Thursday, 13 November 2014


I came back from East Africa to find that our Sheffield congregation Sunday night gospel event had fallen apart.  Thereafter, we've attempted some household-based activities.  For Royal Standard this means a bible study in the Lounge at the Jesus Centre.  Thus far the themes have been drawn from our Church statement of faith booklet, and different leaders have introduced the studies. 

I recently did a session on sacraments, and we found some stimulating stuff about the real presence, and the Radical Reformation position that the mean elements represented by the gathered people of God become, by the Holy Spirit's metabole, the Body Of Christ - broken break and poured out wine for the world.  But I digress.

Malcolm was at the end of a study on healing, and we seemed to be just warming to the subject.  I offered to do a follow-on session in workshop format.  So, week one we looked at Jesus' healing ministry: there are 41 recorded incidents in the gospels, with different 'methods'.  I prayed for Barrie's painful leg, then handed over to Steven and Paul to pray for Jamie's.  And so we went along.  Folks were getting to 'do the stuff', including anointing with oil.

Week two, we looked at the healing ministry of the disciples in the gospels and also the early church.  Then more 'practicals'.  Barrie's leg was in the frame again, but this time we prayed for his hip, too, with more success.  Natalie, who's been coming around since the summer, was buzzing to have been involved in the prayer.  John, our 80-something outspoken pentecostal visitor, was having tummy troubles and so was next.  Mary's shoulder proved more resistant, and that led us to explore, helpfully, where fear and doubt hinder us in power ministry.

As we'd strayed into more subjective issues, I prepared some notes on inner healing for our third session.  "Holed below the waterline", was the expression I used.  One of our (increasing number of) visitors grunted his agreement.  When we got on to speaking of our problems to receive prayer, he related painful events from his teenage years, and was on the point of tears.  With a couple of the guys he went off somewhere quiet in the Centre.  He returned announcing he'd been sitting on these incidents for over twenty years, and was amazed at the events of the evening.  Jesus remains our healer.

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