I must have been about 13 years old when I prayed for someone to be healed, for the first time.
I was at a Christian conference at the NEC and in the final meeting, people were asked to put their hands up if they wanted to be healed.
There was a gentleman next to me who had raised his hand, so I asked him what he wanted healing in. I then went on to pray for his arm that he had broken (it was in a cast so, obvious, really); that Jesus would heal his arm.
I had complete and utter faith that God would heal his arm.
Fast forward 20 years: I have been growing in this area of faith lots, and I am still growing.
At the beginning of this year, I spent some time listening to God about what He has for me this year, 2019. I like to do this to give me some focus for the year.
I believe He said two things, grow in faith and grow in communication. I felt excited and expectant.
Faith And Growth
If you ask any of my closest friends, I believe they would say I am a person of faith.
I would say this means I hold a strong faith in God, that He can do the miraculous.
There is nothing too hard for Him; I thoroughly believe that God can do whatever He wants because He is God, and He is good.
In 2015, I prayed and hoped for a miracle in my personal life.
To say I believed it would happen is an understatement, I literally had no doubt or fear in my mind that it would not happen.
I believed it because I know my God is for me not against me and I believe there is nothing too hard for him.
Did I see this miracle happen?
No. I actually saw the exact opposite.
Did this challenge my faith? Yes! Big style.
I got the angriest with God that I have ever been, and it took me a good year of prayer, processing, spiritual warfare, worship and speaking with trusted people to deal with it.
But, I came out the other side with a stronger faith and relationship with God.
My Miracle Healing
In 2012 I experienced a miracle in my life, I was completely healed of an eating disorder that I had struggled with for years.
It was an absolute life transformation. It was incredible and it was God.
I am struck by the power of prayer. It is a weapon, it is a blessing, it is an encouragement, it brings us together as the body of Christ.
It is personal, it is collective, it brings life, and hope. It is life changing and it is real.
I want to pause for a moment and acknowledge and say, that I understand that sometimes our prayers do not get answered.
Sometimes we never see results to something we have been in faith for, for years.
This is hard and very painful. God probably feels a million miles away.
Faith is a mystery.
Will We Have All The Answers?
In Acts chapter 1, Jesus is asked the question, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”.
Jesus responds with, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the father has set by his own authority”.
This is one of the final things he says before he is taken into Heaven and I think it is key to our growth in faith.
As much as we would like to, I don’t think we will always know the answers to our prayers: why God chooses certain times for things to happen, or the outcomes to things we are in faith for.
However, I do believe that there is a supernatural peace that we read so much about in the bible.
I believe we can be at peace through the Holy Spirit and still have a sense of mystery.
The Relentless Pursuit
Since God has spoken to me in January about growing in faith this year, God has caught my attention in different ways about faith; whether it is through talks, songs, prayer, or day to day conversations.
There is a song called ‘The Relentless Pursuit’ and I have used it to worship and pray this past couple of months.
I think one part of growing in faith is that relentless pursuit, that we do both personally and in that corporate church setting.
In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus tells us a parable about the persistent widow, and I believe there is a reason Jesus tells his disciple’s this parable.
I believe it connects us to the verse in Hebrews 11:1:
Now, faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see
It then goes on to talk about men and women of faith in the bible. Noah, Enoch, Abraham, etc.
I believe there is a reason we read about these people in the bible: it encourages us and inspires us.
If you let it, it builds our faith that the same God who parted the red sea for Moses, the same God that enabled Sarah to get pregnant after being told that she was barren, the same God that saved Daniel from the Lions, the same God that raised Lazarus from the dead…that same God is alive in you.
That same God wants you to say ‘yes’ to Him and believe in Him for the miraculous signs and wonders that He can do.
What are you in faith for today?
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