Healing on the Streets
From a blog by Mark Marx, leader HOTS
Healing on the Streets is a ministry birthed from the Causeway Coast Vineyard, Coleraine, Northern Ireland. It is a simple, but beautiful way, to reach out to the lost and hurting on the streets of your town or city. It enables you to connect with your community every week, powerfully expressing God’s love in the market place, whatever the weather. You simply invite people to sit on chairs so you can pray for them.
Recently they helped a church in Husby, Stockholm with a Healing on the Streets (HOTS) launch. This is the story of what happened:
We met with police and Muslim community leaders on Friday night... to connect with them, and also to speak to them about our launch of HOTS in Husby on Saturday morning the next day. God has been forming relationships and divine connections with key people through which the local church leaders are working together with to bring hope to this community.
After this meeting we were invited to visit a Muslim youth centre. Mattias, the local church leader, asked me if I was sensing anything. I told him I thought there was someone with a bad back that God wanted to heal. Mattias didn't feel we were at liberty to make a general invitation for healing... But if God was to show us who it was...
I asked the Lord to show me, and kindly he pointed out one of the Muslim youth leaders. I said to him.. "You have a bad back!" They were kind of shocked that I knew, and when I prayed for him his leg grew out, and his back was healed. You could almost see their heads spinning!
We had a sense the HOTS launch was going to be amazing, and we weren't disappointed! We were launching HOTS at a supposedly dangerous spot, that's controlled by drug dealers at night, in a predominantly Muslim area of Husby.
On Saturday morning we arrived at the site to set up, only to be greeted with a disturbance. A very drunk Muslim man was verbally abusing some older local Swedes who were sitting on benches, and who had also been drinking. He was clearly upset, as we discovered later, about the racial abuse he had received from them.
Unsurprisingly he then turned his attention to us, and began to swear and verbally abuse us. A really beautiful and prophetic thing happened afterwards, which I believe is a picture of what's going happen to this community. After this angry, hurt man left, we began to press into God's presence and the atmosphere changed. Soon the area was filled with the increasingly tangible presence of the Holy Spirit. About two hours later this angry man returned, but his demeanour had changed. He had sobered and was repentant, in tears and begging our forgiveness! He had been convicted of the kindness we had shown him, despite his previous attitude. We just continued to show this man the love of Jesus, as we had done when we first met him. It turned out he was an intelligent, highly qualified economics professor, unable to work at the level he was accustomed to, and had been reduced to working as a bus driver.
Our time on the streets was meant to be from 10.00am to 1.00pm. As God's presence increased so did the amount of people coming to the chairs for prayer.
The area was thick with God's presence, people going by remarked that they could feel his presence. Inquisitive people sat on the benches surrounding us, looking on in awe and trying to make sense of what they were seeing and feeling.
The team prayed for many people who were visibly touched by God. Here are a couple of stories from that time.
We prayed for a man with an injured ankle. We then shared some words of knowledge about his situation. He said, "tell me more", so we did, after which he replied... "now you're beginning to scare me!"
We prayed for another man due an operation on his left shoulder. He was unable to lift his arm any higher than shoulder height, but after we prayed, he was healed, and was wildly swinging his arms above his head. He became our most fervent evangelist, inviting and urging everyone to the chairs!
We had prayed for many people and as we were packing down at 1.00pm, Mattias asked me for my reflection of our time. I began to tell him I thought it was an encouraging start, but then suddenly God showed us he had more in store for us, just when when we thought it was all over!
This is what happened. All the chairs had been packed away, but then a girl came looking for Linda and Anna, who had prayed for her earlier. She was looking for more prayer.
We pulled a chair out for her, and as she was receiving prayer God showed us her back needed healing. While we prayed a crowd gathered to watch, and some of the men who had been healed were enthusiastically inviting more people to come for prayer. And more and more came for prayer! We pulled out more chairs. God's presence and power increased!
A woman in a motorised wheelchair watched while her husband sat down for prayer. God healed his knees and hip. The woman asked, do I need to be prayed for many times? Before we could answer one of the men who had been healed said, "you only need to be prayed for once!"
The woman manoeuvred her wheelchair so we could pray for her. She had no feeling in her feet, but some feeling in her hands and was suffering pain in her spine. She was unable to walk more than a few steps.
As we prayed her toes started to twitch, then her feet and hands quivered. She had never experienced this before.
I took her by the hands and was about to ask her to do something she couldn't do before, when one of the men who had been healed said, "get up and walk!"
The woman got up and walked towards her husband, healed! All pain gone! Her husband wept seeing his wife walk so freely. People were amazed.
What happened has always been my dream and vision that the Holy Spirit would be allowed to break out in this manner.
If I had to say one or two things to anyone doing or thinking of doing HOTS it would be this. You don't have to be experienced or an expert in healing, but it's important that you're fully trained in this model, and that you adhere to it. Prepare by spending time with Jesus daily. Get closer to him, and love people like he loves people. Be prepared to pay the cost. Kneel to pray before you start. Don't get off the ground until His presence comes. Either stay kneeling until his presence fills the air you breathe, or pack up and go home. Because nothing... zilch... will happen without his presence. Don't be distracted during your time on the streets. Your awareness of Him, and your intentional pressing into Him, and carrying and nurturing his presence is vital. Have faith, be courageous, act courageously, and don't fear man.
Find out more at the HOTS website here.
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