Note: Today’s AMI Devotional is written by Jane Oak who serves at Tapestry LA. Jane, an immigration lawyer, and her husband Harry were married last year.
Devotional Thought for Today
“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good things we have in Christ” (NIV 1984).
One Sunday before worship service, I went to Starbucks with a few friends from Tapestry LA. While ordering my coffee, I saw the cashier wince and say quietly to himself “Oooh, my back hurts.” I paid him and then went over to the other counter to pick up my coffee. While waiting, I sensed the Spirit telling me, “Jane, you need to pray for his back to be healed.” I responded with, “I know you have healed my friends and cell group members, but this is a total stranger and he is busy working”; nevertheless, I felt that I had no choice but to obey.
So, after getting my coffee and waiting for the line of people to clear out, I walked up to the cashier, at which point he turned around to wipe the back counter. Having seen his name tag earlier, I said in a gentle voice, “Javier?” He turned around and said, “Yes?” I asked him, “Can I pray for your back to be healed?” Since he was surprised that I knew about his back pain, I explained how I had seen him wince earlier and muttering something about his aching back. I then told him, “My friends and I have prayed for people to get healed, and they get healed. So, if you would like, we could pray for your back right now. It will only take about 10 seconds.” He paused, looked into my eyes for a couple seconds, and then said, “Yes, I would like that.” I excitedly ushered him to the side where we could lay hands on him. I called out to the others to come pray for Javier’s back. They came over and when Sol asked Javier, “Is it muscular or spinal?” Javier answered spinal. Then, we laid hands on him and I spoke the words, “Lord, heal this back in Jesus’ name.” There was no time to pray longer than those 7 words because we had to make sure he could get back to work. I then stood in front of Javier and asked, “Javier, how does your back feel?” He started moving around and exclaimed, “Oh my goodness, it doesn’t hurt at all!” Sol got excited and asked him to bend down and touch his toes just to make sure. He bent down a couple times and said there was no pain at all. We all started rejoicing, but had to quickly let him get back to the cash register.
The worship service that followed was amazing for us because we knew we were worshipping a living God who loves to heal. He is just waiting for us to do our part of laying on hands and praying in Jesus’ name. Our part is actually quite easy; God, of course, does the hard part of bringing about the healing. What I have learned through this and other healings is that God has chosen to partner with us in bringing healing to others (physical, emotional, and spiritual) because He wants to strengthen our faith and deepen our intimacy with Him through these wonderful, supernatural experiences with Him. Thank you, Lord.
Prayer: “Lord, I pray that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened so that we may perceive the needs of the people around us in order that we may minister to them in a tangible and fruitful manner. May our lives be full of adventure and excitement as we join You in your work. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 17
Lunch Break Study
(Provided by P. Ryun Chang)
Read Eph. 6:19-20: Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Colossians 4:3-6: At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. 5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
Questions to Consider
- We know the apostle Paul to be a very competent and fearless preacher of the gospel. In light of that, does this passage surprise you in any way?
- Paul asked for an open door—what would that mean to us? What did it mean for Jane?
- In light of the morning devotional, in what sense did Jane make the best of her time?
- Paul’s request is surprising because he asked the Ephesians to pray for boldness and apt words to share. Since these were two of Paul’s strong points, how much more we need to ask as many people to pray for us to be bold and knowledgeable when sharing God’s word!
- We ought to pray that God will lead us to people whose disposition is more receptive to God’s word than others (perhaps because they are going through a difficult moment). For Jane, catching the cashier’s groaning became an open door (added with boldness).
- Jane could have left it at that: pay the bill, drink the coffee and off to Tapestry. But she complied with the Spirit’s tugging by deciding to turn a mundane visit to a coffee shop into an experience with God for both the cashier and Jane. How about you?
Close your eyes for a moment and relive this day while asking this question: Was there at least one person in your office, school, or the grocery store you visited whom you could have ministered? What kept you from recognizing it at that moment? What could you have done differently? Pray that you will respond differently the next time.