For many years my passion and calling in the Kingdom of God has been to pray for the sick, afflicted, and brokenhearted. I love to see hurting people receive healing and freedom in every part of their being. This includes physical, emotional, and spiritual healing, as well as freedom from the effects of ancestral sins.
As an older man in the Lord (age 71), I also enjoy praying to release our Heavenly Father’s blessings on his sons and daughters, especially those who have never known a healthy father. I also pray for and encourage people to go for their God-given dreams. I encourage them not to limit God and cooperate with him to pursue the supernatural work of God in their lives. Therefore, being on prayer teams is a “sweet spot” for me.
My first experience being on a Compassion Connect prayer team was five years ago. I volunteered to be on the prayer team for Compassion North Clackamas.
That event marked me.
At that clinic, I had the opportunity to pray for a young volunteer who was also on the prayer team. She had Cerebral Palsy and was going blind in one eye. She had no peripheral vision and her central vision was dim and blurred. When I prayed, the Holy Spirit completely healed her vision in that eye on the spot. She has normal vision in that eye to this day. This was the beginning of numerous opportunities to pray for the sick, both guests and volunteers.
Since that day, I have lost count of the number of miraculous healings I have seen at Compassion clinics. For example, I have seen several herniated disks, often with sciatic pain in the legs, healed on the spot. Other miracles include healing of multiple back conditions, joint injuries, fibromyalgia, and infected teeth. Two of my favorite stories follow.
The first is of a young lady volunteer with Crohn’s disease at Compassion Cherry Park. Because of the disease and the medications she was on, she was told she could not have any more children. I prayed with another lady volunteer for her healing and for her to be delivered from the fear of barrenness. About four few years later I saw her in a restaurant where she introduced my wife and me to the answer to our prayers: a two year old daughter.
“About four few years later I saw her in a restaurant where she introduced my wife and me to the answer to our prayers: a two year old daughter.”
Perhaps the most dramatic combination of healing and deliverance I have seen was at Compassion Rockwood five years ago. A middle aged man was addicted to prescription narcotics because of a severe back condition from prior injuries and failed surgeries. He was going through acute withdrawal symptoms at the clinic. Two nurses I had known for years referred him to me and the prayer team. We prayed for a long time for healing of the traumatic injuries as well as his extremely intense, father-inflicted wounds from childhood. When we finished, all of the withdrawal symptoms were gone. So was all the pain in his body. He was at rest and felt great peace. I saw him at a church about two years later, and he was still pain free, drug free, had started a business, and was leading others out of the addictive lifestyle and to the Lord.
“I saw him at a church about two years later, and he was still pain free, drug free, had started a business, and was leading others out of the addictive lifestyle and to the Lord.”
My overall focus at the clinics, as well as in my daily life everywhere I go, is to ask the Holy Spirit to guide me and show me every person to whom I can bring a very real and tangible encounter with the love and power of our God. It can be as simple as a word of encouragement or as dramatic as a healing miracle. Through the encounter he has me bring, I want them to know God loves and cares for them. As a result, I have had many such encounters, including miracles of healing, in places as diverse as on airplane flights, stores, hiking trails, hospitals, and church gatherings of all kinds. Therefore, at Compassion Connect clinics or any other gathering of believers, I like to tell other believers that they too can experience these kinds of encounters if they will make themselves available to the Holy Spirit and are willing to step out and trust the Lord. Some of the prayer team volunteers I have paired up with have never done anything like this before. Some of them have seen their first healing miracle in their lives the first time they prayed for one.
“Some of the prayer team volunteers I have paired up with have never done anything like this before. Some of them have seen their first healing miracle in their lives the first time they prayed for one.”
On clinic day, I look for guests and volunteers who need or may need healing. I walk through the Social Service displays to thank and honor the workers from the agencies and ministries that are represented. I thank them for serving the community. I offer to pray for God’s blessing on their work and for healing if they need it. I offer to pray for the various clinic teams at the beginning of the day when they are setting up. I encourage the volunteers on all the teams to reach out and offer to pray for the people they encounter. I tell them it is not necessary for them to be on the prayer team in order to bless people, pray for people, and see miracles. It is for all believers, any time, any place.
Having been on over 20 prayer teams and having led four of these teams, I would like to express some things I have observed. I have noted two keys, which are of great importance in determining the impact and success of the individual clinic. The first is the unity of the leadership and the individual teams. Have the leaders humbly laid down any personal or church agendas, desires for recognition, or pride regarding their own churches, ministries, identities, and ambitions? Will they highly respect and value the diversity of the leaders, churches, and volunteers they will be working with? Will they also honor, respect and collaborate with the non-faith based social service agencies that desire to help the poor? Are they truly servant leaders?
The second major key is the degree to which the clinic director and team leaders are committed to prayer. How important to them is prayer and a prayer team? Is there a prayer team? Does the prayer team have a leader who is passionate and faithful in prayer? Is the prayer team united? Does the prayer team meet for prayer before and after the event? At many of the events I have experienced what I will call “an open heaven.” Praying for guests and volunteers is easy and almost everyone is receptive to be prayed for. Miracles happen and many people are touched in some way by the love and power of God.
Needless to say I have been greatly impacted by the clinics. A few long term relationships have been formed. In addition to greater opportunities to pray for the sick and to bless people, my confidence and boldness to reach out and take a risk has greatly increased. More importantly, I have observed that many of the volunteers, especially among the young people, have never had or taken an opportunity to reach out and serve the poor in a public gathering. A vision for such service is birthed in them. I have seen multiple times how the clinics are an opportunity for people of diverse backgrounds, ages, experience, maturity levels, talents, and church backgrounds to come together. It is a great opportunity for personal growth in the area of relationships and teamwork.
“I have seen multiple times how the clinics are an opportunity for people of diverse backgrounds, ages, experience, maturity levels, talents, and church backgrounds to come together.”
The potential for impact on the church community cannot be over-estimated. In my opinion, the church in America in general, and the Northwest in particular, is known for and/or perceived as being irrelevant, divided, competitive, independent, isolated, and often indifferent and even hostile to the community. I believe this is one of the major reasons why the church as a whole has little influence and impact in our nation. I am convinced this deeply grieves the heart of God. This kind of outreach is an opportunity to move in the opposite spirit, as in Psalm 133: “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony.” I know the vision of Compassion Connect is for these clinics to be a catalyst to encourage the believers in a community to work together on a far greater level than just a yearly event.
However, there is another level of impact I want to address; the potential impact in the heavens. When the larger body comes together in unity to worship, pray, serve the poor, and truly bless the communities in which we live, it can be an important part of displacing the powers, principalities, and forces of wickedness that rule over the region (Eph 6:12).