Tonight was the culmination of a 4 night revival for the church I pastor. I've been there since late May and they've been told via my sermons and prayer meetings that I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, specifically, as it relates to the sign-gift of healing. Sunday through Tuesday was all about the power of the Holy Spirit, specifically, being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Tonight, it was the final night and the Holy Spirit was present....INDEED! Eight people (from an attendance of about 40) came for healing. More powerfully, I asked everyone to close their eyes and be in prayer for everyone there, and I asked who wanted healing prayer without having to come publicly - to receive it where they sat. Three quarters of those there raised their hands. What an awesome God we serve.
First things first...of those who came for healing we prayed for suicidal tendencies, demonic possession, as well as diabetes, arthritis, lung disorder, addiction to alcohol, cancer and other maladies. The expressions of those for whom prayer was administered moved the entire congregation. More specifically, each one prayed for felt the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit. I was so totally drained from the prayer that the prayer team sat me down in the prayer seat and prayed over me until I was able to continue the service. (I didn't realize that it was so obvious that I was drained and depleted...but their prayers worked wonderfully and I continued.) Then came the most challenging, demanding, prayerful experience I've ever had in the healing ministry.
A young husband came to the alter for prayer. He had just recently lost his mother (a week ago) and was in a terribly difficult situation with his step father about everything. He was forbidden to attend his own mother's funeral. He was distraught. When I looked him in the eyes and asked what he wanted prayer for, his eyes became bloodshot and he said...."I want to leave my wife. I want to leave my child to be. I want to leave this world. I don't want anything good." At once I realized that I was talking with a young man who was possessed. Rather than anoint him one time with the sign of the cross with oil, it was put on my heart to anoint him three times. I looked him in the eyes and asked if he wanted deliverance. He shrugged. I asked again...he shrugged. Then I called him by name twice and he said yes.
I've only once before been called upon by Our Lord to cast out demons and I was weak in faith at that time...but I couldn't resist the word of God as it pertained to this young man. I tried to sit him down but he resisted. I tried again and he resisted again. I said..."In the name of Jesus accept His love". He sat down. He looked at me with piercing, bloodshot eyes and I asked him if he was ready for healing prayer. He didn't say anything. I told him I was going to pray for him whether he wanted it or not. I complimented him on beating down the resistance to make his way to the alter. So we prayed. There were 5 prayer warriors plus me praying for him. And we prayed. Without knowing the names of the demons in him (and not wanting to know their names) I prayed over him saying that Jesus knew who was trying to control his life and in the name of Jesus they are to be bound and cast from him. I was moved to bind and cast out 3 different demons in this young man in the name of Jesus Christ.
At once, his bloodshot eyes became clear. He proclaimed Christ as the ruler of his life. His countenance became one of calm and peace. But we didn't stop there. We continued to pray over him for strength and perseverance in Christ for the moments, days and weeks ahead. Oh what a glorious time it was in the service of our risen Lord.
We closed the service by praying for those who lifted their hands earlier that didn't want to be publicly brought into the love of The Lord. My friends, it was a powerful ending to a wonderful 4 nights of revival. Indeed, revival happened in our rural church in Alabama. It happened in ME!