So, praying for people in public. Outside the safe practice area. The photo with this post is of a place where I felt like I got a word of knowledge for a stranger and couldn’t give it because I was afraid.
I’d always been afraid to pray for people in public. I’ve tried a couple of times but it had always kind of not worked out. The word of knowledge was wrong or they got awkward quick and bailed.
Tonight, at 11PM my housemate and I went down the street to the Safeway where we always go. We went for a loaf of bread. On the way to the bread aisle a sharpish pain in the arch of my right foot started. As I was thinking it was weird that my foot was hurting I saw the female security guard leaning against the deli case and suddenly found myself asking her if she has a pain in the arch of her right foot. She said, “Always, why?”
I said something along the lines of, “Oh cos as I was walking over here I started getting a pain in the arch of my right foot and I don’t have a pain in the arch of my right foot. We’re Bethel students and we believe that God likes to heal people so, can I pray for your foot? There’s a chance you’ll get healed.”
She said I could pray for her family. Like, generally. I said that I’d be happy to pray for her family but that I was pretty sure God wanted to heal her foot right now. She wouldn’t let me touch her foot and I was thinking like, yikes, pretty sure you have to touch someone don’t you? She was obviously feeling a little awkward. Understandably so. It was a decidedly weird conversation to have. She finally agreed to me praying for her foot but I couldn’t touch it. So I was about to walk away because she was saying that I could go home and pray for her foot but instead I pointed at her foot and said, “Ok. I command the pain in your foot to leave right now in the name of Jesus.”
The pain left her foot. She was like, wait, what? Maybe I stopped thinking about it, uhm… nope… no, the pain’s gone. She was startled. I just said, “Awesome. Jesus loves you a lot!” and walked off to the bread.
We checked out with our loaf of bread and I saw her across the way on the verge of tears. Obviously an awkward place to be for a security guard at night in the rough part of town.
I went over and asked her if there was anything specific I should pray regarding her family and she asked me to pray generally for her daughter Sabrina. She said God knows what to do. I could see that she was having an encounter with the love of God and so I told her, “I can see the love of God on you right now so I’m not gonna push. I know it’s kind of an awkward moment to find yourself in this place but He loves you a lot!”
So, I was definitely a little freaked out when we started but now I’m so glad I stepped out with a little risk!
UPDATE: My housemate works security at Bethel and apparently this security guard visited Bethel for the first time recently. She seemed skeptical and a bit awkward.