Blog Archives

Touching The Father’s Heart Conference

Today and yesterday I’ve been attending the Touching The Father’s Heart Conference for Methodist leaders organised by the Ignite Revival Network, featuring John and Carol Arnott of the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship and Scott McDermott of Washington Crossing United Methodist Church. Much could be said about what happened – see the testimony page on Ignite’s site in the next few days. But in the meantime here are some of the significant things that happened to me when people prayed for me:

1. Carol Arnott spoke yesterday afternoon about ‘soaking prayer’. Talking about a gift of some pearls, she described the way pearls are formed as the grit is coated over a period of time. I was prayed for, ended up doing ‘carpet time’, and longed to feel God’s presence and love but can’t in all honesty say I did. I prayed, “Lord, what are you doing?” I felt him say, “I am coating you.”

2. I regularly see an osteopath about a problem with my neck but it has also been noticed that I have a problem with stiff muscles attached to my left hip. When I lie on my back the left foot doesn’t tilt out to the left as it should, it is more or less vertical. The osteopath told me this needed dealing with or I would have problems in twenty years’ time. I had had a couple of brief manipulations and some minor improvement had occurred. However whilst flat on my back doing carpet time yesterday and today I noticed the foot had pretty much gone to the proper angle. And I had not sought prayer about this.

3. This morning Andrew Baguley asked for people to receive prayer for ear problems. Debbie, my wife, has had an awful ear infection for nearly two weeks now which may just be connected with our water tank problem. She’s on her third set of antibiotics and in constant pain, sleeping very little – even worse when you have two very small children as we do. I went out and asked for prayer for her. It was a great encouragement to find that the man praying for me had seen his own wife healed of a hearing disorder, not an instant healing but ultimately a complete one. I ended up on the floor again. Whilst there I prayed, “Lord, I want my wife back” (she just hasn’t been her usual extravert self during this condition). I felt him say, “You can have her back” and then saw a picture where she was bound in something like twine and I was cutting her free. When the final piece of twine was cut she jumped for joy. I have to say that upon arriving home this afternoon I found she was no better physically. But I do now have the faith that she will be restored.

Touching The Father’s Heart Conference

Today and yesterday I’ve been attending the Touching The Father’s Heart Conference for Methodist leaders organised by the Ignite Revival Network, featuring John and Carol Arnott of the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship and Scott McDermott of Washington Crossing United Methodist Church. Much could be said about what happened – see the testimony page on Ignite’s site in the next few days. But in the meantime here are some of the significant things that happened to me when people prayed for me:

1. Carol Arnott spoke yesterday afternoon about ‘soaking prayer’. Talking about a gift of some pearls, she described the way pearls are formed as the grit is coated over a period of time. I was prayed for, ended up doing ‘carpet time’, and longed to feel God’s presence and love but can’t in all honesty say I did. I prayed, “Lord, what are you doing?” I felt him say, “I am coating you.”

2. I regularly see an osteopath about a problem with my neck but it has also been noticed that I have a problem with stiff muscles attached to my left hip. When I lie on my back the left foot doesn’t tilt out to the left as it should, it is more or less vertical. The osteopath told me this needed dealing with or I would have problems in twenty years’ time. I had had a couple of brief manipulations and some minor improvement had occurred. However whilst flat on my back doing carpet time yesterday and today I noticed the foot had pretty much gone to the proper angle. And I had not sought prayer about this.

3. This morning Andrew Baguley asked for people to receive prayer for ear problems. Debbie, my wife, has had an awful ear infection for nearly two weeks now which may just be connected with our water tank problem. She’s on her third set of antibiotics and in constant pain, sleeping very little – even worse when you have two very small children as we do. I went out and asked for prayer for her. It was a great encouragement to find that the man praying for me had seen his own wife healed of a hearing disorder, not an instant healing but ultimately a complete one. I ended up on the floor again. Whilst there I prayed, “Lord, I want my wife back” (she just hasn’t been her usual extravert self during this condition). I felt him say, “You can have her back” and then saw a picture where she was bound in something like twine and I was cutting her free. When the final piece of twine was cut she jumped for joy. I have to say that upon arriving home this afternoon I found she was no better physically. But I do now have the faith that she will be restored.

Shaun Murphy’s Faith

An interview by Matthew Syed with Shaun Murphy, the world snooker champion, appears in today’s Times. Here are the first two paragraphs:

Many attributed Shaun Murphy’s unswerving self-belief to his faith in God after he triumphed in the World Championship this year as a 150-1 outsider. It is a plausible theory. The 23-year-old is an unabashed biblical literalist who views the multicoloured world of snooker through the black and white prism of Christian fundamentalism.

“I am convinced that God has a plan for my life that encompasses success in snooker,” he said when I met him at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall, the venue for today’s Pot Black Cup, where he faces Jimmy White in the first round. “Before matches, Clare (his wife) prays that God will anoint my hands so that I can play to my full potential.”

Two things struck me about these paragraphs. First is the attribution of Murphy’s belief that God had a plan for his life to ‘black and white … Christian fundamentalism’. Certainty makes you a fundamentalist. When I first read it my hackles rose against the reporter. But I have sat listening this morning to Scott McDermott preach about the need to avoid spiritual indecision in the face of a culture that would prefer us to be indecisive. So no wonder the journalist has to categorise Murphy like this. He’s captive to the culture.

Secondly, I love the prayer for the anointing of his hands so that he can play to his full potential. This takes ‘anointing’ out of the limited, churchy context it is too often constrained within right into the workplace and therefore the place of Christian witness. God bless you, Shaun.