A 20-Year Game Plan

When I was in India I prayed for a lot of people. I’ve learned the healing prayer model from Impact Nations. It is pretty easy.

  1. Can I pray for you today?
  2. Where is your pain?
  3. On a scale of 1 – 10 how bed is the pain?
  4. May I touch (your shoulder, or where the pain is)?
  5. “I declare that all pain in the shoulder must go right now in the name of Jesus”
  6. How is your pain now?
  7. Oh, it is a 4 out of 10 instead of (previous answer).
  8. Okay, let’s pray again
  9. “I declare that all pain in the should must go right now in the name of Jesus”

Most times, pain is gone completely. Movement is restored. Strength returns.

One lady came toward me leaning heavily on two who were helping her. She walked away on her own strength and in the healing of Jesus.

One man couldn’t work in the field any more due to a very bad back problem. His family needed him to be at work. Their very lives depended on it. I said to his wife, “Go home and a few times every day place your hand on his back and say, “I declare that all back pain must go right now in the name of Jesus”

She called three days later to say his back was healed and he had returned to working in the fields.

And so on. Story after story. Knees healed. Hips healed. Headaches healed.

But what I really wanted to do was to teach the people how to pray healing for each other. As you can see the healing prayer process is simple, simple, simple.

We taught it to children in Uganda and they were healing left, right and centre.

So, one evening in India, with a room full of 150 people, I undertook the task to teach them how to pray for each other. I laid out the argument well ‘Everyone can heal’. Established the framework. Painted the picture of how amazing it would be if they could heal their families and neighbours and friends in the marketplace.

I had set the stage as best I knew how and we came to the part of our time where we were going to practice healing with each other and we had them team up one to one.

The ladies, in the front row of people, the ones I could see, were standing, turned toward each other, with their arms crossed. And they remained standing, turned to each other, with their arms crossed. I am not sure what they practiced, but it certainly did not include any ‘May I touch your arm’.

Later, on the way home, I asked Paul about this, “Why weren’t the women touching as they prayed?”

His response, “Oh, well the Hindu (or perhaps it was Muslim) coverts still believe that the Christian class is beneath them and so they will not touch them.”

… I have no words.

Here, we have a way to declare healing over each other. A simple way. A way a child can learn. A way that removes people from being victims. A way in which the common person can become part of the solution to a hurting world — they don’t have to wait till the ‘big’ person comes to heal, they can take it into their own hands and give it out to the all those around them.

I thought this would be good news. I guess not.

This issue of touching or not touching, due to class, gender, race, or caste is only one of the barriers to healing.

There is also the matter of years of false beliefs seeped into people’s hearts and minds. Throughout decades it has been modelled and taught that healing belongs to only those anointed to heal. The people, in nearly ALL the (more than one-hundred) churches I’ve been to in the last four years, wait for the healing from the big person in the room.

It has been ingrained in them that only the anointed one can heal.

This, is balderdash, to put it nicely.

This is a stronghold of satan, to be frank. It is a stronghold that is keeping the healing of Jesus from many people and many people from the healing of Jesus. It is a stronghold keeping the body of Christ from participation in the kingdom of God. It is a tragedy.

I can barely describe what it is like to be in a church, for it to be announced that there will be prayers for people, and for people to come eagerly but passively, heads bowed, arms in the air, to receive, but not to engage. To be touched, but to remain weak. To be healed even, but to be dependant on others for that healing (only the big person as they come to town).

The only thing that saves me from rage at the injustice of these scenarios is that I and CCIM are in this for the long haul. The conversation about healing will take some time. The barriers to this simple healing of Jesus at the hands of anyone, will take some time.

I’ve comforted myself with the thought that, “Maybe in ten years the women in India will touch each other as they pray healing.”

“Maybe in ten years the common people in African churches will declare healing one to another.”

Maybe. If we do our work well. If we continue to teach the truths of the Kingdom of God. Healing comes because of who Jesus is, not because of who we are.

I comfort myself in knowing that the work I am called to do will extend over ten, twenty, thirty years. We are in this conversation for the long term, and change, the real changes that need to happen, that are at the core of people’s lives in God, can take place, and can take root, over the long haul.

Quite frankly, revival depends on this. Revival depends on barriers being broken down, on distinctions losing their strength, and of our false ideas about anointing and healing coming undone and swept away in the power of the Spirit.

Revival is NOT a group of people coming together raising their hands for a special blessing.

Revival is NOT powerful spiritual encounters that draw an even bigger crowd next time we meet.

Revival is when strength, dignity, healing, hearing God’s voice and having something to say, takes root in common everyday people in common everyday lives.

Revival is the change in a heart to no longer shun others but to love them.

Revival is a transformed knowing of God from one who condemns you to one who covers you, has your back, delights in you, sings over you, and is acting toward your best days.

On my recent ministry time in Uganda I was privileged to hear from many of our CCIM College students. One of my favourites was hearing from Beatrice. This is (a small part) of what she shared,

“The lessons have touched my life. Those days I had a different picture about God. The way I used to take God to be — I knew a man who hated sinners and if there was sin we do not dare to appear before God. Our backgrounds are not very appetizing, many wounds, hearts are scattered beyond repair, and we find the picture of self and the picture that the community has of self not promising of anything good. But actually, God has a different picture of me and I got a different picture of God when I looked at Jesus ministry. To serve I don’t need to be perfect. God sees the broader picture of me and he will get the best out of me.”  Beatrice

The most amazing thing about meeting with this CCIM College Class was that the students didn’t need to hear from me. They had so much to share, so much testimony of coming into a fullness of the love of God and how this was working out and about to those in their own churches, in the places where they worked, in their family relationships. It was astounding. It was and is, revival.

The work of God in us changes us from passive observers, from victims set only to receive, from quiet church mice, to active participants, to blessing and being blessed, to healing of each other, to knowing the voice of the Lord for ourselves. Jesus becomes our priest. And everything pales in comparison. Hallelujah. Selah

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Cyndy Lavoie

“Then she was on the road. She preached with joyful urgency that life could be radically different; right and left she sent the demons packing; she brought wellness to the sick, anointing their bodies, healing their spirits.” Mark 6:12-13 The Message

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