, etc, then I don’t believe that at all! If I say I believe that God wants to use believers and give them gifts to heal the sick by laying hands on them, but I myself have never laid hands on anyone because I don’t dare… then I don’t believe it! If I say I believe in Jesus, but don’t do what he told us to do, I don’t believe him at all! For many people, believing in Jesus means believing that he existed, died for our sins and rose again, going to church, speaking about him to others, etc. When Jesus spoke to the people of his day, he once said:
Mat 7:21 Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” to me will enter the kingdom of heaven, only those who act according to the will of my Heavenly Father.
It is about this to trade . Do the will of the Father. Jesus made known the will of the father. He reached out to people around him, helped them. If we really believe Jesus, we will act. This action is not limited to one area, for example healing the sick. The following text that follows the above text is clear about this:
Mat 7:21-23 Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” to me will enter the kingdom of heaven, only those who act according to the will of my Heavenly Father. In that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, have we not cast out demons in your name, and have we not done many miracles in your name?” And then I will tell them straight, “I never knew you. Down with you lawbreakers!”
So these are people who have truly performed miracles in the name of Jesus. Even that doesn’t mean you really believe Jesus. For he makes it clear in that same chapter that we should love our neighbor as ourselves, be generous, lend things without expecting anything in return, turn the other cheek, not lie, not commit adultery, covet another’s wife, and so on. In short: do the good and leave the bad. He says to them: lawbreakers. They apparently flouted God’s laws and lived in sin. His followers should take all his words seriously and not just the things we like. Do you believe this to be true? Then act upon it and your faith will be manifest in what you do. Is there sin in your life? Make it right with God and stop it. Can’t stop? Then get help from someone and do everything in your power to stop. Get over your pride – your life is at stake.
Praying for serious illnesses
I digress a bit, but it is the same with praying for the (seriously) sick. If you want to be Jesus’ follower and you believe that the sick will be healed through your prayer (see Mark 16 ) then you will have to act. If you don’t see them healed, you pray again. Until she is sick. Elijah did it the same way. He prayed 7 times for rain. His prayer was after 7 interrogated once. He could have chosen to quit after 3 prayed once, but he continued. That’s faith.
This is easier said than done. We have seen many people heal from minor ailments, such as a sprained ankle. If you’re in a wheelchair for someone with a muscle disease, then it’s harder to keep going. Often the sick person finds it himself after 3 praying times have been nice, or the situation becomes uncomfortable, because you do not see immediate results. To be honest, I quickly give up. Dropping out.. I think that’s disbelief. It’s hard to imagine such a serious illness really going to heal and then I’ll stop.
Last year we prayed for Simon. He had a muscle disease and was in a wheelchair. The prayer lasted 18 minutes and I estimate we laid hands on 40 to 50 times during that time. Why didn’t we stop? Simon was fine with us continuing. An important factor was that he had already healed from a minor ailment (pain in his foot) and so we thought: “Then the rest can heal too”.
Also this year at Opwekking the opportunity arose to pray for someone in a wheelchair (with ms) who also wanted to and gave the opportunity. As with Simon, we lifted him out of the wheelchair to test if there was any improvement. At the 2nd time he indicated that it was something easy! While we were praying for about 5 minutes, a Revival employee arrived and asked us to stop. Well, the picture doesn’t look very nice – someone trying to walk, but not quite succeeding yet.
Apparently people noticed this and later I read on CIP , under an article that was about healing at Revival the following:
Frustrating for us prayers of course! We wanted to continue, but we were prevented from doing so. What if we could continue? The one we prayed for agreed and cooperated by standing. But after the employee’s hiatus, he didn’t want us to continue.
Yes, it doesn’t look nice. Maybe even degrading. But consider carefully what Jesus did to a blind man. He spat on the ground, made mud and brushed it on his eyes! Then Jesus told him to go for a walk and wash in a certain place (‘Siloam bathhouse’)! Then he could see again. Can you see it? Imagine if someone had come by and ‘helped’ him by handing him a towel and getting him out of this degrading situation – he had remained blind because he did not believe Jesus’ words. (see John 9 ).
Faith is just going on, expecting the impossible, while people ridicule, accuse, etc. It is denying yourself. I have to say that I still have a lot to learn in that area myself. And not just me, but many others as well. I think that’s a good explanation for why we see a lot of ankles, headaches and backs healed, but very little cancer, MS, Ebola and those kinds of life-threatening illnesses… because of our disbelief. Just like Jesus’ disciples in the Bible. They could not deliver a person from an evil spirit. Then Jesus reproached them for their unbelief! But I hope and expect that this will change in the future.
And some more photos!
The coming time..
I’m going to finish the studio so we can quickly start shooting a new series for Youtube. I will also be working on creating a ‘network’ website, so that we can better map out who participates in the last reformation and people worldwide can find each other more easily.
Evelyn works on several practical things, such as coordinating cleaning in the hotel. She is now also trying to teach Thijs and Maarten to read (Dutch) :).