I began by praying with a kid who was attending our prayer meeting for the first time, Marquis. Although Marquis was only thirteen years old, the youngest of the group, he was the most vocal. As I was sharing with the guys, Marquis began talking over me. When I looked over at him, his innocent response was, “I am multi-tasking. I am listening to every word you are saying.”
As I began ministering to Marquis one-on-one, I shared with Marquis about the infilling of the Holy Spirit. He prayed and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. As we continued to pray, I felt like God wanted to speak to him. I told Marquis to ask God to speak to him. So, Marquis prayed the simple prayer, “Jesus, speak to me.” When we were done praying, I asked Marquis if God had said anything to him.
“God wants me to pray with Hamisi,” Marquis responded. “God has a message for him.”
So, I encouraged Marquis to pray with Hamisi. As Marquis began to pray with Hamisi, the Lord gave him a word for Hamisi. Hamisi began to cry as the Lord spoke to him through Marquis. The Lord was speaking to his heart.
I then began to pray with Anthony. I generally do not ask the kids about their criminal history. I do not ask them why they are in the detention center. I would rather not know. I do not want to be biased by what they tell me. I would rather just love them unconditionally. However, as I began praying with Anthony, he began to tell me things I did not want to know. He told me he was in jail charged with three counts of child rape. He was accused of raping his little brothers and sisters.
Naturally, I was a little taken aback. Not knowing quite how to respond, I told him we needed to begin to pray. After we were done praying, Anthony looked at me, his eyes wide open. “My hands are really hot. I am feeling burning heat on my palms,” he explained.
Immediately, the Lord spoke to my heart. “Anthony, I believe the Lord is anointing you. He wants to use you to bless others. As you lay your hands on people, God will heal them.”
Next, I offered to pray for, Tom. Tom was new to the group. He had walked in, uninvited, declaring that he knew there was no God, but that Friday would be the ultimate test. He said he had made a deal with God, “If you are real, I should be released on Friday. Or else you don’t exist.” I noticed that Tom had a brace on his hand and forearm. I asked what was wrong. He told me he had a severed tendon. I asked if there was pain. Tom removed his brace and showed me that he couldn’t move his thumb, and when he tried, he experienced sharp shooting pains.
“You do not have to wait until Friday to know that Jesus is real,” I said to Tom. “Let’s pray for your hand, and you’ll know now.”
I gently held Tom’s wrist and began to pray. After a short prayer, I asked Tom if he felt a difference. He tried to move his thumb. He said that perhaps there was a little change. I prayed again, and received the same answer from Tom.
I looked up and saw Anthony carefully observing my interaction with Tom. I remembered the heat Anthony had felt in his hands. “Come over here Anthony,” I called out. “Help me pray for Tom.”
The other boys joined Anthony and me as we prayed for Tom. After saying a short prayer, we asked Tom to test out his hand. He began to move his thumb, first slowly, and then faster. A crooked smile appeared on his face and Tom began moving his thumb it in circles. “I have a severed tendon. I should not be able to do this,” Tom declared with confusion in his voice.
The “ultimate” test according to Tom was whether or not he could lift anything using his thumb. We were sitting in the library, so he walked over to a stack of hardcover books and began lifting them with his thumb and fingers. “There is no pain!” he exclaimed.
Later that night as I was sharing with the boys about the reality of God, I overheard Tom say to himself, “All I have to do is look at my hand.”
I sat in awe as I contemplated what God had just done. He used a bunch of kids in jail to speak His word and heal a severed tendon. Truly, He is no respecter of persons. Despite what we have done, who we are, where we have been, He still loves us. He can still use us. We are still valuable in His sight.
It reminded me of an illustration that I saw on the internet and used in our fellowship in India to illustrate a point. I held up a 20 rupee note and asked, “Who wants this 20 rupee note?” After I was done assuring everyone it was not a trick and I wasn’t going to make them perform in front of the church in exchange for the money, everyone in the congregation raised their hands.
I took the crisp 20 rupee note and proceeded to crumple it up. I then held up the crumpled note and asked, “Now who wants this 20 rupee note?” Again, every hand in the hall was raised.
I then took the 20 rupee note, threw it on the floor and asked one of the slum children to come to the front on step on the note with her muddy feet. I then held up the crumpled, soiled, 20 rupee note. I asked again, “Now who wants this 20 rupee note?” Every hand in the hall shot up again.
No matter what was done to the money, every person in the congregation still wanted it because the money did not decrease in value. Despite being crumpled and soiled, it was still worth 20 rupees.
In the same way, many times in our lives, we are crumpled, dropped and soiled by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel beaten and worthless. But, God recently just showed me again through a real life situation that no matter what we have done, what we have been through, what has been done to us, He still loves us the same. No matter how far we have run away from Him, no matter what we have said to Him or about Him, we never lose our value in His sight.
He is not just looking for the gift with the golden wrapping, or the one with the most shine. He wants each one of us to give ourselves to Him. God wants to use, fill and dwell with every one of us.
After Tom’s healing, I finished praying for each of the boys. The Lord touched each of them. Just as I thought the meeting was over, Hamisi came up to me and said, “You said that God had a word for me.” I had earlier told Hamisi that I believed that God had a word for him and I would pray with him at the end to receive that word. But, then after Marquis prayed for Hamisi and spoke God’s word to him, I assumed I no longer needed to do so.
“Hamisi gave you a word from God already,” I said.
“But you said you would pray for me and give me a word from God,” was the response.
I smiled and motioned for Hamisi to take a seat. I certainly had said that I would pray for him. I had to keep my word. I wasn’t expecting God to give me a prophecy for Hamisi, but he did. After I was done prophesying for Hamisi, his eyes lit up. He said that God had spoken directly to him.
Next, Anthony was in line for prayer, again. So, we prayed. Again the Lord spoke a word to him. He began to cry, trying to hide the tears. After we were done praying, he said, “That was exactly what I needed to hear from God. How did you know? I was praying that God would speak that to me.”
Said was next in line. As we prayed, God spoke to him as well. “That is real,” he said, almost in disbelief.
I saw Tom sitting and observing everything. I asked him if I could pray with him. He said okay. As we prayed, the Lord began speaking to Tom and the tears began to flow. He couldn’t stop crying. And unlike the other kids, he couldn’t hide his tears either.
We had an amazing time in the Lord.
Scripture for the Day:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. John 14:12.